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Thursday, May 27, 2010

On Mac and Emeline

I've had a few inquiries as to how the old pup took to the baby. I'll be honest...I was nervous. Like, really worried. You see, my dog is cute as pie, and a cuddle-bug--but he's a brat. Like, a real, genuine, only-child-type brat.

There were times leading up to the baby coming that Declan and I talked about the sad, but real possibility of what could happen if he didn't get used to the baby (The joke was selling him on Craigslist....shhhh...don't tell him that!). We had hoped that he would warm up to her...we thought it was possible he would, but we also know he has extreme anxiety issues, and is really attached to both Declan and I. It could go either way, really.

Leading up to the baby coming, we started setting up the swing, pack-n-play, and such things around the house. Mac definitely noticed these unusual 'things', but he got used to them over the 3-weeks they were up pre-baby-entering-the-world. He sniffed around them alot, and soon they became normal to him.

When we went into the hospital to have the baby, Mac went to my parents house for those 3 days where he got showered with lots of love and attention. When my parents came to visit us in the hospital, they took the very first baby hat they stuck on Emeline's head (right after she came out). My mom took it back to the house, and put it in Mac's cage, where he slept with it...sniffed it...and got used to her smell. This is a key-factor (in my opinion) to getting a dog used to a baby.

The day we got discharged from the hospital, my mom made sure Mac was at our house, in his crate, as he normally is when we come home from anywhere. We read that it's always best to have the dog home first and bring the baby home, rather then bring a dog home to a new baby. Make sense?

I walked in first and greeted him, which is our normal routine. He noticed Declan carrying the infant seat, but was too excited to see us to care about the baby. I took him out, and then when he came in--he went right to the carseat to check out his new sister.


We read that giving him a lot of praise when he's exhibiting appropriate behavior is the best way to go about getting him to behave around a baby. Rather then yelling at him for doing something 'bad'.

When we got her out of her seat, he came up close, sniffed around...and tried to sneak a little teeny lick in around her ears. We gently told him 'no' (I'm not totally anti-dog-kisses, I just like them to be in moderation, please and thank-you), but made sure to tell him what a good boy he was being when he just sat there calmly.


Generally, dogs will accept a baby into their "pack" once they realize they are here to stay. Mac never exhibited any of the territorial signs (ie: peeing on things to mark territory, thank.you.God.), which we were grateful for. He pretty much instantaneously became her little watch-guard-dog.

When she's swinging in the baby swing, he sleeps on the couch overlooking her.

When she gets her diaper changed and let's out some cries, he sits right down below and also let's out a few cries as in "What the heck are you doing to her, you big meanies!?" He has gotten better about this, though.

When she lays in her vibrating papasan chair, he sits behind it with his head resting on it looking at her.

In general, he's been fantastic.


Does he still require a lot of attention?

Heck-to-the-YES.

Does he still drive me completely nuts and bark at the most innappropriate times?

Umm. YEP. [Luckily, his barking does.not.phase.her. I hear they get used to barking and such in the womb...and well, Mac is a barker. Luckily, he hasn't woken her yet.]

But, he certainly loves Emeline and wouldn't let anything happen to her.

For that, I'm grateful.

So, my suggestion for those of you worried about bringing-baby-home to a dog (as spoiled, or rotten or however they seem to you now)...just test it out. You may be pleasantly surprised like we were.

Happy Thursday!

38 comments:

  1. So cute the pictures you have. So great he warmed up to her too. I am nervous about our pup when we bring baby home, Bella is very much our baby!!!

    We will be doing a home birth so hopefully since Bella will be there from the start she will adjust quickly!

    It worries me because she hates my niece!!! Just barks at her and tries to steel her toys.

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  2. Great plan! We find so many dogs get sent away because their owners did not take the time to figure out these key steps! kUdos!!

    No matter how good he is I wouldn't advise leaving the two alone together..well ever!

    (the dog trainer in me makes me say that, though I'm sure you already knew this.)

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  3. Yay! One of the nurses at the hospital when my niece was born told my brother and sister-in-law the same thing about taking home a baby hat and it worked like a charm!

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  4. That is so awesome to hear. We did exactly the same things with our Rottie when our daughter was born and I couldn't have asked for a better watchdog/friend for my daughter. They went everywhere together and our dog even helped her walk along when she first started tottering along.

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  5. I am so glad to read this!

    I also am nervous for when I have a baby. Our cat is an only child spoiled brat and I don't know how he will react.. hopefully he will have the same reaction as Mac and realize that the baby will be here to stay and know that it is "his" baby..

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  6. that is just way too cute. Love all the pictures! :)

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  7. Aw they are so cute... That was a GREAT idea to bring her hat home and put it in the cage with him so he got use to her smell Great idea girl..

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  8. I am so glad to hear that it's going well. I am somewhat nervous about this transition too, because our dog really really really loves Evan. She thinks that they are partners and that I am just the other woman. I'm kind of afraid she'll show some jealousy when he is giving attention to the baby but I am also thinking that she might really love and protect the baby. She really likes kids and usually ignores babies - so we'll see.

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  9. Awwww! He LOVES her! Those are some super duper cute photos.

    I've always been worried about my cat. She's adorable as can be and such a mama's girl (but super bitchy sometimes, lol)...but I'm afraid that when the time comes where we bring a baby home, she won't be having ANY of it. Eeks!

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  10. awwww that's so good to hear! And the photos are absolutely adorableness! :) Great call on letting him warm up to her smell before you brought her home! I'm such a researcher too, so I'm totally interested by all this stuff! :)

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  11. Such good ideas! I've been worried about it when we bring the baby home but I think I'll try what you did. I'm glad to hear the barking doesn't faze her because I was wondering about the same thing for us. She must be getting used to it already because they are SO loud when they bark/wrestle and all that. Glad you had a smooth transition :)

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  12. These pictures are adorable! And I too am a little worried about when the baby arrives. Our puppy is so spoiled and loves attention. But I am so glad Mac is adjusting well!

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  13. Great pictures, it looks like Mac is trying to protect her and cuddle her in all of them, so sweet!

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  14. Those are the sweetest pictures! Love it. My parents always told me about how our old family dog was my protector even as I grew up, I bet Mac will be like that with Emeline! :)

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  15. Thanks for another awesome post I forwarded this on to my friend again!

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  16. i am overwhelmed by the adorableness of the baby and the pup. omg.

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  17. I LOVE the picture of him watching her while she sleeps.. that's too cute!

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  18. This is SO handy to hear how it worked for you and your family. I am also pregnant and have a verrry spoiled dog that I am worried won't acclimate well. She already has separation anxiety seizures when my husband and I leave her for long periods. I am looking for any and all helpful hints to help her adjust when we bring home baby!

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  19. how sweet!! that is awesome that he is being such a big brother!! I love the photos of him watching over her that is precious!!

    I love seeing any picture with Emeline in cause she is so beautiful!!

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  20. Those pictures are sooo adorable!!

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  21. Hey there,
    Glad to hear that Mac is adjusting well. K and I had the same fears for our feline friend Milo. Thankfully he is also okay with our little one. We took many of the same steps you did as well.

    Funny how the "scenes" in your house look very much like the ones in mine. hehe

    I was wondering where you got Emeline's green flower headband from a previous post? I love it!

    Take Care,
    Lisa

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  22. Thanks so much for this great advice, and thanks a lot for answering this question. We're nervous about our puppy because he definitely has the only-child-brat syndrome. He's the sweetest thing with us, but he snapped at our nephew, which worries me! (However, in our pup's defense, our nephew is 19 months and was coming after him with a big push-toy). I will definitely take your advice and pray for the best. Thanks!! and SUCH cute pics. Nothing cuter than babies and puppies :)

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  23. We did almost the same exact thing when we brought L home to our American Bulldog. So glad it is working out so well for all four of you!

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  24. Thanks for doing this post! It has been something I really didn't think about, but AJ is super worried about because he doesn't want to "lose" our pup when we decide to have a baby. I'm sure it's going to be difficult because she's a 20 lb dog in a 100 lb dog's body. My main fears are of her licking a baby to death. My youngest nieces are 2 & 4 and she would lick them all day long if you let her. And she takes their unhappy shrieks as encouragement. I'm sure it'll be interesting, seeing as how she's tall enough to pretty much get anywhere, but we might be relying heavily on a playpen with its walls!

    Love the pic of Declan, Mac & Emeline!

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  25. Yay, you give us hope. And thanks for the tips! Have a good holiday weekend. :)

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  26. Good to hear! I'm only slightly nervous about one of our dogs...yes we have two spoiled children. The one is kind of a loner, I don't expect him to care. The other however tends to be IN.YOUR.FACE at all times. I can see him being very curious about the baby.

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  27. Thanks for posting about this! It worries me so much with our dog and new baby coming in July. He is so hyper that it makes me nervous. Glad to hear that it worked out so good for you guys. Cross our fingures that it will work out for us too!!

    P.S.- Your little girl is adorable!

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  28. It looks like they're getting along great!
    One of my cats is kind of crazy, and I'm scared of how she'll react to our baby whenever she/he gets here... I might end up selling her on Craigslist! Just joking!

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  29. Aww those pics are the cutest! I love that Mac is so protective of her :)

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  30. That is so awesome he took well to her. I am loving the pictures and hoping everything goes well with you, emeline, the pup, and everything.!!

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  31. I'm so glad he likes his little sister! =.) And the pictures of them together are precious! Love 'em! =.)

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  32. They are so cute together! Emeline's little body guard :-) It's great that he was able to warm up to her right away.

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  33. I am glad to hear that baby and puppy bonding went well. I love the pictures of them together they are so sweet :) I love how protective they get when you make baby cry, my dads dog protects my kids all the time.

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  34. She looks like she's giggling in that last pic of the 2 of them! So sweet

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  35. I wouldn't have thought about taking the baby hat home. I will have to remember that so that my dogs can get used to the smell. I would hate to have to give my dogs away because they can't accept the baby:(

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  36. Aww, I'm so glad to hear how well Mac is adjusting to Emeline! That's great news! I'm also worried about when that day comes and we bring home a baby. We have 2 dogs, and one of them is a Pit Bull mix, and she has a very bitchy/snappy side to her...out of nowhere, too. She even snapped at my husband's niece when she was younger one time. I think she thinks of anyone or anything that's smaller than her as a threat or something...who knows.

    Anyways, I'm glad that there's definitely hope and *fingers crossed* that she loves our baby, once we have one! :) Thanks for the advice!

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  37. Your advice and pics are great!

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  38. I saw your comment on Dude and Sweetie and clicked. I really appreciate this post! I'm not married but I have a spoiled brat, love love love him, puppy (year and a half old) and I've often had thoughts about how he will handle it if I ever have human children. I'll file this information for later!
    Your little girl is just precious and Mac is super cute!!!

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