My husband and I have a 20 month old Doberman male (neutered), who is very much a momma's boy. He's the typical velcro Dobe and he's my "baby". However, my husband and I are talking about starting to have kids in about a year or so, although probably more like two years, and I am really apprehensive about how he (the dog) will react to a newborn. Getting rid of him is not an option, so I am looking for any advice or past experiences anyone would like to share. He's a sweet boy but is definitely nervous around other children (who are nervous around him). Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Here are some articles that may help you. http://www.petplace.com/Articles/artShow.asp?artID=819 http://www.netpets.org/dogs/reference/info/baby.html http://www.vcu.edu/paws/babydog.htm http://www.amrottclub.org/baby.htm http://www.gurney.co.uk/pads/children.htm Good luck and congrats!
When we had our baby, we started planning for our 1 1/2 year old dog well in advance to prepare him for her arrival. If you haevn't taken your dog to obedience classes, do so. In the mean time, you need to gradually start restricting places where your dog is allowed in the house. For example if you know that there's 1 room that will be the baby's room, start training your dobe that he is not allowed in that room at all unless you are in there. If he has been sleeping in the bed with you, start making him sleep on the floor (in a bed of his very own of course). If he's been allowed to jump up on the furniture, that needs to stop as well. Start setting limits for him right now, so that when the baby comes, it won't be such a huge change to close him off from all the stuff he's enjoyed until now. How is he around kids now? If you know some gentle children of friends, start exposing him to them, or taking him to petsmart or a children's playground and just let him sit there and watch them (after obedience training, if you are not sure how he will respond). Perhaps the most important thing is if you've been feeding your dog table scraps or whatever, you really really need to teach the dog the leave it command and stick to dogfood and ONLY dogfood. A toddler walking around with a cracker is a free meal source to a dog. Our dog has learned he is only allowed to eat anything our daughter (whos almost 3 now) drops when we say it is ok. Otherwise he is not allowed to get near her food at all, or even look at her. If all these steps are made gradually, your dog will be a little more prepared for when the baby gets here. One last thing, it's never safe to leave ANY child alone with any dog, regardless of breed or size.