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Discussion Starter #1
I apologize if this isn't the proper place for the thread, I'm hoping to get to know the board better! It's been a while!

My husband and I have a 4 year old female and we are expecting our first child in early September. Our girl, Casey, is great around kids and adults, but she has never been around a newborn. She does however love to chase rabbits, squirrels, anything small and doesn't seem to understand what small dogs are either. We don't really trust her with smaller animals.

She has obedience training and is off leash without a problem. She responds very well to commands and respects my husband and myself as well as everything in the house... she really is smart and quick to learn so I'm not too worried about her not understanding what we want, but I want to take the right approach.

I feel as though I need to get this right. I've been doing reading all over the web from various trainers and "experts" but would like feedback from people who may have been there and done it.
 

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have you started letting her sniff and get used to all things that come with a baby being around? Just letting her get used to a crib, diapers, wipe packs, bouncer chairs, the car seat, etc, can help more than most people realize. You may also be surprised at how calm she is after she gets corrected if need be. Obviously, don't leave baby and dog alone unsupervised.

We've had two babies come into our family and never have had any problems. Shasta has only been around babies of friends since my kids are older than she is but she does great with them. She knocks my son over every now and again but its all accidental.

When you bring baby home, have dad bring baby in the house while YOU greet your dog and find a comfortable place to sit. Once you've said hi to your dog, who will likely be excited to see you after a few days apart, hold the baby and let your dog sniff her gently. Not excessively. An easy kiss here and there aren't bad things despite those who will panic about it as long as once again, it's not allowed to be excessive.

I imagine, if she's good with other people and children, learning boundaries you teach her regarding the new baby (if needed), you'll be pleasantly surprised just how much she will control herself... Shasta had no issues laying down and letting a baby she's only met once before crawl all over her and pull fur. She just laid there with that dopey dog grin on her face and was very patient.

ETA: don't forget to pay attention to your dog too once the baby arrives. If you're able, set time aside to just spend time with your dog. That helped us a lot as well. Baby had time and dog had time and we all had time together.
 

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Order a copy of Dr. Nicholas Dodman's book The Dog Who Loved Too Much. There is a great section on this. Here are some of the things he recommends. Before the baby comes, start carrying around a doll. Walk your dog with an empty stroller or a stroller with the doll in it. Start training the dog to stay out of the baby's room before the baby is born. Bring home a blanket with the baby's smell on it before you come home from the hospital. When you come home from the hospital, you go inside and greet the dog first and have your husband outside with the baby. The dog will be excited to see you and you want to wait until she calms down before you bring the baby inside.
 

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have you started letting her sniff and get used to all things that come with a baby being around? Just letting her get used to a crib, diapers, wipe packs, bouncer chairs, the car seat, etc, can help more than most people realize. You may also be surprised at how calm she is after she gets corrected if need be. Obviously, don't leave baby and dog alone unsupervised.

We've had two babies come into our family and never have had any problems. Shasta has only been around babies of friends since my kids are older than she is but she does great with them. She knocks my son over every now and again but its all accidental.

When you bring baby home, have dad bring baby in the house while YOU greet your dog and find a comfortable place to sit. Once you've said hi to your dog, who will likely be excited to see you after a few days apart, hold the baby and let your dog sniff her gently. Not excessively. An easy kiss here and there aren't bad things despite those who will panic about it as long as once again, it's not allowed to be excessive.

I imagine, if she's good with other people and children, learning boundaries you teach her regarding the new baby (if needed), you'll be pleasantly surprised just how much she will control herself... Shasta had no issues laying down and letting a baby she's only met once before crawl all over her and pull fur. She just laid there with that dopey dog grin on her face and was very patient.

ETA: don't forget to pay attention to your dog too once the baby arrives. If you're able, set time aside to just spend time with your dog. That helped us a lot as well. Baby had time and dog had time and we all had time together.
You and I must have read the same book.
 

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You and I must have read the same book.

lol actually nope. I'd never heard of that book until now. I did a lot of research starting when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and even some of it I figured was just a good idea to begin with. I figured cats needed to have ways to adjust to such a large change in the family, why not dogs too?

OP, there's a lot more we can tell you, but the above is really the basics that seem to work as a general for most everyone. My son turns 4 in June so I'm not even sure the websites I used are even still around. There are several threads on this board about this very thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you so much for the feedback! I will order this book today... it sounds great!

Also, we have gated off the nursery so she can see inside and see what we do in that room. Once in a while I move the gate and make her down/stay at the door while I am in there. A few times I've said "ok" to her coming in and then tell her "out" and she goes back to the hallway to wait.

As far as sniffing things, ever since she was a puppy, she has had to sniff everything that comes in the house! I didn't see any harm in it so I made it almost like a little job. She smells packages, mail, groceries anything new then I tell her good job and bring it in the house. So I will definitely do that when we start to bring baby items home. We've only just started with small items.

I plan to set aside time everyday for her and I to be alone. I know this will be her biggest adjustment - sharing me with a baby - but if I do it right, she will be amazing!

I thank you again, I am determined to make this a success!! :)


OH.... your opinion.... the way my house is set up, I was thinking when I am alone and my husband is at work, gating her in the front half while I had the back half. She will have full view of me and baby but will be separate. I thought it might make things less stressful in the beginning for me, but don't want her to seem like she's being pushed away.... then when my husband comes home, let her through the gate.... am I thinking to much? (lol)
 

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Thank you so much for the feedback! I will order this book today... it sounds great!

Also, we have gated off the nursery so she can see inside and see what we do in that room. Once in a while I move the gate and make her down/stay at the door while I am in there. A few times I've said "ok" to her coming in and then tell her "out" and she goes back to the hallway to wait.

As far as sniffing things, ever since she was a puppy, she has had to sniff everything that comes in the house! I didn't see any harm in it so I made it almost like a little job. She smells packages, mail, groceries anything new then I tell her good job and bring it in the house. So I will definitely do that when we start to bring baby items home. We've only just started with small items.

I plan to set aside time everyday for her and I to be alone. I know this will be her biggest adjustment - sharing me with a baby - but if I do it right, she will be amazing!

I thank you again, I am determined to make this a success!! :)


OH.... your opinion.... the way my house is set up, I was thinking when I am alone and my husband is at work, gating her in the front half while I had the back half. She will have full view of me and baby but will be separate. I thought it might make things less stressful in the beginning for me, but don't want her to seem like she's being pushed away.... then when my husband comes home, let her through the gate.... am I thinking to much? (lol)

I wouldn't separate her like that. That's a good way to create resentment, even a little bit. It also hinders the bond she could form with the new baby just by being allowed to be close. You have to remember these dogs are very big on their people and gating her away from long periods of time like that could create problems. Also, how else is she supposed to learn proper interactions if she's not allowed to be there to learn? It sounds like she's pretty well trained in the basics. I really don't see any problems in allowing her to be close to you and the baby. You're adding a new younger pack member. If you were a wolf pack, she'd likely be the one left to pupsit while the alphas and rest of the pack went hunting. Hope that makes sense. These dogs are amazing when allowed to interact with their family.

Our male was very unsure about kids as I'd never exposed him to kids but he learned and adjusted and adored our kids. In his final days with us, my daughter and son were the ONLY ones he wasn't growling at for whatever reason. Let her be a part of the family.

Also, in my personal experience, its much easier to get into a routine with dog AND baby when you do it from the start. You said your GSD is 4 years old. I think she'll be just fine.
 

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Thought you might enjoy these. These vary between dogs but all have pretty much been really good. This first one is Zena with my daughter.







Zena, My daughter, Riley (all were sleeping.)


My son with Riley and Shasta. Shasta is the one he's sitting on lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for those pictures! They are great! That is my goal for her and our baby... You're probably right about the gating outcome. She is very pack oriented and I want her to stay that way.

Thanks for the input!!
 

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Thank you so much for those pictures! They are great! That is my goal for her and our baby... You're probably right about the gating outcome. She is very pack oriented and I want her to stay that way.

Thanks for the input!!

You're welcome! I'm sure I have plenty more. It's just a matter of finding what folder they in these days lol.

Welcome to the board. Naturally, we cant wait to see pictures!
 

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This was one of her favorite places to be. As long as she was able to touch the baby, she was content.


Zena and my son (my son is more of a fan of cats these days but we have some good ones of him with the dogs)




Never would have allowed this is Riley wasn't 100% okay with it. He adored his kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I would never get tired of looking at pictures like those! They are adorable!! I'll have to show my husband!

Looking forward to having my own collection soon!!! :)
 
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