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25 Comments

  1. Great post! I especially love the last one about teaching the baby to respect the dogs, just as much as you’ll teach the dogs to respect baby. It works both ways! Thanks for the link back!

    1. Lara, of course! Your post had some great tips. :-)

      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Great post – and cute photos!! When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant: An essential guide for dog owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful and came with free baby and toy sounds. Max (my fur child!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. Maybe that will help someone else!

    1. Imogen, thanks for sharing that book title! I’ll edit the post to add a link to it. :-)

  3. Great ideas and I especially appreciate the rationale behind them – the “dog psychology.” :) I read somewhere that when pet owners say that their dog is laid back lets children “do whatever they want,” that is not a good thing – because the dog may eventually get fed up with being climbed on / poked / ridden etc. Our oldest dog has only growled once and it was at my husband. It seemed so out of character – we’d had him several years at that point – but when we looked at the situation we realized 1) our firstborn was becoming louder and more mobile and, even though we insisted he be gentled wih the dog, was probably stressing the dog out and 2) at that particular moment, my husband had stumbled up on our dog sleeping in the shower (odd, I know!) which was probably his safe little haven and a space he felt the need to protect. We made a strong effort after that to make sure he wasn’t being overwhelmed by our son’s energy level

    1. Ellie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! And wow, what an example with your own dog. So good that you were in tune with his needs and were able to adjust the environment to meet those. :-)

  4. Elizabeth Wittkamper says:

    my friend is a trainer and we are currently 9 weeks prego! she suggested working with the command “get back” a lot of times you will see a person using “get back” when they are angry and its an emergency, ie. the baby is lying on the floor doing some tummy time and the dog decides to go check it out. The harshness in your tone can do the opposite of what you want. If you start right away working with the “get back” command as a command like “sit” “lie down” “heal” etc, when you need to tell you dog to get back its just a normal command not a punishment. Same concept with the command “leave it”

    1. Elizabeth, congratulations on your pregnancy! Those are great tips, and after reading your reply it reminded me that my favorite dog trainer used to cover “leave it” a lot in his classes. Thank you so much for taking the time to share those extra tips! Have a happy, healthy 7 months! :-)

  5. I would also like to add:

    It is important that the dog has a “kid free zone”. A place where s/he can go where the child can not; like a kennel, dog bed, or room. The dog needs a quiet place to retreat (just like we ALL do) when he gets overwhelmed with the kid (which can happen when the baby starts crawling and is so amused with that soft fur!). This helps eliminate the bites that can occur when the dog feels like he has no escape from the ear pulling/poking/hair pulling ect. Not only should the dog be taught to respect the new little human, but the new human should also learn to respect the dog.

    Another trick I have heard was when the child is a little older, to have him/her feed the dog (with mom or dads help of course!) This helps create that the new human is also a pack leader. :)

    Love the blog! :)

    1. Kelli, thank you for taking the time to add your comments! Those are GREAT tips. And such a good point that the child needs to learn to respect the dog in return.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  6. Thank you so much! I’m beginning my research now, and you have so much helpful information here! Definitely bookmarking. :)

    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I’m glad this post has been useful to you in your research. :-) If you find any other great tips in your research, please swing back by and share them!

  7. Have a good, witty response for those people who ask parents-to-be if they’re planning on getting rid of the dog when the baby comes. My personal favorite is “If we got rid of Fluffy, who would babysit?”

      1. Wow, I hope no one thinks to ask me that. I’m not sure if I would be able to resist being incredibly rude. My dog has been with me longer than my husband. lol :)

  8. Underwood33 says:

    We had a pretty nasty fight between our two dogs last week, seemingly for no other reason than they were stressed and in a smaller space with us while we were having new floors installed downstairs. Im currently 5months pregnant and my husbands great fear is that any agression will be turned toward the baby. How can we help prepare the boys for the arrival of the little one when they seem to have issues getting along in the first place?

    1. Oh my goodness, that must be so stressful to be happening when you are pregnant! It’s definitely wise to be thinking of getting the dogs ready before your little one arrives.

      First, I should say: I am not a professional dog trainer. That said, I’ve always heard trainers say that just because dogs are aggressive toward one another does NOT mean dogs will be aggressive toward humans. Which means it’s all the more essential that you take steps like the ones above to establish your baby as more important than just another dog in the pack. For example: feed the dogs after baby eats, resist the urge to put baby on the floor for a “cute” photo with the dogs, play the bumping game while holding the baby doll (before baby’s born) and while holding your actual baby when the time comes, etc.

      If you are truly concerned, I think it would be worth having a consultation with a professional dog trainer. It could be money well spent to set your mind at ease. So much better to be proactive than to react to something happening and kick yourself for not doing something earlier.

      If you need help finding a trainer in your area, let me know and I’d be happy to help!

  9. I did enjoy this article very much. I am an expectant mom and dog lover. I am also a veterinarian so one thing I must point out is that the overwhelming majority of food allergies in dogs are caused by proteins (beef, chicken, fish, etc.). It is very rare for a dogs to be allergic to corn and other grains, not impossible but much, much, much less common.

    1. GizmoDawn says:

      Wait, what? You have got to be a troll. You can’t honestly believe a dog’s diet should consist of corn and grains, or that dogs are allergic to meat. Dogs hunt and kill prey, and eat them raw. They don’t stop to build a fire, whip out a pan, and cook their meat through, nor do they eat excessive amounts of corn and grain beyond what happens to be in the stomach of their prey. Nobody needs a formal education to know something so basic. Kibble hasn’t even been around that long! I sincerely hope you are fibbing about your profession, lol.

      1. Just Sayin' says:

        She didn’t suggest that dogs diet’s should consist of corn or grains at all. She just said that a lot of dog’s food allergies were from certain proteins. Disagreement is fine, but there’s really no reason to be harsh about it. Dogs eat a huge variety of things, not just meat. Mine eat grass, wood, cardboard, fabric (in the past!), and I’ve had one that ate polishing rouge and rubber! Basically anything they think smells nice.

  10. May i ask, is the weim in the pic yours or is it a stock photo? Just curious because the breed has very specific behavior traits & I’m wondering if these are tips you used with a weim (since that is what my dog is).

  11. My kids really want to get a new puppy, but we have a baby at home right now. I think that it would be a great addition to our family though, assuming it gets along with everyone. I’ll be sure to seek the help of a trainer if the dog starts to get annoyed with the baby.

  12. Something else I plan on doing is having the baby gear set up before baby arrives. That way the swing is a normal part of life, the bouncer is normal, and playing the sound of a baby crying. I’ve seen animals loose it when they hear a baby cry or that high pitch scream/laugh. This is things that I want them desensitized to before baby arrives, so that they already know how to deal with it.