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Cairn with Baby on the way


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I have a Cairn who is 5 years old and very set in his ways. He has problems with aggression especially when he is jealous and has a tendency to bite the source of jealousy. My problem is that I am expecting my first child and I am worried about how my Cairn will react. I wonder if anyone else has had this same experience. My Cairn is really my first baby and is used to all the attention. I don't trust him to behave around a baby, but I don't want to have to find another home for him because I love him so much. I'm just worried. Any advice?

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Since I have been in your position I will try to respond about my experiences. My Max was ten years old and a proven child biter when I was pregnant. It may have been my hormones but he got showered with attention late in my pregnancy. When my daughter was born she did not stop crying for the first six months. Unfortunately this meant the poor dog went from the most attention he'd ever had to the least in short order. He did adjust quite well however. I have to say we were very strict with him. He had to mind all his P's and Q's around her at all times. They were never left together unattended. I'm not saying that she made it to age 7 without a bite from Max, just that they were minor, not on the face and he suffered the consequences. All of this and he was aging too. I guess what I mean to say is that an old dog can learn new tricks. Looking back I know I made plenty of mistakes and it still turned out ok. The one thing I would have changed was Max would have been neutered. If I could have made the transition easier from tons of love to almost none I would have done that too. So much is clearer in hindsight. I hope that the mistakes I made with Max my first dog will help our puppy Cassie have a better life. Good luck and congratulations.

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Of course the baby's safety is paramount. There are horrific dog bites of children in the news all the time. I would say you will have to strictly manage the situation. I personally dislike contact between dogs and mobile babies and toddlers because children hurt the dogs by grabbing hair, running fingers into noses and eyes, falling on them and etc, so of course the poor dog may defend itself.

I've seen it over and over, espescially with parents who mean well but don't or can't control their children and then wonder why the dog nips the child.

I took a young Westie for five years while a friend's baby grew up a bit. Even so, at age six, the darn kid would yank the dog's hair on purpose and the parents told me if the dog bit her she might learn a lesson....crazy! They did survive...but I thought about taking him back!

I sincerely think mixing babies and dogs is not a good idea, but if you think you can truly control the dog and child, do try. At least have a placement plan in case things don't work out so your fur-baby isnt suddenly dumped at a shelter in some emergency reaction to things suddenly going wrong.

My heart would break if I had to give up my Cairns, who are my children. Good luck!

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We are going through the same situation. We have a 2 year old Cairn (Male/neutered) that is like our baby and my wife is expecting our first child in march. Many people are commenting to us that we should give Pepper away but we just dont see that as an option. We are nervous about Pepper biting the baby, that is why we have already made a rule that we WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT under ANY circumstances allow Pepper to be alone and within reach of the Baby. Our biggest worry is actually Pepper's barking. Our friends (who has children and dogs) suggested that we buy a doll (as life like as possible) and just carry it as much as we can around the house kind of accustom Pepper to the sight of that. We just bought a creepy lifelike baby doll and we have been carrying it around the house in the past few days. Pepper seems to be reacting mildly to it. He was interested at first and not much after about 3 days...

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The doll is a good idea. My mom has also suggested that when the baby gets here to put a blanket that the baby has slept on in the crate with my Cairn. We have a muzzle for him, but I don't like to put it on him because it really makes him unhappy.

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My first Cairn terrier, Missy was bought 2 weeks before my husband and I had gotten married. Our first and only child Brandon was born when Missy was 6 years old. Missy was my girl and the only "child" for 6 years. I talked to my vet about this when I was pregnant and he said always remember the child will always be right no matter what! Child/baby pulls tail dog snaps so it is our own responsabilty to help ease and introduce baby to the dog. What I did was I made sure I gave Missy just as much attention as I did before. I included her to sit with us etc... Missy loved her little brother and NEVER ever snapped. She would kiss him on his cheek all the time. I also had hubby take home a baby blanket from the hospital, my husband brought it home and let Missy sniff the blanket to get familar with the scent. We never had a problem. I can only stress enough that you still give your pup attention. I know alot of people who when the baby comes the dog gets pushed aside and then the dog feels left out and looks for attention.

I loved my Missy too much too stop loving her just becasue of our new born.

After all she was our only furchild for 6 years. Our plan worked and they grew up together, Missy passed away November 9th, 2004 at the age of 17 and our son Brandon is now 11. He really does miss . We now have for him another Cairn a male, named Kramer.

Good luck

Rhonda,Kramer & Angel Missy "Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog". "It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are" Missy Rainbow Bridge Memorial

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THanks for all of the tips. Like I wrote about 2 months ago... I'm also pregnant. We lost our first child early in the pregnancy, so this is our second pregnancy that has come along this far (I was 20 weeks yesterday). Zephyr and Cleo have been family members for almost a year (to the date!) and I, too, have worried about them and our new baby (due July 3). However, there are a few articles online that seem to have some good, sound advice. Like, for example: when we come home from the hospital with Samuel, I'll come in first and greet them (ie let htem jump everywhere), then I'll go out to the car (just like getting the groceries) and my husband will come in and greet them while I gather Samuel up to take him in. The second time coming in is always the "boring" one to my dogs.. so we are going to make that our "plan" for at least bringing Sam home.

As hard as it is, I've had to stop picking up my little furbabies.. and they seem to understand why. I always let them snuggle up to my belly while I"m sleeping, which makes them (okay, okay.. I admit it... it makes me happy too) happy. Plus, it makes me feel like they are included in the whole process.

My dogs have never bitten a soul the entire time they've been in our family, so I"m not terribly worried about that... but of course, we'll keep a close, CLOSE eye on them. However, we do have a "emergency" plan where they can stay at "Club Nana" for a little while if the dogs and Sam's schedule just do not work out for a while. My mother-in-law has 2 dogs of her own that get a long great with my dogs.. plus they love to play at her property in the country. It's always good to be realistic with plans... but I would never give GIVE them up... ever.

Proud Mama of Zephyr and Cleo--adopted into the family Feb. 2005 from the local SPCA.


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