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Hi All,


We just found out recently that I am pregnant, which is a surprise- but great news.


I have been thinking a lot about Shiloh and what measures I can take and plan for in order to set some boundaries up in order to protect him and the baby. Obviously the baby wont be allowed to crawl all over him...etc.. I just want to get some ideas that have worked for others. Shiloh is really a top priority in our life and we want to make sure that we anticipate any problems that could come up.


In the past Shiloh has been great with kids. He will let us groom him, cut nails, pull out a tick and does not scare easily. However he nipped at a toddler once who was very unsteady coming towards him ( we were not in the same room and once he saw us he walked to the corner with his tail between his legs) and at the vet tech once when she gave him a painful shot ( he ran out after and hid behind me). I would consider him to be extremely obedient and I want to make sure that we all feel confident in this new situation.



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I have a 13 month old baby and an almost 3 year old border collie. Orbit was not really socialised to children as there were not any around during his early days. When baby was born, i am almost convinced that he thought he was some kind of squeeky toy. We started to have some problems when baby learned to grasp. Whenever Orbit got anywhere near him he would grab him (my baby thinks that Orbit is absolutely the best thing ever so we wanted to encourage his interest but obviously pulling on fur is not acceptable but Orbit would often get very close to him in an attempt to get to us). Orbit started to give him a really wide berth. Once baby learned to pet nicely and not pull, Orbit dared to get closer, but always on full alert. But the real bonding experience was when baby learned to throw a ball (about a foot mind you but Orbit will take what he can get). Now baby runs around with the chuck-it and Orbit runs in front of him backwards.


Here is a play by play of their version of fetch:


Orbit brings the ball to baby



Orbit drops the ball and waits



Baby notices the ball and lunges for it



Orbit patiently waits while baby struggles to pick up the increasing slimy/slippery ball



He then retrieves it when baby throws it one foot. Unfortunately no photo of that last step. Notice that they are playing on the dog bed. They can do this for close to an hour, after which both are exhausted.



The holy grail according to baby - a recently abandoned kong (I try to remove these before he finds them but he seems to be better at locating them than i am)




My experience is limited to these two but i think that as much as possible, try to ensure that some part of your dogs' routine stays the same when baby comes. Encourage your dog to consider the baby as part of the family by having him sniff (and i would say kiss - but some people find that gross) the baby before the baby starts to move around too much. Also, babies develop slowly enough that i think a well socialised and well integrated dog should be able to adjust to the increasing mobility of a child. It is totally different for a dog that is not used to children to one day come across a toddler and be freaked out. It also goes without saying that a dog needs to have some place that is baby-free; where they can get away if they feel the need. Also, always, always supervise. Good luck. Baby and border collie is a busy combination.

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Ditto on congratulations!


Maybe not too pertinent because no children live with us, but... When I first got my dog, I don't think he had ever experienced a small child. He acted like they were aliens. He did best with kids in strollers, who were unable to run at him, but perfectly able to drop Cheerios and such. He'll now happily approach toddlers, up to maybe age 7 or 8 (boys). Girls he seems OK with straight through adulthood. But, he's still leery of those grasping hands, so I always ask them to give Buddy a treat rather than pet, which seems to make the kids and the dog happy.


Good luck! My friend's baby has become a great friend to her dog, too - much as In2Adventure describes. Since the baby can throw a ball and run around the yard, the dog loves her.



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Some of my Border Collies have found small children and babies to be scary; the rest have found little ones to be totally entrancing!


As you've been advised, keep things as "normal" as possible for your dog - remember that his crate is *his* den and not someone else's playhouse and never a place to tease the dog, no matter how innocently (and my dogs do easily share their crates with grandkids when the dogs are not in them).


Give the dog his own "private time" - a walk, playtime, and petting time. I think dogs easily figure out that that curious little wiggly noise-maker is part of the pack but for some dogs, getting close and comfortable is not easy.


As Orbit learned, a child that can get the ball moving is a valuable resource. My two that have not been comfy around kids, have been totally entranced by grandchildren who can either toss or Chuck-It the ball, or play with the tug rings - and that's helped the kids become more interested in the dogs, too.


Congratulations! Enjoy!


PS - Just one caveat (other than the very good one of not letting the baby/toddler put the dog's hair or ears or tail or whatever - and some dogs don't mind that if they like babies enough, like my Megan) - if you see your dog give the baby "the eye", nip that in the bud. My one dog, Celt, every now and then, looks at the littlest grandchild with the expression he'd watch a sheep or a cat, and that's got to be dissuaded immediately with an appropriate reprimand (and all it takes is a word from me).

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When our grandgirl, Elena, was born, Fergie discovered baby toes. The best smell in the world for her. Later, she learned that babies - and children - are a great source of dropped treats of all kinds.


Puppytoes, is that amber that your child is wearing? If so, great work. In Lithuanian it's called gintaras, which means "protector".

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Yes it is an amber necklace. It is supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory and is widely used in europe. Here it is used to reduce swelling and drooling in teething children. It is always hard to say whether these sort of things works but it does not bother him and so why not.


I also taught Orbit to give the baby kisses fairly early on to encourage him to get close to the baby (when he was still terrified) but have a sense of purpose/job to do. He would often sneak in, lick a finger and then look to us for a good boy. Now he is right in there and my baby squeels with laughter.


I think you just have to take cues from your own dog and work from there. As has been mentioned, all dogs react differently. How you deal with the issues that your particular dog has will determine your level of success.

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This is all so helpful!


Thank you to everyone. :)


I also have heard of the amber necklace and we plan to get one too!


Shiloh must smell something different with me because his new head rest is my belly and he just wants to follow me around all day.

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Just saw this thread. Congratulations!


I am sure that a lot of this is individual to the dog in question, but Odin has done great with a minimum of help from us. He also likes to give kisses and I just make sure he doesn't get too enthusiastic about it. Mainly, I've tried to remember that his world has changed a lot and there were several months where he just wasn't getting the same amount of attention or exercise. He was patient, but I also gave him a bit of a pass when I realized that a bit of overly hyper or misbehavior (e.g., shredding kleenexes) was an attempt for him to work out some pent up energy. Getting breastfeeding going with a newborn (if you plan to do it) often requires a lot of sitting in bed or on the couch giving them opportunity to nurse for hours on demand. Also, I was on intermittent bed rest during portions of my 2nd and 3rd trimesters. DH had to step up and when I could get out to walk Odin I did my best to give him some one-on-one attention and brought out the clicker again. He seemed to very much understand the whole way through.


Some practical issues: I use cloth diapers and had to train Odin not to sample poop off these, i.e. It was like training no garbage raiding but with a different pail and apparently was very enticing. Yuk. But I'd be even more freaked out about a dog getting into disposables- they put a lot of gel desiccant and other chemical crap in those.


He has been very helpful, and he enjoyed it too, learning to bring me things I need: receiving blankets and burp cloths being the most useful. In retrospect I would have taken time to train this before the baby came. It would have been a huge help the first several days after my c-section.


Bbl with pictures, posting from my phone while holding baby now :D

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OK, I'm not really a "kid person" at this time in my life, but that picture is absolutely adorable. The expression on the baby's face is priceless.




No real advice except: protect your kid, protect your dog. Use common sense. Some of the things I see parents allow their kids to do to their dogs are scary. And vice versa.


oh! and:



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No kids here really, except for my niece (6 yrs) and nephew (20 months) who visit a few times a year. They were here for a week last month and Meg did ok once she got used to them. She was a bit nervous the first few days, especially if the young'uns got loud and/or hyper. I encouraged both kids to give her treats and play fetch. By the end of the week she sought them out for kisses, pets, food and fetch.



Orbit and baby are adorable. Good job to Orbit for training baby young...lol.

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