View Full Version : Worried about my 9 year cav when new baby comes along

14th November 2008, 10:24 PM
As my heading says, I am worried about my cav who will be 9 1/2 by the time the baby comes along. He has been the baby of the house for 9 years how do I make it easy for him. I know I can not trust him to be near a baby and wouldnt dream of letting him near one, I believe this about any dog no matter of the breed, but he has got a jealous streak in him,

He is 100% a house dog, so putting him outside isnt an option.

I have read about putting a piece of clothing from the baby into his bed to let him get used to the smell of the baby but what else can I do to make this easy for us all.

14th November 2008, 11:41 PM
Deborah, He might surprise you. Before I got married, I had 3 wolves (yes, wolves...pure blooded. At the time it was legal in my state to have them) and, of course, they came into my marriage with me. My female wolf had always been terrified of children. When she was only 9 weeks old, I took her to my mother's preschool to let the children see a wolf cub. She snarled and backed away from them even though they were all sitting nicely in a circle. I was shocked! I couldn't believe a pup so young could be so afraid of children. From that moment on, she would growl at children and try to get away from them. If she couldn't or they had cornered her, I am pretty sure she would have bitten them. I had to be vigilant in keeping children away from her. I was heartbroken and had many conversations with my husband about what would happen when we had children. Of course, we agreed she would have to go to a home where there were no children if it became neccessary. 2 years into my marriage, I was expecting my oldest daughter...and worrying about Shadow. When my daughter was born and we brought her home, Shadow sniffed her blankets first. Then we let her see my daughter. She was completely different with her from how she had ever been with children! She wasn't nervous or jealous at all. Shadow was protective, patient, loving and sweet. She was like that with all my children. She followed them everywhere, tolerated the innocent abuses that toddlers inflict with grace and was so devoted I was so proud! In fact, I had to isolate her when other children came to play because if the play got rough, Shadow would go after the offending guest to protect my kids. I got long winded here, but I think that your dog, if introduced to the baby without too much fanfare will be okay. Let your dog sniff a blanket that the baby was wrapped in. When he sniffs it, give him a treat, praise him. If you have a bouncy seat, but the baby in it and let him sniff. Praise him and treat him. Don't wait and let his curiosity build. Do it as soon as you bring the baby home. At first, since the baby won't be making any moves towards your dog, your dog shouldn't feel bothered by him/her, and by the time your baby is getting mobile, your dog should be quite comfortable sharing his home with the baby.

Shadow was 4 years old when my daugher was born and she lived a full life, dying of old age in 2002. She was a devoted, loving dog who never once did anything to concern me once my kids were born. My male wolves were always okay with the kids, but Shadow was truly protective of them. For her to go from scared enough of kids to bite them, to a loving protector of them, was amazing.

I wish you a happy transition, and congratulations!:thmbsup:

15th November 2008, 01:20 AM
Hi Deborah,
Congratulations on having a new baby! Have you socialized your dog with neighborhood kids? Why do you feel that you cant trust him? I'd start socialize the dog immediately with children if possible. A dog could be dog jealous but not kid jealous. ( My cocker is jealous of his dog brothers all the time but he adores kids) I would also read up as many book on Dog/baby socialization as possible. I can feel that you truly love your dog. I am sure things will work out a lot better with some effort =)

amazing wolf story! Do you have any photo to share ?

15th November 2008, 02:31 AM
Hi Deborah,
amazing wolf story! Do you have any photo to share ?

I guess it does sound amazing, though to me, they were just my dogs. :)
I do have photos, but I will have to scan them into the computer. They were all taken on film since this was the 1990's and early 2000's. I will try to do that and put them in the appropriate section for non-cavalier pets.

15th November 2008, 12:02 PM
Deborah, many congratulations :w*w: My cavaliers have been excellent around children. Obviously they're all different but probably one thing you'd have to watch out for is when your baby is older and might try to take food or toys away from the dog. I'm sure I read something about that in one of my books... Ian Dunbar has a DVD on Dogtraining for children, probably for older children but might be worth googling. Also if your dog responds well to a stay command that could be useful for when you bring your baby home. :)

Brontymo... what a cool story!! My friends sister in law is due a baby and they have a labrador that they are now going to surrender. I just don't understand that... Baby hasn't even arrived so they haven't tried to make it work at all. My dogs will be going nowhere when and if we have children. We'd find someway to make it work I'm sure.

15th November 2008, 03:22 PM
Hi Deborah, I had my dog for about 3yrs when my first baby came along and he loved it to bits. I did let him sniff all the baby stuff like the pram, cot etc when I brought them home so he got used to all the equipment.
When I brought the baby home from hospital I sat down and let him sniff the baby too and I never had a problem at all. I think they realise that someone extra has been added to the family, it was quite sweet to see him run up to the cot or pram when my son cried.
As you say it makes sense not to leave children and dog alone but that's just common sense.
The first time I went out walking with the pram and dog together was a bit of a juggle, but you get used to it :dogwlk:
Hopefully once the baby is born and home you will be looking back and wondering what you were worried about :)

15th November 2008, 04:33 PM
I have just taken in two rescue cavs, background mostly unknown.
My little 15month grandson came to see them and they loved him. All wiggles and licks.
The same when my little grandaughter came from school later.
They might have already been around little children, but it was an unknown.
I think/hope it is in the breed to be loving if they are loved.

15th November 2008, 05:46 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about it, I think he will be just fine in time. Make sure you give your dog a lot of attention when the baby comes home. Let him sit on the sofa with you while you feed the baby...let him sit by your feet when you change the diapers, etc. Keep him as involved as you can so that he doesn't feel completely left out (although you will be so tired and overwhelmed you will feel you don't have anything left for your dog! )

By the time your baby starts crawling, your Cav will be used to him or her! They really are great with kids, very patient in general. I think you'll be surprised when I say you'll be worrying about your child hurting your dog, not the other way around!

15th November 2008, 06:49 PM
It would be a good idea to start working to prepare your dog now. There's a whole bunch of information on babies and cavaliers in the Library section here (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=9729). :) There's absolutely no reason that all will not go along well, but you need to be thinking about what to expect and how to prepare and manage the situation and should never ever trust a dog unsupervised around an infant and all interactions with small children should always be controlled anyway -- this is simply common sense and wise as babies and small kids can do things innocently (and sometimes deliberately with kids...) that can trigger a bite or can hurt the dog. Again I stress this isn't meant to sound scary, it is just good common sense when you are mixing pets and kids, especially babies and toddlers with pets. :)

Even the gentlest dog can be startled into an unconscious defensive move hence the need for kindly management. :) To be honest the vast majority of issues with dogs are not triggered by the dog but by the children -- and that is held out by bite statistics, which indicate most bites come to kids from dogs they know to parts of the child that indicate the child was trying to squeeze, hug or pull at a dog in a way that hurt or startled the dog. So a little basic management goes a long, long way to having a very happy home in which the child can learn about these wonderful pets and dogs can learn that children are not scary. The vast majority of dogs enjoy kids and will not have an issue. As others have asked, is there a particular reason why you would be concerned about your 9 year old dog?

20th March 2009, 11:02 PM
Hi Karlin, the reason I am worried about him is, he did snap at two of my nephews a number of years ago, not in a nasty way, I was like they came too close to me and in a split second he lifted his head like as if he was licking them on the face but each time he pierced the skin slightly where there was a drop of blood, this is why I am nervous of him around kids.