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Hello all, My wife and I just brought home our first child, and we are performing the highly anticipated act of introducing our dogs to the baby. We have three rescues, a 4 year old Akita mix, a 1.5 year old pitbull mix, and a 7 year old greyhound. We prepared by setting up the house for the baby quite some time before her arrival - establishing the nursery, installing a baby gate, etc. - so the dogs would be accustomed to the new surroundings. We also modified sleeping arrangements, by crating our greyhound and pitbull mix at night. The pitbull tends to be more active and slept on the bed previously, which we have successfully ended with training. Both the greyhound and pitbull are very content in their crates, which are positioned in the master bedroom. As long as they are close to us, they sleep well. After bringing the baby home, the two supposedly feared breeds, the Akita and pitbull, did very well. Not surprisingly, the Akita required very little work for him to become indifferent toward the baby. He tends to be the docile, passive type and will endure heavy play from other dogs without complaint. He's very gentile with children and other people, so it only took a few sniffs for him to become acquainted. The pitbull loves children more than most adults upon a first greeting. She also did quite well, requiring a brief introduction before going about her own business. Our greyhound's behavior was somewhat concerning compared to the other two. While all of our dogs don't mind chasing our cats when the opportunity arises, the greyhound has been the only dog to latch onto the cats with his mouth. We have since created a "cat safe" place on the third floor, forbidding the dogs from entry. The greyhound has also been known to advise other dogs of his disinterest with a nip, which I can understand. Being a tall dog, who wants tiny dogs jumping at the underbelly region or harassing during rest? He also displays leash aggression toward other dogs when in our neighborhood, as he was attacked previously and developed a fear. Interestingly, the aggressive subsides outside the neighborhood for the most part. Given the greyhounds tendency to respond to some situations with his mouth, we were more nervous about his introduction to the baby. With the cats, we have become accustomed to his cues - the "whale eye" and the strong drive to examine the other creature. Upon meeting the baby, he sniffed her much more intently than the others and hovered over her bassinet. We offered positive reinforcement to all of the dogs by providing treats after proper interaction with the baby. However, the other dogs lost interest, while our greyhound remains very intent on her, sniffing and staring, although not displaying the "whale eye" or attempting to lunge. He has cried a bit in her presence and panted. I've been lurking around the forums here reading other baby threads, but wanted to present my particular situation. Should we be concerned? Any advice? We have the racing muzzle on currently to be safe. Thanks so much!
Hi everyone After many months of mooning after the idea of having a dog, I finally feel ready and the fiance is open to the idea. But. We have a 1.5 year old son. I decided on a greyhound after a ton of research, and falling in love with their general personalities. Couch potato! Goofy antics! Smiling and rooing! Lazy but loving! I've been lurking on here for a few weeks, and even have an application sent in to an adoption agency. My slight worry is though, I've come across quite a few posts on here about various aggressions. Food, bed space, etc. I plan on keeping the dog and my son separated and supervised, of course, but I'm just looking for some success stories I suppose, or even pointers for what to look for in that first home visit to make sure we choose the right pooch and set ourselves up for success. Also, my son takes zero interest in dogs. At most he'll look at them in interest for a few seconds, point and babble a little, but never any touching, pouncing, or hitting. Usually he straight ignores animals, even when they are trying to lick his face. He's a weird one.
Hello all, I haven't posted on here in a while but I need some sage advice. I have had dogs all my life while my wife isn't so much an animal person. We adopted a former racer together 2 and half years ago but we were living an hour apart (for work) so he lived permanently with me. We recently got married and had a baby so we live together now and suffer with longer commutes. Now there are problems with my wife and dog's relationship, especially relating to the baby. Darwin was listed as cat-safe when we adopted him, but clearly was not. We have two cats that now live in the basement and come up when I am home and can mediate their interactions. If he is sleepy in his bed he will let the cat sit on my lap but ususally cries and whines when she walks around. I think he is very fearful based on his experience at foster care before we adopted him. We have made some strides in the two years but I would never leave them alone together. He also bit and attacked a small white fluffy dog when we first adopted him indicating he was not small dog safe. I take some blame for that because he shouldn't have been in that situation weeks after adoption. He is now fine with smaller dogs as long as they are properly introduced outside with a walk. My wife's relationship with the dog now that the baby is here is another story. He came to us very insecure and thrives only on positive energy but shuts down with negativity. She has very little tolerance for him (even getting anoyed when he gets up, stretches and shakes before laying down again for another two hour nap). We now have a five-month old who will start crawling in some time. I am 95% positive that nothing will happen to put our son in danger but my wife is 0% sure. She is home with the two of them all day while I am at work so her opinion matters a bit more than mine. If anything were to happen it would be on her watch and she is uncomfortbale with the dog based on his history. I do believe that the prey drive is both neurally hard-wired and trained into these dogs and I have just been repressing it for the two years through systematic desensitization, and positive reinforcement. Are greys usually ok with crawling toddlers? He usually ignores the baby now but has been acting a little different since the baby came home (negative attention seeking). He still gets long walks twice a day and the same amount of positive attention from me. I firmly ascribe to the policy that when you adopt an animal you agree to take care of it through sickness and health until he/she passes away. My wife is not so dedicated to this philosophy and has a tense relationship with the dog. Has anyone here dealt with this kind of issue before? If something were to happen I don't want to have to return him with the tag of "baby-biter" decreasing his chance of a happy home (especially when his behavior might be the result of his tense relationship with my wife). Thanks everybody.
On Saturday, Peggy heard our newborn neice cry for the same time and she went into her crazy frenzy mode :S We grabbed her collar so she couldn't get to the baby, but she had ears up, alert face and was desperate to find where the noise was coming from, she was completely wired. Later we played a few newborn cry videos off youtube to see if she would react the same again to the noise, and she did (not quite as extreme ) but she went into alert mdoe and was searching for the noise, the second time we played it she was on her bed and had alert face but didn't bother to get up. This scared the pants off me! Because not only do I not want her to eat my neice! Me and Jay will want to have a baby in a few years and I wouldn't want to have to worry about an insane frenzied dog everytime my baby cried. Obviously we would never leave dog and baby unattended ever, but it would still be a worry. Obviously we would have to work around this, as she is a part of our family the same as a child would be, but I just wondered if anyone had any advice or experience with anything similiar and dealing with it. do you have to desensitize the dog to the newborn cries and smells etc for months before you have the baby? We're not planning on having one for at least 2 years but I want to know what I'll be dealing with. Also, Peggy's brother is with the sister who's just had the baby and they are having no problems with him, he isn't pahsed by her crying at all. I can't understand the difference between two dogs, is it because one raced and one didn't? Ant tips, advice or stories are very welcome Thanks Katy