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Well, it's happened a little sooner than we expected, but my husband and I are expecting our first baby in October! We are excited, and it is still very early, but we are already thinking about what this will mean for our Vizsla puppy, Gus. He is 9 months old now, so by that time he will be ~16 months old and probably a handful :)

Gus is terrified of children in general, but the behaviorist we saw thinks he will acclimate to a child in our house and be fine (gosh I hope he is right!). Anyway, we have 7 months to prepare Gus for having a newborn infant in the house. Right now he craves ALL of our attention and he thinks he is "the baby" so I know it will be a shock for him. Has anybody else prepared a V for a new baby? Any advice?
 

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Congratulations jjohnson! Your post is very timely, as we recently found out that we are expecting in September as well and were going to post something similar. Our V-mix Elroy just turned a year old last week, and a handful is an extreme understatement! Whereas your Gus is terrified of children, Elroy is just overly hyper around them, pulling on the leash and lunging. He whines like crazy if we have a toddler in the house, guess he thinks they are there to be his playmate. With his size and strength we are extremely concerned and have recently talked to a few different trainers to start a plan now so we're hopefully prepared. I'm looking forward to others responses on the matter as well...

Doug
 

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congratulations to both couples ;D ;D ;D, I'm sure V's and Jr's will gel harmoniously. I've two very boisterous boys aged 5 and 6, yet we all manage to get along just fine as I'm sure you all will. ;D
 

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Do either of you live near pittsburgh pa? My cousin is due next month and has two pit bulls so she recommended the classes "baby ready pets" by thinkingoutsidethecage.org
 

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Thanks everybody, and thanks jld640, I feel a little better :) I am mostly worried about Gus not being able to handle not getting as much attention. Right now I can't even hug my husband or pet my cats without him getting crazy with jealousy!
 

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Congratulations jjohnson!!! (it's Kate of "DougAndKate") I am right there with you on the jealousy part, we've been training and actually getting better at the "Hi honey, I'm home" and going to give you a hug/kiss and "NO" Elroy you're not going to jump on either of us. It's def taking some time.

SteelCityDozer - we live outside of Philly, but thanks for the recommendation. We're visiting a trainer/boarding facility this weekend so fingers crossed! We've already invested so much time and energy into helping him through his issues - he was a rescue and denied so much the first (critical) 4 months of his life. So we're hoping that this exciting time for us, also turns out to be an easy transition for him.

Thanks everyone, keep posting! I'm interested in hearing how you handle the energy/exercise aspect while handling the kids as well. I'm eager for the challenge, but not naive in thinking it's going to be easy.

Kate
 

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Wow...........something in the water over there guys and girls???? ;) You naughty little people!! Congratulations to you both.

As for preparing................ I would prepare the kids with peanut butter. I find my dogs, while they love kids, couldn't eat a whole one without peanut butter. ;)

I think you may be surprised about how your V reacts to a baby. I have friends with a 4 year old V now and they had a baby when Jasper the V was about 12 months old. Jasper took on a role of protector and alert dog. If the baby was stirring, Jasper would be at the door of the bedroom, tail wagging, letting mum or dad know that bubs was just about to wake up. Jasper would also position himself in between guests and the baby. He was very protective.

The important thing is that you try to minimise any interruptions to your V's routine when baby comes home. Otherwise, he/she may link the two.
 

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Congrats to you both! I too just found out I am having a baby in October. My V, Casey, is 8 months old now. I am a bit worried how I will get enough exercise in for her with the baby. I work from home so am the dominant care giver in the household. I've read that you need to have the other partner take more control so the pup understands that both people will love her equally, even with the baby. You also need to set up a baby room early so the dog can get used to the scents before the baby arrives. I am currently trying to work on restricting Casey from jumping on my lap on the furniture when not invited and I am really glad I still have months for that. I don't think it will be easy but since V's are such loving dogs as long as you continue to make her feel that she is part of the pack there should be no issues. Good luck with it all!
 

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Congratulations to all! :D

I've been giving this one some thought. I wouldn't worry too much about how the dog is going to "feel" about the baby. I would focus on strengthening basic training and -- VERY KEY -- logistics.

I have never juggled dog & baby...but I have juggled babies and toddlers, and I have juggled a puppy and three young kids. So that gives you some sense of my perspective.

Here are some ideas on logistics:

(1) Get your V used to sometimes pottying outside on his own. Now would be a great time to install a fence! There are going to be times when the dog needs to pee and your hands are very full. You will be sooooo glad to open the door and let him out into a safe environment.

(2) Get a comfy glider where you can sit, rock, & feed the baby. Train your dog to lie on a dog bed or mat within your reach while you sit in the glider and read a book or whatever. The dog should LOVE having you sit in the glider not paying too much attention to him (because you are very occasionally handing him great treats!).

(3) Let your V spend time in his crate while you are home. Don't be a wimp about this. It is good for both of you. Keep frozen kongs or chewies on hand and work on a rock solid "kennel up" command. You will sometimes need to get the dog out of the way in a safe place -- immediately and without fuss. Get everyone used to it now.

(4) Have some chats with your spouse about where everyone is going to sleep. Does the dog sleep in your bed? Is he in your bed because you *want* him there or because you couldn't bear to have him cry in his crate? FYI, many babies do NOT happily drift off to sleep alone in a crib. :eek: Work it out now before you are too tired to think straight....

(5) Partition the house with baby gates now, so that you can easily either separate dog from baby OR keep dog with you when you are stuck somewhere caring for the baby. You don't want him in the upstairs garbage while you are bathing baby in the downstairs sink or swiping things off the counter while you are putting baby down for a nap. My guess is that a V will be as smart as a toddler in terms of sensing (and seizing!) opportunities to misbehave. ::)

I'm sure that there are plenty of others...but that's a start. Maybe others have even better ideas to add.

Good luck!!!!!!

Victoria
 

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Hello! I haven't posted anything in a long time, but I've still been lurking around every few days. Just wanted to touch base with everyone from this post and see how their pregnancies, and V's, are progressing!

It has been an absolute whirlwind for us. Shortly after this post, my mother suffered a brain aneurysm on Easter Sunday. It came without any warning whatsoever, and after a week in the hospital, my family had to make the hardest decision of our lives. Thankfully, we knew my mom's wishes, and completely respected them, but it's still a decision that I hope no one will ever have to make. It made our pregnancy somewhat bittersweet, as my mom was SO excited to finally have another grandchild (my sister has 2 teenage boys). And once we found out we were having a girl, it was even more emotional, as she always thought we'd be the one's to have it. We know that our baby will have the best guardian angel ever watching over her, and my mom's memories will last forever, and we will tell our daughter everything there is to know about her Nauna.

So, on to Elroy, who is now about 1 1/2. Obviously, his schedule and routine were thrown WAY off for a few weeks. I basically lived at the hospital, or ran back and forth, with a few hikes and runs thrown in just to get some fresh air, for both of us. Add in the fact that we also had our upstairs hardwood floors refinished right after, which meant we were living downstairs, bed on the floor, it looked like we were squatting in our own home. And of course the renovations took longer than expected, they always do! So that didn't help with our routine either.

When the floors were being polyurethaned, we sent Elroy off to a trainer for 8 days. He evaluated him within a pack of other dogs, and started the foundation of our training regimen. He came home and slept for 3 straight days :) We've been to a few other trainers, mostly just general obedience stuff and puppy training, so in a way it felt like we were starting over. But the improvement was noticeable almost immediately. Now we go back every Sunday for a 1 hour lesson, for as long as we want. Elroy has come a long way in just a few short months. He rarely jumps up on anyone anymore, he is MUCH better with house guests, we brought him down the shore for a party and he did wonderful (and loved the ocean), and just this past Saturday we had a BBQ at our house, which we didn't think was possible just a few short months ago. He still is hyper around toddlers or running kids, so that is still a big work in progress.

As for introducing the baby, due to arrive in late September, the nursery is finished, and whenever Elroy goes in there, we make him lay down immediately. We've been using the word "baby" in a gentle tone whenever we get a new baby item, letting him sniff it. We've really been working on his manners as far as jumping up on the couch uninvited as well, and he is getting much better.

On another note, next week we are starting our off leash e-collar training. Our trainer will only use a certain model of collar, and alas, it's not the one we purchased at the beginning of the year, which we never really got around to using anyway. Ours had the vibrate function, and not the tone/beep. So, if anyone has any interest, we have a barely used Dogtra IQ collar for sale. We paid $167 on Amazon for it, and we'd be willing to sell it for $100, with free shipping, if anyone is interested. (Note: If posting this is against the forum rules, just let me know and I'll edit the post to remove this).

Sorry for the long rant. I has been a crazy 2 1/2 months. But I think we're on our way to having a healthy, and happy, home/puppy/baby relationship :) Good luck to everyone the rest of the way...

Doug
 

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DougAndkate, so very sorry to hear of your loss, I had a similar experience 3 weeks before my eldest son was born, my mum suffered a massive stroke that left her totally blind, amnesic, and dementia(ed). Terrible situation as she needed 24/7 care for the next 5 years before she finally died.
On a happier note like yourselves, I've also found a HPR trainer who is within 5 miles of us and he's happy to take Ruby on 1 hour one on one sessions to bring her up to scratch on time for the pheasant shooting season in October.
I hope everything goes well with your new baby girl and let us know as soon as she arrives ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry to hear about your mom, DougAndKate.

As far as preparing our V for our baby (girl due in late October), we are mostly working on walking well on the leash (since I plan on walking baby and dog a lot) and spending some time in his crate or outside alone when we are home.

I am mostly worried though about aggressive behavior towards the baby and others- our Gus isn't a "normal" dog, he suffers from pretty bad fear aggression and can be downright mean towards strangers sometimes. We have worked on this, and it has improved a little, but he will most likley always be this way. So sending him away to a trainer, or having someone babysit him, etc. is not really an option for us because he will NOT go with strangers, and most likley try to bite. It takes at least 7-10 vists to our house for him to finally learn to accept a stranger, and even then, he sometimes will not let them pet him.

We had a friend come over with a new baby- I had Gus on a leash. He had little interest in the baby until he noticed him moving, and then he growled at him. Kind of alarming having your puppy growl at a newborn baby, but I've learned its Gus's way of saying "I'm nervous about this." I am praying that eventually he will adjust and get used to the baby, and I think he will, but I also know of some cases where dogs never get used to the baby and become dangerous :( I'm praying this isn't the case for us!

One thing I will be doing is replacing the door on the baby's nursery with a screen door (an idea I found online). This is mostly to keep my two cats out of the baby's crib, but will also work to keep Gus out when we are not supervising. I think this is a great idea, and the screen doors can even look cute if you find a nice one :)
 

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Congrats to those expecting babies and Dougandkate, I am very sorry to read about your mom.

Thank you all for posting some great tips in this thread. I am 13 weeks pregnant today and our 2 V's are in for a real shock. We did attend a class a couple fo years ago at the Isis Maternity Center in MA about getting your dog ready for a baby. We basically learned how much work we really need to do! And that was when we only had one vizsla.

Our biggest challenge is that the current guest room (which will be the baby's room) has pretty much been the dog's room. They usually sleep in there - both of them on the queen bed. We've started having them sleep in their crates in another room and they've done ok. But truthfully, we're not very good about enforcing this. we need to get better.

I fear Flynn won't like the idea of the baby at all (at first) and may even growl at it when we're holding it (he did this when we got the puppy). Luna will probably be fine in that she won't display any aggressive signs but she'll be devastated at no longer being the baby - and having less lap time.

It's still early for us but I'm going to plan to check back on this talk thread often. especially when those of you who are due before me have your babies!
 

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flynnandlunasmom - Congrats to you! I would actually be interested to know in the future if you think it was easier having two dogs or not. We were going to get another dog, but once we found we were preganant, we decided to hold off until later. I don't know if having two would be a lot harder, or easier since they would tend to entertain each other more and theoretically need less attention?
 

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jjohnson, our dogs do entertain each other but their age difference is pretty big (Luna's 1, Flynn's 7). So, while they do play together often Flynn get tired/bored of it much more quickly than Luna does. She sill has crazy puppy energy and always wants more play! If we did it all over again, we would have gotten Luna when Flynn was around 3 instead of 6. In many ways though, I do think having 2 is easier - but that's the "pre-baby" me talking.
 

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Congratulations to all of you that are expecting -wow that is so exciting :) :) :)

KateandDoug - I am so sorry for your loss, it must have been a very stressful time for you and your family. I am sure your baby girl will bring a bright light of joy and happieness to your family when she arrives.

I am looking forward to hearing of all the happy baby events and PICTURES :) :) :) when they all arrive later in the year.
 

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Congratulations those who are expecting!

KateandDoug - sorry to hear about your loss.

Jjohnson - I think someone on this forum tried a screen door. You may want to search to see if they posted how it went.

And for what it's worth...I don't have kids, but wanted Savannah to be ok around little ones. Every once in a while in the local pet store we will see people with a baby (or baby in a car seat) in the shopping cart. I always ask if Savannah can smell the baby's feet just so she knows the smell of 'baby'. None of the parents have minded. It seems to be working. When we meet a baby on the street (strollers, mom's arms, etc.), she doesn't try to jump or smell them.
 

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You might also try some practice training with dolls as the time gets closer. That way the dogs will be used to having to sit next to you while you feed a "baby" or do other baby related things. One of those lifelike crying babies would be great!
 
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