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Preparing Greyhound For Newborn?


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Guest hattiepumpkin

Hello,

So, I am almost 6 1/2 months pregnant, and I am due at the beginning of February. My pampered princess is Hattie, and she is the love of my life. She is EXTREMELY spoiled--everyone who comes to the house makes a big fuss over her, I cuddle and coo with her all the time, and she gets tucked in with a belly rub/blankets every night. Needless to say, we have no other kids or dogs. I am somewhat concerned about how Hattie is going to adjust once we bring home a newborn. She is good with kids, and she is not a pushy dog affection wise--she would far rather get affection than give it, and she accepts it like it's her due. She rarely seeks out hugs and kisses, and when she does, she is done with it after a few minutes. However, she's no longer going to be the sole object of our attention and affection, and I would imagine that the first 6-8 weeks are going to be tough on both me and my husband and Hattie. Does anyone have any advice for me? I want to start thinking about this now, and making any adjustments necessary in my behavior so that when the baby comes she does not feel like she has been shunted aside. Since we don't have a fenced yard, she'll still be going for walks every day, obviously. Is there something I should do to prepare, or are greyhounds pretty mellow when it comes to these situations, too? Any thoughts/advice/anecdotes would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm also expecting my first child very soon (Dec 9th), so I definitely know where your coming from. My husband and I read Child Proofing your Dog by Brian Kilcommons, it a very short read but has a lot of very useful advice and suggestions in it, I recommend you read it. Here are some of the things in the book that I remember. (I borrowed the book from the library so I don't have a copy anymore)

 

Make any changes now, not after the baby arrives. example- if couch privileges will be revoked once baby is home start getting Hattie use it it now so she wont associate it with the babies arrival.

 

Try to reduce the attention the dog gets now so that it's not a shock once the baby arrives.

 

Don't use the same name to refer to the dog as you do to the baby, or she will inevitably belief you are call her over to give her attention every time you talk to the baby. Example- If you call Hattie your "little princess or" "mommy's girl" don't use those terms with the baby, change what you call the dog now to something you're sure you won't call the baby.

 

Get the dog used to having her food touched/handled while eating. They have good advice in the book to go about this.

 

Don't play tug of war style games where the dog wins. They have a whole list of good games to play with your dog.

 

Bring an article of clothing home from the hospital so the dog knows the baby's scent before they arrive home.

 

When bringing the baby home, enter the house first without the baby so you have time to love on the dog and wait till the dog is calm. When the dog is calm bring baby in with the dog leashed, hold the baby so that the face is towards you, but let the dog sniff the baby's back. Apparently most dogs once given the chance to smell the baby become bored and will just walk away.

 

Try to make sure the dog is properly exercised right before you bring the baby home, because a tired dog is a good dog.

 

Never punish/scold the dog when the baby is around, instead give attention and affection to the dog when the baby is close by so the dog makes positive associations about the baby.

 

If the dog shows fear of the baby, don't cuddle them or you could be reinforcing the fear.

 

Try to keep routines as close as possible to what the dog is used to. (I think this one might be easier said then done, lol)

 

That's all I can remember for now. Of course I'm new to this too so I don't have any of my own advice but I have tried to implement as many things as I could and so far feel fairly confident things will work out. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hobbes-Ricard Hatch09/23/99-12/21/09 Always loved, never forgotten. Wally TNJ Boy Howdy, GLS Genuinerisk Corinna

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Guest ctgreylover

My mom tells me the story of when she brought home my oldest sister. They had a dog prior to the baby( she was around until after I was born but I have no memory of her ) The dog immediately became protective of the baby. slept under the crib and would not allow anyone but my folks touch the baby if they weren't in the room. Not once did my mom ever have a question of the dog's behavior. Its not really advise, just reassurance that it can work out if planned right.

Congrats on the baby!!! Mine turns 21 in 6 days. It goes by so fast

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I have a 3 month old and 2 big nutty boys....

 

When I first found out I was pregnant I literally started reading every book available on the subject of kids and dogs...(PM me your address and Ill send you the ones I can find)

 

Practice walking with an empty stroller, before the baby even comes. (Yes, your neighbors will think your nuts) My shy boy was afraid of the stroller..so walking 2 big boys was a challenge at first. Even my confident boy needed the practice, as well as, I did, handling both stroller and dogs.

 

I was lucky enough to bring my boys to my sister house until we (baby, husband and I) got settled. I did short visits for a couple of days. That's when I noticed her crying made my shy boy nervous. I recorded the crying and my sister randomly played it for him, helping him get used to it.At first, he still was anxious when she'd cry (he'd come running FULL force at us. Which made me nervous)...But now, he is used to it..

 

As far as routine...good luck... There is no routine, which REALLY REALLY throws them off...This has been the hardest..Hopefully, we will get back to some type of schedule soon...

 

I also practice messing with them while they eat..As well as handling them more like a kid would...Gently poking..pulling..touching their tails,eyes, ears..(all the parts kids go for)

 

The boys know the rules so it's MY job to teach the baby...Its MY responsibility to keep everyone safe...NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER leaving them unattended..

 

They still get attention and love..Actually longer walks. Now, I don't even know if they realize she's still here!!

 

Good luck!!

Edited by BrentsMom
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I'm also expecting my first child very soon (Dec 9th), so I definitely know where your coming from. My husband and I read Child Proofing your Dog by Brian Kilcommons, it a very short read but has a lot of very useful advice and suggestions in it, I recommend you read it. Here are some of the things in the book that I remember. (I borrowed the book from the library so I don't have a copy anymore)

 

Make any changes now, not after the baby arrives. example- if couch privileges will be revoked once baby is home start getting Hattie use it it now so she wont associate it with the babies arrival.

 

Try to reduce the attention the dog gets now so that it's not a shock once the baby arrives.

 

Don't use the same name to refer to the dog as you do to the baby, or she will inevitably belief you are call her over to give her attention every time you talk to the baby. Example- If you call Hattie your "little princess or" "mommy's girl" don't use those terms with the baby, change what you call the dog now to something you're sure you won't call the baby.

 

Get the dog used to having her food touched/handled while eating. They have good advice in the book to go about this.

 

Don't play tug of war style games where the dog wins. They have a whole list of good games to play with your dog.

 

Bring an article of clothing home from the hospital so the dog knows the baby's scent before they arrive home.

 

When bringing the baby home, enter the house first without the baby so you have time to love on the dog and wait till the dog is calm. When the dog is calm bring baby in with the dog leashed, hold the baby so that the face is towards you, but let the dog sniff the baby's back. Apparently most dogs once given the chance to smell the baby become bored and will just walk away.

 

Try to make sure the dog is properly exercised right before you bring the baby home, because a tired dog is a good dog.

 

Never punish/scold the dog when the baby is around, instead give attention and affection to the dog when the baby is close by so the dog makes positive associations about the baby.

 

If the dog shows fear of the baby, don't cuddle them or you could be reinforcing the fear.

 

Try to keep routines as close as possible to what the dog is used to. (I think this one might be easier said then done, lol)

 

That's all I can remember for now. Of course I'm new to this too so I don't have any of my own advice but I have tried to implement as many things as I could and so far feel fairly confident things will work out. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

I have read this book too, and to be honest with you, I dont think the writer is truly experienced with dogs nor is a dog lover. Greyhounds are very adaptable, yes, but they are also very very sensitive. Much more than other breeds. I think the changes in the book are too abrupt and harsh. I think Greys are lovely with babies and dont need to be put on the "outside burner" so to say. I would just make changes more slightly. I would also make sure that baby KNOWS and LEARNS that this dog is part of the family and is to be loved. As much as dogs need to respect little tots, little tots need to be gentle with dogs. I think you will see your little princess Greybaby blossom with love for the newborn.

 

 

I have a 3 month old and 2 big nutty boys....

 

When I first found out I was pregnant I literally started reading every book available on the subject of kids and dogs...(PM me your address and Ill send you the ones I can find)

 

Practice walking with an empty stroller, before the baby even comes. (Yes, your neighbors will think your nuts) My shy boy was afraid of the stroller..so walking 2 big boys was a challenge at first. Even my confident boy needed the practice, as well as, I did, handling both stroller and dogs.

 

I was lucky enough to bring my boys to my sister house until we (baby, husband and I) got settled. I did short visits for a couple of days. That's when I noticed her crying made my shy boy nervous. I recorded the crying and my sister randomly played it for him, helping him get used to it.At first, he still was anxious when she'd cry (he'd come running FULL force at us. Which made me nervous)...But now, he is used to it..

 

As far as routine...good luck... There is no routine, which REALLY REALLY throws them off...This has been the hardest..Hopefully, we will get back to some type of schedule soon...

 

I also practice messing with them while they eat..As well as handling them more like a kid would...Gently poking..pulling..touching their tails,eyes, ears..(all the parts kids go for)

 

The boys know the rules so it's MY job to teach the baby...Its MY responsibility to keep everyone safe...NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER leaving them unattended..

 

They still get attention and love..Actually longer walks. Now, I don't even know if they realize she's still here!!

 

Good luck!!

 

I have to say I strongly dissagree with your suggestion of "pulling, poking tails ears eyes". I must strongly advise against this. I have always said that Greyhounds are sensitive, and to let children PULL POKE at eyes tails and ears will only enhance nervousness, shyness, and Greys feelings of being abandoned. I would say you must train your tot NOT to "PULL POKE eyes, tails, ears. It is not hard to do. Children are also very adaptable, and when they understand that the Greyhound in the house is one you must be gentle with, they will not favor the habit to play with it like a toy.

Edited by LadyGrey
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I didn't really do anything to prepare. I'm too lazy. Everything has its way of falling into place. Kids and dogs are great because they make the best of everything. Your dog's routine will change, but she'll get used to it. Teach your dog good kid manners and teach your kid good dog manners. Give them both love and affection and exercise. Get plenty of sleep. Don't leave them unattended ever. Enjoy!

 

congratulations!!!

gallery_15455_2907_595.jpg

Christie and Bootsy (Turt McGurt and Gil too)
Loving and missing Argos & Likky, forever and ever.
~Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to. ~

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I made sure that my dogs got attention when the baby did - I would feed the baby and pay attention to the dogs at the same time. I found that I made a big deal out of the dogs when they were near the baby - never had any issues - granted, they weren't Greys, but Cairns and terriers can be very possessive and territorial .

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No WAY would I allow my child poke pull or mistreat ANY animals.. That's not what I was trying to say..(I dont have the patience or the need to explain myself)..My only point is toddlers/kids pet animals differently than adults. Encouraging children to be gentle is a MUST along with constant supervision..

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Guest fastdogs

OK, here's the deal... you've touched on a subject that is divisive. There are people on this board that will pick your post apart and take what you write in a quite literal sense. Some folks believe children are evil; some that understand children are necessary, but still can't stand them; others that think they are cute if they stay at arms length and so on up to believing children are the next coming of the savior.

 

So, for sake of convenience, here's a synopsis of some of the responses you can expect:

 

- "Don't have children, they are the devil reincarnated. Greyhounds are benevolent, adopt 50. Don't listen to anyone else, they are crazy & I'm right. Bhwaaahaha!"

 

- "Well, if you decide to have children, and I don't know why you would, but if you do, they should live in your shed. They can sleep on the dog bed's you were going to through out. Uh oh, Animal Planet is on, gotta go."

 

- "Hey can you keep your kid out of my dog's pool? He doesn't like it when the water smells like Balmex. Seeing that you have kids and probably have a sitter, do they also dog sit? I need someone for poker night."

 

- "Oh your child is so precious. It's fine if he sits on Fido's head, the dog won't mind sharing his space. Better yet, let's put the dog in the garage, he'll be happier there... Gee, honey, the dog hasn't eaten any food in days. I wonder why. Actually, I haven't seen the dog in days, do you know where he is? Also, can you check out that spooky howling noise I keep hearing from the garage? Yummmm... is that chocolate I smell?"

 

 

 

Do yourself a favor and read through all of the posts, pm posters who give pertinent experienced-based responses, that's to say "when I had my kid" responses, with questions.

 

The bottom line is that, with diligence, dogs and kids can cohabitate nicely. Find a routine that works for all and stick with it. Teach respect for others to both kids and dogs. Everyone has a place in the pack, establish that order and maintain it. Humans are above animals in that pack order. Keep that order by having all humans take part in providing for the needs of the animals (of course this can't happen until the children are older). If behaviors have to be altered, positive reinforcement techniques should be used. Everyone/dog gets some private time with mom or dad (except for mom with dad and vice versa becuz you'll be too tired) . Don't be afraid to separate people from animals, people from people and animals from animals.

 

You can have children and greyhounds together, I do it everyday. Some days are better than others.

 

Good luck.

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No WAY would I allow my child poke pull or mistreat ANY animals.. That's not what I was trying to say..(I dont have the patience or the need to explain myself)..My only point is toddlers/kids pet animals differently than adults. Encouraging children to be gentle is a MUST along with constant supervision..

 

My BAD big time! I am sorry for misreading your post - I was way off. I do see what you mean.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest hattiepumpkin

Hi, Everyone,

Thanks so much for all the replies and advice. Fastdogs, your post had me laughing hysterically--I have encountered both ends of the spectrum already! I had one person tell me I should just "get rid of the dog now" since, once the baby is born, I "won't want to bother with it", and another person who informed me that, if I wanted to make a committment to my greyhound, I shouldn't have gotten pregnant! Both comments just left me scratching my head at people.

 

I know that the biggest rule with kids and dogs is that you never leave them alone together. I am a firm believer in teaching your child dog manners, so any sort of "rough housing" by the baby will not be tolerated. As far as Hattie goes, she's not allowed on the bed (or couch, or any furniature) now, and I think she'll get used to the baby crying within a day or two--I think the noise will be equivalent to that of a squeak toy for her--she's excited and wants to see where the noise is coming from the first time, and after that she doesn't care. I really like the idea of giving affection to Hattie at the same time as the baby is getting fed/attention/affection.

 

I think I'm going to comb this site for all sorts of advice--I really do feel that, since greys are such different dogs temperment-wise, many books written on dogs/children may not necessarily apply to Hattie/my baby. And, since I never plan on having another breed of dog besides a greyhound, this site seems like the best place to go for advice!

 

Thank you, again, for all the advice and comments!

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Guest burgerandfrey

Congratulations! We brought home our first baby twelve weeks ago!

 

My wife and I had our first greyhound for ten years, but after we lost her we adopted two more about 18 months ago. Our first baby - a girl- was born in August. First off: Relax and just look forward to the new family addition. I'm sure Hattie will welcome the new addition. It will take the baby a lot longer to acknowledge Hattie than it will take Hattie to adjust to having the baby around. Our baby girl just started to look at our dogs this past week. Up until now she has never even acknowledged them.

 

Of course you want to supervise the interaction and never leave your baby alone with Hattie, but you also don't want to exclude Hattie from your life. Dogs need to feel safe and loved, and I think it can create a dangerous sort of jealousy to banish a family dog to the yard or basement when a baby arrives. We bought the book "Living with Kids and Dogs Without Losing Your Mind," and found that it has a lot of good advice... but (knock on wood) there haven't been any issues yet. It's actually quite easy with a newborn. They are always either in your arms, in a bassinet/crib, or in a car seat or swing. The only time our dogs can even get eye to eye with our baby is when she is in her swing, and of course we are right there with them. The real challenge is keeping toddlers safe around dogs, because toddlers can invade your dog's space.

 

One thing you'll need to do is of course make arrangements to have someone care for Hattie while you are in the hospital. Even though the hospital is only 15 minutes from our house, it was tremendously helpful to have our family and friends take them for walks and feed them their meals. We were at the hospital for 4 days, so when we came home our greys were so excited to see us that they barely noticed the baby at first. Then of course they got curious and wanted to have a good sniff. Our female Lola adores our baby girl Violet! She loves to greet Violet and wag her tail. Our boy Zeke is less enthusiastic, because Violet has yet to acknowledge him. He needs people to adore him before he warms up to them. Although Zeke does do a good job alerting us to dirty diapers! Whenever he wants to sniff the baby we know it's time! I think both dogs totally get that Violet is a little person.

 

Of course baby toys do resemble dog toys, so be aware of that. Lola even likes to play with baby clothes, hats, and socks; so we have to be careful where we leave things. For us the most challenging issue has been sleep and feeding schedules. Since the baby frequently wakes up hungry in the middle of the night, the dogs wake up and think it's time to eat too! We are trying out a new schedule where we feed them three smaller meals a day instead of two larger ones. The last meal is around 8pm, so if the dogs do get awakened at 4am they aren't as hungry. And if they are we can give them a small meal and a larger one late morning or early afternoon.

 

We do have visits by kids that belong to friends and family. Both of our hounds are great with kids, but Zeke does have some sleep aggression issues. He has never seriously bitten anyone, and he has never so much as snapped at anyone while he is awake and not on his bed. So that will be an issue for us. We will need to make sure Violet can't invade Zeke's space. We aren't really concerned about Lola, but you just never know. One of the first things we will teach our daughter is to treat dogs with respect and to let sleeping dogs lie. I've tried to teach my nieces this, but one of them was bitten because she reached over Zeke's bed FROM BEHIND to pet his head. We've told her a dozen times not to do that, and she's twelve! Unfortunately it happened while we were at the hospital and not there to supervise. Fortunately the skin was not broken, but it was bruised. Speaking of... get ready for concerned family and friends to ask questions like, "So what are you going to do with the dogs once the baby is born?" And "Aren't you scared about the dog situation? Just the other day I read about a pitbull that killed a baby."

 

So far our dogs lives have changed very little. They get three small meals a day instead of two larger ones. They get a LOT more visitors, which they enjoy. They don't get quite as many walks, because my wife hasn't yet figured out how to walk both of them and push the stroller at the same time. I've tried, and it is difficult on narrow sidewalks. I can do it, but it isn't easy... even with two very well mannered leashed dogs. One dog + a stroller shouldn't be an issue though. And carrying a baby in a Baby Bjorn, Moby Wrap, etc. while walking two dogs isn't a huge issue; but it can make it awkward to pick up poop. Our dogs still get walks everyday, but not until I get home so we can all walk together...which is always family time we enjoy.

 

Funny thing though: As excited as people get about seeing a newborn baby in a stroller coming down the street, our greyhounds still get more attention from strangers.

 

Sean

Edited by burgerandfrey
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my daughter's first word- "good", right after that "dog", then we heard "goodog"!! need i say more? azim was going on 7 when we had marisa. i was totally parinoid so he was leashed in the bedroom w/ the door closed, baby's door closed as well when i took a shower. lots of walks together w/ the new born. azim stayed under the high chair when marisa ate, needless to say- i had a fat saluki at one point! the two napped together, when she was a toddler and refused to nap, she slept on his bed and took a nap! i did keep azim out of the baby's bedroom, no big deal. i felt more comfortable and he really didn't care.

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