I occasionally get emails asking about our dogs (FYI: We have two. Molly, our Great Dane, and Moose, our Boston Terrier) and how they've adjusted to life with a baby, as well as some people asking for tips on how to make that adjustment. So, I thought I'd address that all in a post!
First, a little back story...If you knew Cody and me before Gunner was born, you'd know how spoiled our dogs were. Technically, they still are spoiled but things have obviously changed since G was born. We still try to make daily walks a priority and shower them with love whenever possible, but they still received a lot less attention than they were used to.
Overall, Molly and Moose have adjusted incredibly well to life with a baby. We were never too worried that they wouldn't adjust but we had our concerns. Molly's overall size (our girl weighs in at 155 lbs.) was a concern and the fact that she's very skitish with strange noises or movement. Moose is probably the most friendly dog ever but we did worry that he would become really jealous and possessive of our time.
The dogs have completely different relationships with Gunner. Gunner is completely infatuated with them both and is really infatuated with dogs in general. Molly keeps a watchful eye but still prefers to keep her distance. Now that Gunner is a little more mobile, she definitely keeps a good amount of distance and moves anytime he heads towards her; BUT, she is always there when he cries, making sure we fix it. Moose was very reluctant with Gunner at first, but has recently realized if he's near the baby, he'll get some attention too. He lets Gunner put him and deals with the aggressive grabbing. He's also fond of licking the droll off of G's mouth...I, however, am not so found of that.
One thing we did early on that I think was really helpful was we introduced some of the bigger and louder toys BEFORE Gunner was here. We put the swing out and occasionally turned it on, we put his excersaucer out for the dogs to get used to moving around, etc. This kept the dogs from being freaked out by the toys and things when Gunner was in them.
We also had Gunner and the dogs in the same house as soon as we were home. There was no adjustment period for us at home, we took G home and the dogs were there. It worked well for us to just jump in. We were comfortable with that, and more than anything I've found that if you're comfortable with a situation, the dogs most often are.
Hope these tips help someone!
And if you have any more specific questions, please don't hesitate to email me.
If you were a dog
I'd love to read others' tips in the comment section!