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Dogs and a new baby. Is it a good idea?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Dodgy123, May 12, 2010.

  1. Dodgy123

    Dodgy123 PetForums Newbie

    May 12, 2010
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    I've got 2 greyhounds (9yrs old) and my partner is expecting a baby. I must admit that they are not the best trained dogs. But I am very worried abut keeping them with the introduction of a baby.
    The male in particular I am worried about with a child. He has a bad record including once biting me on the face (while playing), attacking my parents' dog when I first moved to a new house even though I had had them both together on weekends for around a year, and also killing a neighbours cat.
    I've had them for around 4 years and kept them after me and my previous partner broke up. I couldn't bring myself to take them back (which was her advice) knowing I had taken on the responsibility for them.
    Should I just bite the bullet and return them to the greyhound trust?
  2. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    * how far-along is the preg?
    if U have left this Q till the penultimate hour :rolleyes: thats not a good sign, IMO - U have basically already decided:
    the dogs are leaving - or at least the M is.

    * how long ago did the M dog bite Ur face?
    * how long-ago did he attack the parents dog?
    how BIG/small is the parents dog?
    * how long-ago did he kill the cat?
    it is not rare for Greys to be predatory - being predatory is no predictor of human-aggro.
    it is also pretty common for Greys NOT to recognize toy/small dogs As Dogs.
    retired-racers are frequently ignorant of any other dog-type than Greys -
    prick-eared dogs, dwarf-dogs (short-legged), full-coated dogs, etc, are all NEW to them.

    has either dog *met* children? nice kids, who are not rough or screaming?
    how did they react?

    has either dog been around infants?
    there are plenty of resources for how to accustom dogs to a coming infant BEFORE the baby gets here - the sooner U get on this project, the better.
    a CD or DVD of infant-sounds is good -
    so is making any changes (where the dogs sleep, where they are to be Fed, a SAFE place to be away from baby when not supervised, etc...) NOW - not when the baby comes home.
    Living with Kids and Dogs - Parenting Secrets for a Safe and Happy Home

    remember that there are 3 phases that are hard transitions for dogs - where the DOGS need protection from the infant:
    * crawling - get into the dogs space, food, toys...
    * walking - grab the dog, climb on/ride the dog, pull ears,...
    * ages 3-YO to 5-YO: stronger children with more co-ordination, TEMPERS and emotional poor-control

    the AGE OF REASON is 7-YO - by which time, both of these dogs are liable to be dead of old-age. they will need safety + set-back as elderly dogs.
  3. xxwelshcrazyxx

    xxwelshcrazyxx PetForums VIP

    Jul 3, 2009
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    If any of my dogs bite even once from play, then I would have to rehome or take back to the trust, they will find another home for it hopefully but I wouldnt trust it if I was expecting a baby, I would be so worried that the dog may pick up on my signals and may react toward the baby or myself from jealously?????? Me myself I would take it back BUT that is me, you may find it works out????
  4. Dodgy123

    Dodgy123 PetForums Newbie

    May 12, 2010
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    Thanks for the responses, in reply to your q's leashedforlife
    it's very early in pregnancy 6-7 weeks
    Attack on my parents Lurcher (greyhound/salouki) which is slightly smaller than the female was 3yrs ago, the face bite was about 2 1/2yrs and the cat was last summer.
    They do meet some kids. They seem very interested by my neighbours son (3-4yrs old) but only met him on a lead. Also met my 2 nephews 1and 3yrs andhave been equally interested sniffing them.
    The male is very nervous of children of all ages passed in the park and also of loud sounds. I've tried to resolve this with a cd but didn't make any difference.

    Thanks again
  5. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

    Feb 14, 2010
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  6. Paws&Claws

    Paws&Claws PetForums VIP

    Aug 29, 2009
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    Unfortunatly if you dont have experience with this and its just stories youve heard i wouldnt comment straight away :eek: and i presume the OP has had the dogs for a while.. so why would he just 'take them back'?!?! :(

    OP i would see about getting your dogs trained better. You have a while to go yet and there is plenty of time to try different training techniques :)
    Speak to afew people on this forum about it as their are many people on here with babies and doggies :eek: congratulations and best of luck with the training! x
  7. Guinevere13

    Guinevere13 PetForums VIP

    Mar 31, 2008
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    I had 2 dogs before I got pregnant. They were not Greyhounds and there was no "record" so a slightly different scenario but I kept them (they were my family) and they were very respectful and loving towards the baby. Obviously they were never left alone together but they doted on her and kept her clean! In return she kept them fed (she always managed to leave them some crumbs:)) and learned respect for animals from them.

    I wouldn't like to say keep or get rid, but as someone suggested, try training etc. but in the end you need to go with your gut instinct.
  8. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
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    hey, matt! :--)

    get a copy of click to calm from the library or a bookseller - used copies are often avail,
    and if the library has no copy locally they can get it via Interlibrary loan.

    it will help U work on ANY reactive issue -
    fear, aggro, reactivity/barking, bolting, hiding, ANYthing, using step-by-step DS/CC - desensitization + counter-conditioning.

    also this site and ESPECIALLY *triggers + thresholds* -
    Working with a fearful, scared or shy dog

    happy B-Mod,
    --- terry
  9. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

    Dec 10, 2009
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    Hi there,congratulations on the baby!
    Iv always had a children and dogs,though not the same breed,and if you are prepared to put in some hard work,it can work.
    As already said,some training now,would be great.You have some months to prepare your dogs,if that is what you choose.
    Stairgates are a must! It gives the dogs some space and baby some space.
    You can buy dolls that cry and alllsorts,this may be a great way of introducing to your dogs before baby arrives,see how they react and work on things that worry you.
    How is your OH with your dogs? does she love them lots? Are the dogs giving lots of attention? As there are two dogs,you could begin to give them time out behind a stairgate now,so its not a new thing when baby comes.Even having a pram /cot/baby toys about before baby comes can help get them used to whats going to happen.
  10. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

    Sep 25, 2009
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    I have no children myself, but have friends with all ages of children and have my 3 ear old nephew a few afternoons a week. My dogs have always been great with the kids. Bailey is a bit hit and miss with strangers, he can bark at them, but he's always been great with any children brought into the house, and he dotes on my nephew.

    If I were you I'd contact a local dog trainer (I'm sure someone in your area can recommend one) and get some professional advise about it, maybe work out a training regimen with them that'll prepare your dogs for the babies arrival, and help you prepare for how they could react. If you have a better idea of how they'll react it may help you with the decision.

    What ever you decide I wish you luck, and congratulations on the baby!!
  11. k8t

    k8t PetForums Senior

    Oct 13, 2009
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    Congratulations - Nothing will prepare you for what to come, but it is a great time!!!

    I had three dogs, one of which was a Collie with previous bite history - there is a great pic of him on here somwhere 'doing his thing!', one of which was 15 and another a younger dog who had snapped once, a very long time ago at a young girl stroking her - the reason was never apparent and she never ever did it again.

    Obviously, when I found I was expecting, it was of concern to us too, so I know where you are coming from. However, our daughter is five now and although two of the dogs are no longer with us, the elderly dog died just before she was born and the 'biter', died again of old age, two years ago, we never had any problems, but I had done a lot of preparation.

    Firstly, read the stuff Tripod has posted. There is also a book about introducing a dog and baby, but I can't for the life of me remember who by, try searching the net, you may come up with it.

    I started working on my dogs at around the four month into pregnancy stage.

    Firstly, I started to restrict their access to places. Upstairs being the main one, putting a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. I also started shutting them out of the living room for short periods, into the kitchen. I figured that there may be times a baby would be on the floor and I wouldn't want the dogs wandering around with her.

    A few months later, I started to carry (yes I know it sounds stupid), a doll, wrapped in a blanket and showing an interest in it and ignoring the dogs. I got into the habit of pushing them away if necessary and then throwing a treat when they had settled. Eventually they knew that when I had this 'bundle' to go off and 'settle', but not to pester, as it wouldn't achieve anything.

    During this period, I got a tape of a baby crying. It was only for a about five minutes, but I retaped and retaped it, so it lasted up to an hour. Did it with two tapes, but would be easier on CD.

    I put this upstairs - in the room that was going to be the babies and played it on low for a day or two at various times. I then increased the sound a bit, the dogs listened intially, then zoned out of it.

    Next, I brought the tape downstairs and did the same in the living room, shutting the dogs out, again, they took no notice - probably knew it was a tape!!!

    Finally, when I was in hospital, my OH brought home the baby grow that the new baby had had on it and that I had also been in contact with and let the dogs sniff it. Just laying it on the sofa - they were very interested in this.

    He did this for the few days I was in hospital.

    When I came home, we had the baby in the car seat. The dogs came running out to meet me and then saw the baby, they went up and sniffed. We held the seat, ready to move it away, but they were just a little interested thats all and I gave them a big fuss. The collie then went back to the baby and sniffed again and she moved - well he jumped out of his skin, he wasn't expecting that!!! We just ignored it and took her inside, along with the dogs and put her on the table (in the baby seat) and let the dogs get used to her little noises.

    The first few days were so focused on the baby, that the dogs didn't really get much attention, but they seemed to just go with the flow. I tried not to push them away if they had a sniff, but they didn't really bother. Obviously they were never alone with her and when I put her on the floor, they were out of the room, once of twice they were in the room, but just went off and did their own thing.

    My big concern was when she started moving around, but again, they just ignored her, she was now party of our family group and was accepted.

    We never had any problems, but are always careful with children and dogs - even to this day and had clear ground rules for our daughter as she grew up.

    There is no reason whatsoever, that your dogs cannot be the same. Our may have been good anyway, without all the stuff I did, but it made me feel more confident and happier and it wouldn't have done any harm to do what we did.

    Best of luck, I hope you decide to keep your dogs, greyhounds are gentle souls and a baby is very different from a cat!!!

  12. keeleyjane19

    keeleyjane19 Guest

    This is a toughy!!

    I have just had a baby, well 3 months ago, I have 3 dogs and none have shown aggression and are all brilliant


    If any of your dogs have bitten, then you should reconsider having him.

    If I was in your shoes, and this is only my opinion so don't follow my advice if you feel it is wrong, I would rehome my dog (s) if they have bitten or shown aggression.

    When I had my baby I had another dog who was really unhappy with the baby and growled and barked at him and one day latched onto the car seat he was sitting in....thankfully not getting my baby...I had no choice and had to rehome.

    You know your dogs, and trust your gut instinct, the fact you are questioning is showing you are doubting, so maybe it is wise to find a more suitable home for your dog.

    The decision is entirely up to you.

    Maybe speak to some rescues for advice.

    But I personally wouldnt keep a dog who had previously bitten with a new baby in the house.

    All the best and good luck xxx
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