View Full Version : Cavalier and New Baby

21st December 2011, 01:23 PM
Good morning- hoping someone may have some other suggestions for me. I gave birth to the most amazing baby boy 2 weeks ago. When I brought him home, our dogs adjusted and have done just fine with him-- with the exception of Scarlett, my Cavalier with SM. The other 3 dogs sniffed at him and mostly ignore him now. Scarlett is almost obsessed with the baby and will not leave him alone. She gets very frantic, panting like crazy and trying to get to him no matter whether I am holding him or he is in his swing, crib, or bassinet. When I tried letting her near him to sniff him, she started frantically licking his head and then she started trying to bite his head. Another time, I was holding the baby and bent down to pick something up and she lunged at the baby's head.

I had to go back into the hospital due to high blood pressure issues, so I had Scarlett go stay with a friend for several days and she just came home yesterday. It has definitely been a little hectic at my house with a new baby and me being hospitalized, and I know she is feeling that stress. I also know that she is stressed just having something new in the house that is taking up so much of my attention. I am trying to be sure that I am giving all the dogs my attention. as well.

I did have a trainer come over last night who gave me some tips and wants me to teach Scarlett some commands such as "Go to your place", etc. I also talked with my vet who contacted Scarlett's neurologist. The neuro suggested trying her on Prozac for a little while to take the edge off for her and help her until she adjusts to the baby. Having Scarlett be so frantic and upset has exacerbated her SM symptoms.

I don't want to have to keep her separated from the baby as I know that will be miserable for her. She is very attached to me and my husband (but mostly to me). I have really babied her over the past couple of years, which I can see now, probably wasn't the best thing for her.

I would appreciate any suggestions. I know that I can never trust Scarlett completely around baby and that I will always have to keep a close eye (which I would do anyway!) but this is not fun living this way and having to keep her and the baby separated.

21st December 2011, 03:51 PM
Oh no Holly! I do not have any advice but I am thinking of you

21st December 2011, 05:20 PM
I think hiring a trainer as you are doing is a great approach. I wish I had any advice to give you but wantd to let you know I'm thinking about you too.


21st December 2011, 05:32 PM
Call me. I haven't called because I didn't want to disturb you if you were resting, but I have a lot of thoughts about this.

Margaret C
21st December 2011, 05:50 PM
Congratulations on your new baby boy and I am so sorry you are having this problem to deal with.

This is not something I feel able to give advice on. Hopefully it is something that time may resolve as Holly gets use to the baby being around, but if not then obviously the safety of your baby must come first.

I'm glad that Pat will be in touch. She always has such commonsense suggestions

Karen and Ruby
22nd December 2011, 06:59 PM
Hi Holly,

Congratulations on your new arrival- I'm sorry you are having these problems with Scarlett. I don't really have any advice to offer and certainly am not qualified to offer any but Ruby was the same when my new Niece was born and I gave her a cuddle- she tried to clamber over us, would try to barge the baby out of the way with her nose and would bark incessantly if I ignored her! Purely jealousy and frustration on her part as she very clingy with me. But the baby is nearly one years old now and as soon as the baby became more animated she more of less backed off. My sister would also put the baby in a rocker as the movement would scare Ruby and prevent her from going too near but lots of praise and treats were given to Ruby when she was polite around the baby and she soon understood that she was better off staying away and receiving a nice chew for her efforts. A crate came in handy as well!

I hope you get this sorted asap!! Good luck xx

23rd December 2011, 05:57 AM
Congrats on the new baby! That is so exciting! I have had some experience with this with my niece and her dog. I had her give a blanket- just use one that you don't mind losing to the dog! Wrap the baby up in it for a day, then give it to Scarlett with the baby's scent on it. That seems to help the dog get adjusted to the smell of the new baby. I have also been told that giving Melatonin for anxiety works great for dogs. My sister has a puppy mill rescue dog and she stays anxious in her new environment, and her vet recommended Melatonin to try before Prozac. I think the dosage was 1.0 mg for under 20 lbs, 1.5 for 20-35 lbs and 3mg for over 35 lbs. It is supposed to help them relax. It comes in 3mg tablets. Do not use the sublingual/liquid stuff. My sister just halves the 3 mg pill.
Good luck with Scarlett. I know she must be so confused and jealous of the baby. She will adjust. Just will take time and patience. Bless you all. Merry Christmas!

24th December 2011, 12:35 PM
I would be wary of prozac. I have been on a range of anti-depressants over the years and prozac sent my anxiety levels through the roof. Many people have had bad anxiety from prozac. I am not sure about it's reaction with dogs but she sounds anxious to begin with and it might make her worse.

24th December 2011, 01:29 PM
Holly, Lynn's dog Razz was on Prozac and Xanex after we bought our house (corresponding with that timeline Julie and our cat Lex had just died right before the move). Razz is not on them anymore, but they did help him a lot during the transition. He had very severe issues at the time and we'd exhausted all non-medical options.

24th December 2011, 03:43 PM
Congratulations! Be really careful the dogs never have an opportunity to bite the child, even when napping as he gets older.

27th December 2011, 04:48 PM
Thank you for all the well-wishes. We are doing great-- I am exhausted! :)

Scarlett is doing MUCH better. She has calmed down a lot around Cameron and is able to be in the same room with him and sit calmly and even fall asleep/ She is only on 1/4 tablet of Prozac (we can go all the way up yo one tablet a day), so I'm not sure it's the Prozac or she is just getting used to this new little creature in her territory. I hope things continue to go well-- I am extremely vigilant and would never leave her (or any dog) unsupervised with the baby. Thanks for all the tips!

27th December 2011, 07:39 PM
Thanks for posting this thread Holly! It has been very helpful. I don't have any little ones right now, but would like to in the near future, so it helps to hear all of these tips. Glad that Scarlett is doing better!!!:)

27th December 2011, 09:50 PM
Our Cavalier nipped my child when she was 9 months, was horrible to see and we were very upset. We sent the dog off to his grannys for a few days to think things over. We have an open plan hall, living room and dining room so we got a baby gate and now have the two dogs separate from our little one now 2. They do play together outside and sometimes when we can supervise. The dogs are very happy, not a bother on them. They go straight into their area when they come in and when she goes to bed we cuddle on the couch. Our other dog is fine with our little one, he is very gentle. You have to go by the dogs personality and work around it. Our little one loves the dogs and feeds them and says hi boys in the morning when she see's them.

Just want to add I was about 3 foot away when it happened. It was when she started crawling so we think he saw her as a dog and wanted to put manners on her. He does this to other dogs that come into the house.