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Old 14.01.2011, 22:31
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Preparing dog for arrival of baby

Hello,

We'd be grateful for any tips or ideas to help my 1.5 year old lab welcome a baby this summer. We will ask a trainer to come during spring to prepare us as well but we are ready to instill any useful habits and work with our lab as I realize that in lab years, he' s still a puppy himself and that it will be a big change for him as he is pretty much the center of our lives at this point.

Many thanks in advance
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Old 14.01.2011, 23:29
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

Our vet recommended bringing home something from the hospital that smelled like the baby. On a trip to the house to feed and walk our dogs, he brought home the blanket our daughter was first wrapped in after birth to introduce her scent to them.

They were very thorough when I brought her home. They must have sniffed her and me both for a full 5 minutes. They were always gentle with her in spite of being 70lbs each. Also, they were both adult dogs and my female had just had a litter (my hubby's idea, my responablity). Hate to say it, but I think that made her more sympathetic to our new addition.
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Old 14.01.2011, 23:39
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

I agree with Jenni, bring home something that is the babies and let the dog smell it and get used to the new addition. When it comes time to introduce the dog to the baby it is important to let it be on your terms. You as the owner are in charge and this is your baby. Don't let the dog run into the room and sniff around and act like it owns the place. You are allowing the dog to meet the baby. Always be in charge of the situation.

It is going to be an adjustment for the dog for sure. You have stated that currently, the dog is the center of your world and that will soon change. Extra walks and playtime may be needed.

Good luck and I am happy to hear how responsible you are being as a dog owner. Congrats on your new addition as well.
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Old 14.01.2011, 23:41
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

I'm glad you are thinking about this now - preparation is the key to a smooth introduction, and will lay the foundation for a good relationship between your dog and your baby.

Since I do not have children I can't give you first-hand experience - so theory will have to do in this case. Here are some good articles from the ASPCA:

http://www.aspcabehavior.org/article...-New-Baby.aspx
http://www.aspcabehavior.org/article...-New-Baby.aspx

Have you found a trainer to work with? My oldie's trainer, herself a relatively new mom, is thinking of setting up a 'dogs and babies' lecture - unfortunately she is in ZH. If you wish, I could ask her if she knows of anyone in the Geneva area who does something similar.

I would also recommend a dog forum, the Dogpages Rescue Forum. The topic comes up regularly, the voices of experience are always happy to chime in:

http://www.dogpages.org.uk/

But I'm sure that there are many EF members here who can give you the benefit of their hands-on-the ground (or lead ) experience.

Congratulations on the upcoming arrival - and wishing the whole family, human and canine, many happy years together.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:41
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

We did an interesting exercise in our Familienhund class today...

The trainer brought one of those crawling, crying baby dolls to class.

We then went through our normal exercises while the 'baby' cried in the background. The goal was for the owner to keep the dog's focus on the exercise at hand, and for the dog to ignore the 'baby'.

It's just a variation of proofing your dog's skills in various environments and with various distractions - but might be something useful for you as you prepare your dog for your baby's arrival.

One word of caution, though - if your dog is distressed by the crying sound, you will want to gradually desensitize, being very careful to avoid flooding. If is doubt, help from a trainer would be recommended.
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Old 18.01.2011, 14:00
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

Actually, I have been playing youtube videos of a crying baby to my dog and he tilts his head a couple of times and then goes back to sleep so i will try making him go through an excercise and making sure it doesn't distract him.

and once in a while, when he's in a good mood, he will lick my stomach as I think he feels something is changing...
But thank you for all the advise, I do appreciate it!
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Old 18.01.2011, 16:56
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Re: Preparing dog for arrival of baby

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Our vet recommended bringing home something from the hospital that smelled like the baby. On a trip to the house to feed and walk our dogs, he brought home the blanket our daughter was first wrapped in after birth to introduce her scent to them.
Good luck with that. I hear it works with other people's dogs, didn't work with mine...We even brought diapers home and he would always get a treat in connection with baby's underwear or diaper. Still didn't work. Was beside himself with jealousy even though I completely ignored baby when I came home to NOT make him feel abandoned. But I think he was crazy
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