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I'm currently pregnant, due in less than 4 weeks. DH and I have both been socializing the dogs with the baby furniture, toys, and have done research on introducing the dogs to the new baby once she comes. I am not concerned about my two when it comes to the baby coming into the house. My issues are as follows: 1) Concerns about the behavior of our dogs, especially with the new baby, when they are exposed to other family member's dogs or friends who come and visit, and 2) Other family member's dogs and the baby when we visit.

I've noticed a behavior shift in both Angus and Freyja which has intensified as I get closer to the due date. Angus has become my velcro dog when DH isn't home, following me to the bathroom, around the house as I clean, and becomes distressed when I lock him out of a room (such as when I'm painting). He also is extremely attentive and alert when I am around non family members, or any dog that isn't Freyja. Freyja has also become clingy but has also become protective. If a dog approaches too fast, even if it's a dog she knows or has been friendly with in the past, she goes into offensive mode and will lash out at the dog to keep it away if it doesn't take the hint and stop it's forward progress. If the dog approaches slowly, she is watchful but will lie down, allowing the dog to access me. With humans, if it's someone she doesn't know or doesn't recognize, she will place herself between me and the other individual, no hackling but visibly tense. She will relax once I greet the person, but won't stray more than 3 feet from my side. On account of their behavior, and me not wanting to set either up to fail, I have stopped our walks and have ended their accompanying me when I visit unless DH is also there. When DH is around me, both are far more relaxed, it's as if they don't trust me to take care of myself.

With the new baby I know that people will be visiting my house. If Angus' and Freyja's behavior doesn't relax around me, or transfers to our daughter, what would be the best way to re-socialize them with visitors, or to manage their behavior so we don't have any issues? They normally are great with visitors, but I don't want to take a chance that things will change.

When we visit family with the new baby, if the dogs accompany us, such as for holiday's or extended visits, should we take any additional precautions aside from leashes? I plan on reintroducing the dogs to former playmates as if they are meeting for the first time, just in case there is a shift in behavior. Am I being too paranoid? Or should I take any extra precautions?

2) Family member's and friend's dogs. I have already discussed this issue at length with my parents and we have agreed to limit the interaction between their collie and the baby. He is sweet but stupid, and it's not beyond the scope of possibility that he would step on the baby, or knock into her, or even knock her over. My issue with that situation is my sister is pig-headed and will most likely let the dog near the baby, because "it's cute". Even though I've brought this issue up in the past, I know in my heart that she will ignore my wishes and do as she pleases. Suggestions on how to handle this situation when it occurs?

My in-laws have two sweet but uncontrolled dogs. I know they will jump, and one will probably try to mouth the baby. MIL has been introducing the dogs to the concept of a baby, but saying the word, or even hearing a baby's cry, seems to excite them beyond all belief. I'm more concerned about hurt feelings, and me losing my cool in that situation. I don't want the dogs to have access to the baby. I know that this will be a cause of drama. Neither dog has any concept of personal space, and the one that licks also has a habit of eating feces, nevermind the mouthing, thus nowhere near the baby. I am also worried that I will lose my cool and discipline the dogs in front of my MIL, I know DH will. Who am I kidding, I'm concerned that between hormones, being stressed as a new mom, and irritated at the dogs, I will blow up. This will obviously go over like a lead balloon. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach these issues? We have attempted to start a conversation regarding these issues in the past but with no success.

If I'm being paranoid, please tell me, I know hormones are causing me to blow problems out of proportion.
 

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for #1, just relax. Your dogs behavior is normal. Its your job to show them YOU are still in charge and decide what happens and who goes where. Not them. They're merely protecting their pack leader who is in a delicate state.

for #2, don't bother worrying about hurt feelings. YOUR baby, YOUR rules. If your concern is unruly ill mannered dogs, protecting your baby is first priority. If the dogs cant behave and be calm when its necessary, they don't get to be around. It's a privilege, not a right, for them to be allowed to visit the newest family member. They get leashed interactions and never at the same time so as not to feed off one another. the atmosphere should be calm and relaxed when the excitable dogs are in the room with the baby so they learn to feed off that.
 

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First off, congratulations on the baby on the way! I hope all goes well. I am a NEW German Shepherd owner so I cannot provide the best input possible, but I think that having a child around dogs is perfectly ok. I don't think yours would be harmful at all to it. If you (or anyone else) thinks it's a good idea, maybe you could take your dogs to public places; daycare, lowes, petsmart etc...wherever small children are and get them used to being around them? I have a small puppy so of course mine isn't very dangerous (other than jumping and nibbling). That is what I would do, and I have personally been doing with my dog, taking him around every social situation I possibly can. I've also thought about playing recordings of small children and loud noises around him so he isn't scared or startled by it, but I will wait to do something like that only if one of the GSD "gurus" on this site thinks it's a good idea.
 
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