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Old 01-21-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Fremont, CA
2,357 posts, read 5,642,885 times
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For those who have any experience with ACD's, they are very loyal, protective, high-strung dogs who latch onto their "pack" and are typically very skeptical and aloof toward new people they meet.
My 8 year old ACD is exactly that. He's like velcro toward my wife and I and toward a couple of other family members who he's known his whole life, but he doesn't like strangers and takes forever to warm up to people.
I've had him since he was 8 weeks old and we've been inseparable since. My wife and I are now expecting a baby in June and really have no idea how he'll act. Part of me thinks that he may automatically know that it's a new "pack" member and the other part of me is worried that he may see the baby as a threat.
Has anybody had any experience introducing their ACD or any other type of similar breed dog to a new baby? If so, what was the dog's response to the new family member and how long did it take for the dog to adjust?
Along with the many other concerns new parents-to-be have, this has been a big one for me. I love my dog like my kid and I don't want him to end up being an outcast of our family if he can't adjust well with the new baby.
Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:45 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,353 posts, read 19,098,555 times
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i have a 6 y/o acd mix, and while i do not have chlldren of my own, she has ALWAYS been very good with young children.... there were 3 youngsters, aged about 2 to 6 y/o living next door when i first brought her home at 4 months of age and i think she thought they were part of our pack too .... they were always on my front porch and driveway playing.... they moved away several years ago and she STILL keeps an eye on that house.....

she has always been very patient and tolerant of children of all ages when we are out and about.... even the ones who insist on hugging her.... and in fact has been a GREAT doggie ambassador for youngsters who are not familiar with dogs or even a little afraid of them..... otherwise, she is the typical aloof and slow to warm up with adults, just as your fella is.....

i think the key to helping your fella make as smooth a transition as possible is to try to keep his routine as normal as possible.... i know that will be difficult with a newborn, but dogs thrive on structure and routine..... and make sure he gets PLENTY of one-on-one attention, lovins' and walks from you and your wife.....

best of luck to you and your growing family!!

oh... and we ask for pictures in exchange for advice.....
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:48 PM
 
3,647 posts, read 11,871,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
For those who have any experience with ACD's, they are very loyal, protective, high-strung dogs who latch onto their "pack" and are typically very skeptical and aloof toward new people they meet.
My 8 year old ACD is exactly that. He's like velcro toward my wife and I and toward a couple of other family members who he's known his whole life, but he doesn't like strangers and takes forever to warm up to people.
I've had him since he was 8 weeks old and we've been inseparable since. My wife and I are now expecting a baby in June and really have no idea how he'll act. Part of me thinks that he may automatically know that it's a new "pack" member and the other part of me is worried that he may see the baby as a threat.
Has anybody had any experience introducing their ACD or any other type of similar breed dog to a new baby? If so, what was the dog's response to the new family member and how long did it take for the dog to adjust?
Along with the many other concerns new parents-to-be have, this has been a big one for me. I love my dog like my kid and I don't want him to end up being an outcast of our family if he can't adjust well with the new baby.
Thanks in advance for any help!
First...congratulations on the new addition to your family!

Although, I haven't worked with ACDs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have all the same characteristics you have just described and I've worked with them for a number of decades. I have a few of questions for you before I'd offer any advise. How well trained is your ACD? Does he respect your "space" and your authority? Does he respond more to you or your wife or does he respond equally? Has he ever had any bad interactions with children?
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: NC
1,695 posts, read 4,460,272 times
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I havent had an ACD (thought i think they are gorgeous!). I do however have a german shepherd who doesnt like anyone other than immediate family. He is 12 now- my son is 4. I know all dogs are different, but hes known since day 1 that the baby was part of the family.

Right after i had the baby, my hubby took home a blanket that the baby had been wrapped in for awhile and let the dog smell it. Dont know if it helped, but it certainly didnt hurt (i figure the blanket smelled like me AND baby, since i didnt let go of him hardly at all! LOL)

This was within a couple of days of bringing him home- he was already guarding him

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Fremont, CA
2,357 posts, read 5,642,885 times
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Thanks for the responses and the congrats!
In response to Va-Cat. I'd say that my ACD is well-trained in the sense that I can read him like a book and know exactly how to control his behavior at pretty much any time. He's never been destructive, never has "accidents" in the house and puts his ears back and tail between his legs if he even accidentally touches me with his teeth when we're playing together. He's definitely a ball of energy, but he is very submissive and there's no doubt that he knows that my wife and I are his bosses. He's stuck to my wife like glue (me too, but he follows her everywhere around the house all the time) but overall he's more submissive to my commands then her's.
He's never had what I would consider to be a bad interaction with kids. I have three young nephews who can be pretty rambunctious and my dog tends to be a little bit skiddish around them sometimes. He mostly tries to avoid them, but if they come running toward him, I can tell he definitely is uncomfortable and doesn't quite know how to respond. I'd never expect him to bite, but he has growled occasionally and I can tell that he really wants them to know that he doesn't want to be bothered by them. The second I start to reprimand him for it though, he instantly responds to me and knows that he's not allowed to act like that. That behavior is what concerns me- I would never expect him to act aggressively, based on his past behavior, but he's also never had to contend with a baby in our house either.

Last edited by mstnghu2; 01-21-2011 at 01:19 PM..
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,529,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
For those who have any experience with ACD's, they are very loyal, protective, high-strung dogs who latch onto their "pack" and are typically very skeptical and aloof toward new people they meet.
My 8 year old ACD is exactly that. He's like velcro toward my wife and I and toward a couple of other family members who he's known his whole life, but he doesn't like strangers and takes forever to warm up to people.
I've had him since he was 8 weeks old and we've been inseparable since. My wife and I are now expecting a baby in June and really have no idea how he'll act. Part of me thinks that he may automatically know that it's a new "pack" member and the other part of me is worried that he may see the baby as a threat.
Has anybody had any experience introducing their ACD or any other type of similar breed dog to a new baby? If so, what was the dog's response to the new family member and how long did it take for the dog to adjust?
Along with the many other concerns new parents-to-be have, this has been a big one for me. I love my dog like my kid and I don't want him to end up being an outcast of our family if he can't adjust well with the new baby.
Thanks in advance for any help!
A good introduction can go a long way, but a lot of the end result is simply whether or not it is in your dog's personality to be good with kids. Dogs recognize that babies are not adult humans in the same way that they recognize puppies are not dogs. I brought a swaddling blanket and a diaper home from the hospital to introduce the dog to the scent. He was very interested but not excited and not anxious; that's probably what you want to see. If the dog tries to paw at the diaper or do anything that you wouldn't want him to do to the baby, sternly discourage that immediately. Let him know that this is serious. If you have any doubts about what you see, trust your gut.

Anyway, we had no surprise or excitement from the dog when the baby came home the following day, just an interested gaze with a light tail wag. Now a couple years later those two are thick as thieves - it is the dog's boy as much as the boy's dog.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,353 posts, read 19,098,555 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
A good introduction can go a long way, but a lot of the end result is simply whether or not it is in your dog's personality to be good with kids. Dogs recognize that babies are not adult humans in the same way that they recognize puppies are not dogs. I brought a swaddling blanket and a diaper home from the hospital to introduce the dog to the scent. He was very interested but not excited and not anxious; that's probably what you want to see. If the dog tries to paw at the diaper or do anything that you wouldn't want him to do to the baby, sternly discourage that immediately. Let him know that this is serious. If you have any doubts about what you see, trust your gut.

Anyway, we had no surprise or excitement from the dog when the baby came home the following day, just an interested gaze with a light tail wag. Now a couple years later those two are thick as thieves - it is the dog's boy as much as the boy's dog.
i LOVE this!!
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
5,016 posts, read 11,979,312 times
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My late Jazz was a cattle dog border collie mix. Personality very much cattle dog and she was very bonded to me and very protective of me. I do not have kids but have 3 nephews that were wild boys and she loved them and while she did play rough with them especially the 4 yr old ( she was a puppy when he was 4) she had great bite inhibition and I never had to worry about her biting them as she knew not too. In general she loved kids and was great with them.With other kids she was never as rough as she was with the nephews. I do think she knew they were family and knew they were different so she could play rougher she was also protective of them and was not so with other kids. I did have problems when they would swim in the pool as she would race around barking in a frantic way trying to pull them out of the pool! I ended up using a remote citronella collar on her to stop that yet she still kept a very close eye on them when they swam and was anxious until they got out.

She also would not take commands from the boys unless I told her it was OK so she did tend to see them as litter mates and not potential bosses. I took two of the boys camping with a group of friends and all the kids were doing skits at the camp fire.My one nephew wanted to do something so I told him to have Jazz do tricks, well to accomplish that he gave commands but, I was off to the side were she could see me so I would give her a silent hand signal as she would look at me each time to see if it was ok to do what this kid wanted her to do No-one except me and Jazz knew she was watching me to see what to do so my nephews was beaming with pride at the end.

I always had the odd feeling that she really understood"family" and when we visited my parents house she was very quick to figure out that my brothers family who lived only 1 house away ( those 3 nephews) were family and that their house was another place she could visit. If I left to go some place while at my parents house she would zoom out the pet door jump the 6 ft fence to look for me and when she could not find me she would wander over to my brothers and either paw at his front door or jump his fence and go hang out with the boys if they were home or if they were gone she would hang out with his dog, Buster. We always laughed as when the youngest boy got out un- noticed he would race to his grandmas and stand pulling at her door often just in a diaper! Then came my dog and when I left she would race to my brothers and paw his door ...two peas in a pod? No wonder they loved each other so much!

With my family members or even very good friends she seemed to form a special bond, she loved people but would always glance at me to see if she was getting my approval when she was interacting with people that were not family or good friends. Family and good friends always got a very special greeting form her so in a funny way she was just different with them like she understood the bonds I had with them.

ACDS are such smart dogs and tend to read people well so I think he will understand that this baby means the world to you and hopefully it will mean the world to him too and when your child is old enough they will be great pals.

I too have always heard that it is good to bring things that have the babies smell on them home and let the dog get use to the smell before the baby comes home, some even put the blanket with the smell under the food dish or in the dogs bed so they associate the smell with good things. Good luck and let us know how things work out as it will be a huge change for all of you!
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Fremont, CA
2,357 posts, read 5,642,885 times
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Thanks for all the great advice! We've been trying to get my dog to smell my wife's belly a lot (since dogs have such a great sense of smell and we figure her hormonal changes are producing certain scents that he could pick up on) and we always ask him "where's your baby, where's your baby?". We figure he's already starting to figure out that something's changing, but he doesn't quite know what it is yet.
We really hope that he'll know right away that the baby is a new member of his family and will adapt well. As busy as we'll be at first, I plan to give my dog as much attention as possible and make him feel like part of the whole "baby process".

Here's a picture of our little pumpkin...
Attached Thumbnails
Any experience with introducing Aussie Cattle Dog to new baby?-156760_174284415935249_100000610768705_418305_1794080_n.jpg  
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
5,016 posts, read 11,979,312 times
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OMG now that is a dog after my own heart! Jazz was great about wearing a costume for photos and would have that doggy grin too!

After reading your last post I have to say I agree as perhaps your dog even knew about the baby before either of you as they can smell the chemical changes that occur in fear, anxiety, cancer etc., so I am sure they pick up on pregnancy changes rather soon and know that something is happening.

When My dad developed Leukemia I am sure Phoenix knew something was wrong weeks before he got so sick and died and we learned he had leukemia. She had been watching him and staying very near him for a few weeks then the night he could not get out of bed as he was too weak My brother found Phoenix in bed with him and had to pick her up to move her( she was not a dog that even got on the bed). She knew how sick he was and that he was dieing. He died the next evening at the hospital and we learned he had developed leukemia and was in a blast crisis. I do think dogs are alot more aware of our own physical health then we are so yes your dog knows something is different with your wife. and it would not surprise me to someday learn that they know that it involves a new life!
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