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Discussion Starter #1
I have two sweet, adorable vizslas. Both have been well socialized and handled around other children of various ages. However, I do not have children of my own and my husband and I are in the next phase of our lives in wanting to start a family. Does anyone have any suggestions on ways I can start working with my vizslas now so when the time does come that I bring baby home the transition might go smoothly? Both dogs are used to getting alot of attention from us since we don't have children to occupy our time. I'm worried with the time that the new baby will need that the dogs might start acting up? I want a safe loving environment for both dogs and baby. We consider our dogs part of the family. Any books or articles you might know of and could recommend would be great!
Thanks.
 

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oh! Thank you thank you for the post. I'm sorry, though, I can't help! I'm just happy you asked since my husband and I are in the same situation; but we have just one adorable vizsla...who's just 11 months. And I'm curious how other people handle/juggle both kids and dogs!

You might want to check your local humane society or other training center. Ours has an Introduction to Baby class it does. I've heard the hardest thing is scheduling time for anything but baby. But that always comes from my friends who've never had dogs and don't understand how integral they are to our lives! I think with anything, there has to be a balance for all priorities.

Good Luck and I hope other folks answer.
 

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I should imagine they're going to have a lot of time, love and affection taken away from them and it's all the baby's fault. There's also a new arrival in the pack who needs to know who's in charge and where in the pecking order the new arrival lies.

Here's a pretty good short article from dogclub.co.uk

A few simple (although practically impossible with a new-born) things to do are:


  • [li]Up the exercise of the dogs and wear them out more.[/li]
    [li]When one parent deals with the baby, the other parent occupies the dogs. Share the attention.[/li]
    [li]Do not allow contact between them for several days, even weeks. Take your time and be gradual.[/li]
    [li]Rather than telling the dogs off for wanting to get close to the baby, reward them for being good near the baby, like sitting for example. Vizslas learn faster from positive training.[/li]
Good luck with the little one when he/she (or both) arrives and don't worry too much. Vizsla's are very quick to learn, very family orientated and are just as likely to be excited by the new arrival as you will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the tips. They were very helpful. Hopefully baby and dogs will get along well with a little patience and love.
 

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my wife and I had a lab when our first child was born. when expecting both my wife and I would hold a doll and ignore the dog...let her see us not paying her attention. I felt like that was a good exercise (albeit not the sole remedy).
 

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I think you need to be careful around small children regardless if you had the children before the dog or the other way around. Probably more so if you had the dog first.

Above all it is a dog first not a person. They think like dogs and behave according to the pack mentality (although you may not notice it all the time).

Our 8 month old V recently snapped at my 8 year old son. This was very unusual as they are great mates. The V was sitting on my lap and he came and sat in front of her. I guessed she thought he was interfering with her time with her master as she is more bonded to me than with the rest of the family. This was the first time this has happened and there was no warning. They move like greased lightening. She was straight off to the crate for 5 minutes and was guilty as **** when she was allowed back inside. From now on she sits on the mat when the family is together in the evening and can have lap time when they have gone to bed.

I read somewhere that a happy dog is one that knows its place in the pack. The happiest one is the one at the bottom as he doesn't have to worry about anyone else!
 

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Here's some stuff I learned from 2 young kids and a V.
-Keep the dirty diapers secured REALLY well.
-Bring a blanket home from the hospital and let your dog get used to new baby smell
-V's learn quickly that toddlers in high chairs throw food
-Toddlers and V's shouldnt be left alone, kids love to pull ears and poke eyes
- No baby monitors required. The dog is always on duty.
- If you get out of bed to feed the baby, you may as well sleep on the couch because the dog will take your spot
-After a toddler has eaten, it is not acceptable (according to my wife) to let the dog clean his face. Use a baby wipe.

Honestly our infant and dog didn't cross paths too much. For the first little while the are usually asleep or out of the dogs way ie crib, jolly jumper, play pen.
It's when kids get a bit more mobile and crawling around that they will have trouble, the ear pulling and eye poking and generally not being gentle with the dog is the worst headache. And I'm very serious about the dirty diaper thing though.
 

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Further to my earlier post, my 8 year old son has just fessed up that he sat down in front of the dog and blew in her face. So I think it was a case of a bit of jealousy from both of them. In any case I have had no problems since and they they still get on like a house on fire.
 
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