Dog and Baby - Nutley,NJ

Updated on February 01, 2012
S.E. asks from Caldwell, NJ
20 answers

im expecting my first child this summer.. i have a 9 year old yellow lab .. hes a big boy 110lbs.. anyone that knows him says he is the weirdest dog theyve ever met.. he hates other dogs but loves people he knows that we know.. someone we know and let into the house he is totally fine with he doesnt even bark.. but someone like the mail man who walks up to the front door and walks away he goes ballistic.. he still has many of the tendencies he had when he was a puppy just toned down a little now.. he will eat pretty much anything.. paper towels/plates, tissues, anything out of the garbage .. if he could lean up against you and get his butt scratched 24/7 he would do it that and food is all he wants out of life overall hes a very gentle dog.. i never thought about it but my dad made the comment yesterday like how do you think chip is going to react with a baby in the house ..and it got me thinking .. is that something i should be worried about.. it never crossed my mind before

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So What Happened?

.. i shouldve added this to my question.. its not so much his temperment that im worried about.. he is one of those very large dogs who doesnt realize that hes such a big boy.. he honestly thinks hes a little lap dog.. when he wants to be scratched he will walk up to you a lean his entire body weight on you and just keep doing it until you pet him

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answers from Washington DC on

The mamas have good advice.

I did want to say he sounds just like my SIL's yellow lab. And she has had three babies in 4 years. He is just fine.

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answers from Chicago on

So here are things we did to prepare our dogs for baby's arrival, (btw your dog KNOWS you are preggers and anyone who thinks otherwise is just crazy!)
1. get a recording of baby crying and screeming (they sell these or you can make one from a friend's child) and play at random volumes and times during the day/night - daddy got a timer like one you would use to turn your lights on and off when out of town so it was completely random.
2. set up the baby's room/areas as soon as you can and keep dog away from those areas - show him the new boundaries. So, if you do not want the dog in the baby's room w/out you then train the dog for that NOW or if you do not want the dog near the swing area - play pen etc train that now.
3. allow the dog to cuddle up with your belly, esp while baby is active - my dogs had this look of euphoria when they could feel baby moving when we would cuddle up. They would rest their heads on my belly and just wait for him to move.
4. As baby's things come in put them where they would typically be and start the nesting as soon as possible so your dog has time to adjust
5. When I went to the hospital I brought my own reciving blankets and had the nurses wrap those up directly with baby from the first time - then daddy brought the blankets home for the dogs to sniff - it had mine, daddy's and new baby's smells on it, they were in heaven according to daddy. He took a picture of them laying on the bed laying on the blankets just sniffing, taking in baby's smell mixed with ours. According to daddy he was woken up a few times by the sound of their sniffing.
There are many things you can do to prepare your dog for a new baby, you can also contact a trainer and ask them based on your dog's temperment and breed what else would be good so you can all be prepared. When I brought baby home I made sure the dogs were in their crates, brought baby to the crates in the car seat and let them sniff baby and see him while they were all safe and secure. Then I held baby while daddy put the boys on their leashes (again control - mostly no jumping) so we could interact. With in 30 min they were calm enough to be off their leashes and just had to sniff and lick baby's head. I allowed them each one or two licks b/c that is how they welcome someone into their pack.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

No, do not worry! Your big guy sounds a lot like my rottweiler (passed now). He was absolutely GREAT with all of my grandchildren. In fact, he slept under the crib and when my grandson cried, he jumped up, sniffed him in the crib to be sure all was well, and would then come and get me. He mostly acted indifferent to him, but if the baby cried, he made sure someone came! You will find that your dog will be a great protector of your new arrival - he won't treat him like he treats strangers. I think they sense the love/bond between their humans and the babies and they definitely understand that this little person is a baby. You will see so many touching moments between your baby and your dog - it's great. I have any number of photos of my big rott sleeping with many different babies. They all loved him and he tolerated them just fine.

One day my roommate wasn't paying attention and her 3 year old daughter walked out the front door. Fortunately, the dog was outside and he followed the baby. It was only minutes of course before mom realized baby was gone. She ran out the front door and down just about 2 houses and there was her little one on the sidewalk, looking at some flowers. There were two people out there and the dog was walking circles around the baby. The two people told her that she never had to worry about the baby when the dog was around because that dog just kept walking circles around her and would not let anyone near her. And she wasn't even "his" human!

He'll be fine and you will love the bond and the fact that your doggie will be THE BEST babysitter you will ever have!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

it is not something I would worry about, but you may just want to look into the best way to introduce him to the baby. I am an ob nurse and had a lot of parents bring home the baby's first hat, or something with the baby's scent, to let the dog smell before the baby comes home. Then be sure he has a good chance to sniff the baby when he/she does come home. Most dogs adjust to a baby without much ado, especially if his routine stays as much the same as possible.
On a side note, make sure you put the diapers in a dog-proof container! Nothing more disusting than finding a torn up, half eaten diaper on the floor just after getting a "kiss" from your beloved pooch.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

You'll have to introduce Chip to the baby, just like any other stranger. And NEVER leave them alone together. Dogs are basically like small expect some jealousy. And do talk to him about the baby...dogs understand way more than we give them credit for. You might be surprised.

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answers from Houston on

First make sure to have your husband bring home a receiving blanket that the baby was wrapped in the day before you come home so that the dog can get used to the baby's smell.

Your dog sounds a lot like my lab/rottie mix. She loves people, but barks at strangers. She absolutely adored our new baby (he's 10 months old now). She immediately accepted him as part of the pack and we nicknamed her "the guardian" because wherever the baby was she had to be.

Of course the number 1 rule is never leave baby alone in the room with the dog no matter how sweet they are. Dogs are animals and react differently to things so you always want to be careful. I'm sure you will have no problem though.

I'll never forget when my baby cried for the first time, he was with my hubby and I was in the restroom. My dog came barreling through the restroom door like there was a fire and kept trying to get me to go get the baby like "hey he's crying, you got to go now" it was too funny!

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answers from Dallas on

Yeah, I'd be worried about that too. I did a search the other day for dog attacks local, and just this year several children have been killed by dogs just in my area. They were all family pets, and the parents are always going, "I never thought our sweet dog would do this" Not to scare you- and I'm not saying get rid of your dog- he's part of your family too- but just be careful. He's a dog. I think sometimes we love our pets so much we forget that they are even animals! I know I do... but they are, and with a brand new member of the family (congrats by the way!!!), precautions should be taken, for sure. I certainly hope he warms up to the baby fast so you don't have to worry!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Bascially think of the dog as bigger sibling. I like the idea of the blankets and the smells on it for introduction.

When we adopted the dog knew something was up but was not sure of what because we were putting things in the room. When baby came home, dad went out to get the mail and I had the baby in one arm. Well the dog jumped up into the other arm. I could not hold either. So when dad came back I said to him, "take one of them I don't care which." He took the dog. Baby was placed on the floor and dog went wild with glee he ran around all happy and sniffed and got down and wanted to play. It really was cute. As the baby grew his bond with him grew and at times they were inseparable.

Just make time for your older child (dog) and all will be fine.

Congrats on baby.

The other S.



answers from New York on

You said the dog is gentle, so you have nothing to worry about. Dogs aren't stupid. They know that a baby is part of the family, so don't don't worry. Just take the introduction slowly and explain who the baby is.



answers from Los Angeles on

most likely he'll be fine. as others suggested, get him prepared - the biggest thing is having your hubby bring home something that smells like the baby while you're in the hospital after labor. and even if your dog is an ANGEL with the new baby, don't make assumptions and leave the two of them alone. he's still an animal and you don't want to take any chances. even without meaning to, he can harm a baby just by his sheer size. as long as you're vigilant though, there's no reason the two can't be in the same house. my son and dog love each other and now that he's older (2.5), he's bonding with her more and more. the other day we went to petsmart and i asked if we should buy the dog a treat and he said "yah!" and when we got home, he ran to her with the shopping bag open saying "for you della! it's for you!". haha so cute :)


answers from Richmond on

Just like any 'big sibling'... get him excited :) Let him explore the babies nursery and sniff the blankets and diapers... once baby is born, have a relative bring a blanket from the hospital before you get home so pup can get used to the new babies smell. Expect a little jealousy, as with any big sibling. As long as your doggy know they're still loved and aren't being replaced, there will be no issues!

When we got our dog, we did it when the girls were gone one weekend because we wanted to surprise them. We got the dog home and thought 'omg, did we just screw this up?!'... NOPE, our dog was totally cool! Ditto for when baby #3 came home... in fact, he instinctively knew this was a baby, HIS baby, and when you said 'River! Where's your baby?!' He'd freak out until he found the baby, and was constantly laying next to him.... SO PRECIOUS!!


answers from Jacksonville on

We had a 1 year old Jack Russel Terrier when we brought our new son home. I was a little worried because Tippy (the dog) was very much MY dog, could be jealous of other people who got near me at times. But we brought him a blanket first, & let him keep it (he still sleeps with it). And when we first brought Gabe inside, we let him sniff him all over. Tippy licked his bald little head & they have been best friends ever since! Gabe even chews on Tippy's ears whenever he has a chance, & the dog just lets him. The only problem we had was that for the first month or so we had to start kenneling him when we would leave because he would jump up onto the counters & destroy things (like wooden spoons, any diapers left out, my breast pump). He has gotten over that now so we dont kennel him anymore, & Gabe is 8 months old & Tippy is his favorite thing to play with!
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

They will have to meet but never ever leave the baby alone with the dog. We also have a dog, 6 months old. She is curious about the baby but I will take no chances. My brother has a blond retriever and he is very gentle. My bros daughter is 5 now but when a baby, the dog would lay at the end of her bouncer or swing. He never tried to go too close but was never left alone with her.
The only problem we have had so far is her tail. She gets excited when someone comes home and her tail is like a whip. Gotta make sure enough room between that tail and the baby.


answers from Los Angeles on

You are right to be cautious and a bit concerned. Just take it slowly and gauge your dog's reaction to the baby. Introduce them when you are holding the baby not while the baby is laying down alone. Use your best judgment and see what happens. You know your dog, you will tell if he is uncomfortable.



answers from San Francisco on

Google this, talk to your vet and obgyn to see if they have any tips. There are a few ways to help prepare the dog (not 100%) but some of the stuff that will happen. I've heard of getting a recording of a baby crying so the dog gets used to the noise. If the dog is going to experience changes in where he sleeps and eats, do that now so it's not as stressful to him. Be overly cautious with the baby and don't leave the baby at his level. A dog can hurt another animal/human not meaning too. I'm glad you are thinking about it now......


answers from New York on

Three words: The Dog Whisperer. :)



answers from Columbus on

We have an eight year old lab and almost one year old. Our lab does not like other dogs and barks at people that come to the door. She is amazing with our son though, he can climb all over her, take things from her, shove toys in her mouth. I would say just take it slow, bring something home that smells like the baby first. Also set up baby's things early and interact with them and or a doll like you would the baby so your dog can get used to the idea. Lots of positive rewards when they are good together.



answers from New York on

You have gotten a lot of great advice. I wanted to emphasize the importance of preparing your dog for the new baby. I have a 13 year old mixed breed rescue dog. She sounds somewhat similar to your dog. She is fearful of strangers, will growl and snap if a stranger tries to pet her. On the flip side, once she gets to know someone she is eternally in love with them. I had a lot of anxiety about how she would respond when I had my first child 6 years ago, the dog was 7 at the time. Beforehand, I bought a CD with the sound of a crying baby and played it often. I also brought one of my son's recieving blankets home and put it in the dogs bed prior to having the baby come home. I was also told to ignore the dog when it was just the 2 of us and give her lots of praise and treats around the baby so the dog associates th epositive reinforcement with the baby. I also worked with a trainer 1 or 2 times before the baby was born. Once my son came home, the dog definetly took a few weeks to get used to the sound of the baby crying. I NEVER left the two of them alone together until he was about 5 years old. There were a few times the dog snapped at my son, provoked by my son. For example, once he was hugging her and he would not let go so she snapped to get out of the bear hug. I could not blame the dog b/c she did not know what else to do. I blamed myself for allowing my son to hug her w/o my direct supervision. I know also have a 22 month old. I keep them separated almost all the time. She is constantly trying to hug the dog and touch her eyes and nose. I always put the dog in my room when my son has friends over. I am not trying to scare you but I have learned a lot from having a dog that is not friendly to everyone. If my next dog is the friendliest animal in the world I would not do anything differently with babies/toddlers in the household as I have done with a dog with issues. There have been times that I had to seriously contemplate getting rid of my dog but thankfully, with the help of a trainer, for the moment have found a way to make it work. My son, who is now 6 has a close and respectful relationship with our dog. Please let me know if you have any specific questions. Good luck



answers from Allentown on

Just don't leave them alone together, but most dogs are fine with kids. I have a very nervous rescued dog who has bitten a few adults...she is amazingly good with my DD but I have been vigilant and make sure nothing gets out of hand. I would never get rid of my dogs, just be aware.

My brother had large dogs, and when his babies were born, like you, he and his wife were concerned. But they never had any problems.

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