View Full Version : Introducing dogs to baby

11th February 2009, 12:19 PM
I just wanted to know if anyone has any experience of having your dogs before you had a baby.
My mum phoned last night and asked if I'd heard about the baby boy who was sadly attacked and killed by 2 dogs. She then said she wishes we never had our dogs. Now she's got me in a bit of a tizz about it and I'm not concerned about Star because she is the friendliest little dog going and cant imagine her harming anyone. I am a little concerned though about jealousy because obviously she has been my baby since we got her at 8 wks old.
My main concern is our other dog, Vinnie a finnish lapphund. He is very wary of strangers and will bark at anyone who walks past the window, out on walks he will sometimes bark if people walk past and he will bark when we have visitors until he recognizes them or calms down. He has never shown any signs of going for anyone but I am now concerned how he will react when baby comes along. Our friends brought their 2 little girls over, 2 yr old and 8th mth old. He wasn't bothered by the 8 mth old but when the 2 yr old made a sudden noise (as toddlers d0) he growled a couple of times. Hubby says he will be fine and will be v protective coz it will be part of the family but I'm not convinced. We're gonna start going back to obedience classes coz we stopped for a while for various other things going on but I really feel the need to go back now. I'm hoping by being around other people he may get more used to it though I dont hold out much hope as it never worked before. We got him when he was 1 yr old and he had been out in kennels with other dogs in a v remote area and harldy had any contact with anyone other than the owner.

Sorry for very long post but obviously I am v concerned with baby on the way. Also I would not leave the dogs and baby alone together at any point but am still worried about it.

11th February 2009, 01:05 PM

seems karlins got it all covered


11th February 2009, 04:24 PM
No personal experience here, but I just wanted to say that what I've heard from friends with Finnish Lapphunds (my second favourite dog breed :lotsaluv:) is that they're very good with family children. Many Lapphunds bark at strangers to sound the alarm. They have a very strong herding instinct (they're still bred for reindeer herding) and will guard their flock - so hopefully your Vinnie will watch over the baby rather than feeling threatened. My friend's female Lapphund is incredibly nurturing with her child. That said, I have heard that the males can sometimes be macho and need to know they're not in charge.

Just my two cents from a country full of Lapphunds! Of course, all dogs are different and it's best to err on the side of caution.

11th February 2009, 09:53 PM
I will tell you my experience with introducing a non-child friendly dog to my children. We had our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Lady for about 5 years before we had children (this is pre-Lucy and Charlie). She was a rescue dog and had some fear aggression issues surrounding strangers and children that even with professional dog training (more than one) we never were able to completely resolve. At the time I also had a friend whose 8 month old was attacked and almost killed by their family dog, a Great Dane/Boxer mix. Needless to say, when I found myself pregnant with our first child I was extremely concerned about how Lady would act w/ him. I spent the first year of my son's life w/ baby gates all over my house. Lady would be on one side and my son on the other. I would go back and forth between them paying attention to Lady and to my son. I never left them alone together even once when he was a baby. Surprisingly, over time Lady accepted my children completely as part of the pack. She even saved my son's life once when the brake to the jogging stroller came undone and he went rolling down a hill almost into the street....she chased him barking and got my attention so that I could run after him before he rolled into the street. She never once showed aggression to either of my children, even as toddlers that would occasionally crash into her and eventually I stopped using the gates all together. That said, I never allowed her to roam free in the house when we had other children over to the house because she bared her teeth at a child at a park once that came too close to her even after I told the child's mother that she was not a child friendly dog. This was when my kids were 4 and 7. Anyway, we had Lady for 6 years after we had kids and honestly never had a problem with her and the boys.

My advice is to never allow the dogs and the baby to be alone together....especially on the floor. Over time you can see how the dogs react to the baby. I wouldn't necessarily assume that the dog will show aggression to your children just because he showed aggression to someone else's kids. That said, you still need to be very careful. Also, when your baby grows into a toddler you will need to be very adamant about making sure your child is gentle with the dogs. My kids were not always super gentle even with supervison and Lady actually seemed to understand that they were kids and gave them a little leeway...BUT I still was always extremelly wary that she might bite them and honestly I watched her like a hawk for years after my kids were born. Luckily, for us everything went smoothly but after seeing the horror that my friend went through when her dog attacked her child...I never wanted to go through that. Part of our reason for choosing a Cav to replace Lady when she died was the fact that they are such great family dogs. It is nice to have people and children over and not have to lock Lucy away out of fear that she will hurt someone.

Brian M
11th February 2009, 10:32 PM

You talk to people who have Staffies and they all say lovely friendly dogs ,but as in that tragic case and many more its very often Staffies involved ,I had a jack Russel who ripped my youngest boy James just under his eye when his Gran had him while we where at a funeral ,then later I had a Kerry Blue and it wouldn't even allow Dawn in the kitchen so sorry its not always the owner to me often its already in the temperament of the breed of dogs ,hence why Cavaliers are so soft

12th February 2009, 02:01 PM
I have two pups (both just over a year old) and a 9 year old. We are planning a family too however I would not be concerned with introducing a baby into the house. I love my pups but I do always try to remember that they are animals and even thought they are very affectionate and loving they can be moody and aggressive with food. If a dog knows who the boss in the house is and knows his limits and you can control the dog then there should be no issue with a baby.
I firmly believe if a child is brough up around dogs and the dogs get to know the child and what they are and are not allowed do around the child there will be no issues. My sister in saw has two cockers and a 8 month old baby and she had the dogs first and they are fine around the baby. Our two pups are also fine around the baby, they just look at her and see if she pays them any attention.
Dont be worrying about how the dogs will be around the baby, its hard enough planning a family and looking after a baby without more worrying. It will all work out when the time comes.
When my niece was about 5 months we visites so it was 4 adults, my nine year old, mollie and the 4 dogs in the house and all the dogs started barking and mollie let out this roar as if to say be quiet ha ha it was so funny!!
Hope this helps, sorry about the ramble!!