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Having a baby with a Shiba
  • RSierackiRSieracki
    Posts: 96
    My husband and I are not expecting and don't plan on starting a family for another few years, but we are concerned with how Ginger will react to a new family member. Has anyone started a family with a Shiba? Just curious how they reacted to the new addition. Ginger is a typical Shiba and the house is her kingdom. Not sure how a baby would affect the dynamic the house. And Ginger is VERY wary of strangers so I am scared she would launch into one of her incessant bark sessions when she greets the baby for the first time. I am such a planner and I just want to make sure that when we do decide the time is right to start a family, I have an idea of how to take care of Ginger too!
    Post edited by Sangmort at 2011-09-21 01:13:18
  • tajihemmertajihemmer
    Posts: 34
    I´m also not pregnant but we have planes for the end of 2012. Benita is also queen and ruler of the house, she has all our attention, she sleeps is our room, we play and pamper her A LOT. My biggest concern is could she harm the baby out of jealousy? How old is Ginger? benita will turn 1 on October, by the end of nex year she will be 2 already and adult dog not a puppy I don´t know if this has an influence.
    I have 2 nephews (4 and 6) she plays with them sometimes a little rough but we have never had an unpleasant incident.
    Any one out there with a new baby and a King/queen of the house shiba?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • Adonia1986Adonia1986
    Posts: 451
    I am actually in the same boat! My husband and I are thinking of having a kid sometime in late 2012. My mom once had an African Grey Parrot and one thing it suggested doing if you were expecting was carrying around a baby doll, ideally one that makes sounds, but finding clips online should work too. With a dog I would think it would be a good idea to get a few bottles or such and teach your pup to leave them alone. One way we keep making sure that Sakura will be ok with kids is taking her to parks that allow dogs. Then she is exposed to little ones and their behaviours.Stefanie & Sakura Twin Cities - MN
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Post edited by Calia at 2011-07-25 17:41:28
  • RSierackiRSieracki
    Posts: 96
    My brother in law and his wife are expecting so I will definitely have to bring Ginger around to get use to the sounds! Thanks for the ideas!! Ginger will be 2 in October and she is used to being an only child, with the exception of the cat. I just worry that she will get very jealous but I will have to look into the babydoll idea when that time comes. The "leave it" commands around baby gear is a good idea too! @tajihemmer- Ginger plays rough too... I worry about that as well, not with a baby but when the baby gets older and is able to play with her.
  • YukikoYukiko
    Posts: 452
  • RSierackiRSieracki
    Posts: 96
    hehe yeah people will probably start talking when I am carrying around a baby doll and talking to it. Sigh... the things I will do for that dog! Also curious how walking your Shiba and the stroller works.... sometimes it takes Ginger FOREVER to go to the bathroom.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
  • shibapawshibapaw
    Posts: 89
    The doll thing does sort of work. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had bought a baby doll to use for a baby shower game. When I show the doll to one of the family pets, our chihuahua, he growled and snapped at it o_o so we were like..." we know what he thinks of babies." After my baby was born I made sure she was never left alone with him, knowing how he felt...but over time he grew tolerant of her and basically just ignored her.
  • RSierackiRSieracki
    Posts: 96
    Just an update... I had my son 2 weeks ago and Ginger has taken to him without any issue. If he sneezes or makes any noise, she immediately runs up to see what is wrong. She happily naps on the bed during feeding times and isn't bothered at all by his crying or screaming. We haven't taken the baby out yet for a walk with the stroller so I am not sure how she will react with that, but so far in the house, Ginger has been such a great companion. Ginger is also normally very skeptical of strangers in the house and she has been very tolerant of the parade of people coming to see the baby. I am so proud of her.
  • PhantomPhantom
    Posts: 42
    Congrats on the new addition to your family! Good job Ginger! This is quite the insight for those of us who have yet to have babies of our own. (Other than our Shibas, of course!) Did people's advises help?
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
  • MegaenMegaen
    Posts: 265
    Congrats on your baby :)
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Does anyone have advice for TWO shibas and a new baby? My husband and I are trying to conceive right now, and we just adopted our second shiba. It has been OVERWHELMING, and I'm worried that I'm not thinking of everything for when we have a baby here too...two shelter shibas and a baby. Woofta. Advice? Experiences?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @MamaYoko....In my honest opinion. I think you should wait off on the baby until your two shibas are on the same page. I think it will be very stressful for you and the baby if you try to conceive now, and your shibas aren't in sync and is causing problems...or causing you to worry...which will create stress.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    @Bootz: Thanks for the advice. But no offense, I just can't put my life on hold. Besides, there is no telling how many months it will take for it to happen, and then I'll have 9 months after that to work on their relationship (as well as rest :) haha). And when things get to be too much, my husband will have to step in and do most of the work for me so I can stay stress-free. Not saying it is going to be a breeze, because it will be FAR from easy...but that's why I'm asking now. I understand the concern, and yes, the timing isn't great, but I guess that's how life goes sometimes.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @MamaYoko No offense taken. I totally understand that your life shouldn't be placed on hold because of the new addition to the family. BUT, seeing that you just adopted another Shiba, you will have to take extra precaution, specially near a newborn.

    Only people that know who is ready is the parents themselves. (even then) lol My husband had a customer who told us "you're never ready to have kids, thats why you need to jump in"

    I look forward to hearing about your journey!! My husband and I will be having kids down the road and i get excited hearing stories about people's Shiba and their human kids ;)
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    I am so excited to share the journey with everyone! I'm only 24 (will be 25 next month) so people think I'm too young, but it's all about mental maturity. And I one is ever ready :). Cute story: My sister in law came over when she was pregnant last year, and this was Yoko's first experience with a pregnant woman. She jumped up on the couch, cuddled next to her, and laid her head and her paw on her belly. I still have the picture on my phone. It was PRECIOUS!
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I owned a Samoyed prior to getting pregnant. Samoyed are also a spitz breed and quite stubborn. They are all white, sled dogs that love to run and are very fluffy. My girl was a very friendly, loving dog and had a strong herding instinct. I was afraid of what she would do when the baby come home and how she would react too.

    One of the best investments I made was a nice sized baby pen. I think people call them something else now because they got a lot of bad publicity about people leaving their babies in there like it was a babysitter. Now they are much smaller and are often called pack n play, I think. I had one in my living room and anytime I was holding my newborn and she fell asleep, I put her in it or the crib. If I had to use the bathroom, I put my daughter in it. This way, our dog cold see the baby, sniff the baby, observe her and get to 'know' her. The baby was only about a foot off the floor so it was easy for the dog to see her. And over the days, our dog got to be very protective of 'our' baby. Yes, the dog began to consider the baby as part hers too. Our dog never jumped in but she was always nearby. And if the baby woke up and/or started to cry, then my dog would go nuts looking for me to let me know. Any time the baby cried, the dog was there to make sure I was doing my job. lol. I only let my dog sniff the baby at first, and slowly let her get closer and closer. Most dogs will sense a bond from scent. They just have to learn the baby has priority over them and cannot bite no matter what, so be sure you train your dogs well or have a lot of baby gates around their food and water. Also practice soft food eating from your fingers. Dogs will lick your baby's fingers like crazy, and their faces if there is any trace of food or snot on them.

    ETA, I also never left the dog and baby together without a barrier. After a few months, I trusted my dog and knew she would never hurt the baby, but I never left them alone without a barrier since accidents can happen.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-11-19 16:40:59
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    First of all, I would say that I do have things under control. By that I mean, I am being PROactive. If I didn't have things under control, I would let the dogs do whatever they want, not look out for them, or for my family. That is how I see "having things under control." I would also say that the environment is by no means dangerous. There has been maybe one fight that escalated, and that was when Sienna was only with us for 2 weeks. These two have been together not even two months, and I would say I know A LOT about them already. I'm always researching and observing, which is why I'm always on here. I'd say that's a great thing.

    Again, I am not putting my life on hold. Starting a family comes first...and for personal reasons, I do not want to put off starting a family any longer. You may not understand that, and that's just how it is...I don't want to go into detail. I talked with the rescue and foster mom extensively when we decided that we would most likely keep Sienna...they said if something drastic happened where we absolutely needed to rehome her or give her back to the foster family, we had that option. But I am doing my best to not have to seek out that option if I can help this sweet girl. She needs time and we have that. I'm giving her that time, which has been VERY short so far.

    I am actually going to have a consultation with a very experienced woman at our local humane society. And I plan to have her help me pick out a class for the girls to start in January (since they are not offered in December). I think that will help some. I think Yoko is mostly well behaved but Sienna is very damaged mentally...I am working to get her comfortable, and looking into some herbal calming treatments for her anxiety.

    Sorry if that sounds catty, but I'm doing everything I can...just on a slower timeline. I'm trying to speed things up now with the training since Sienna is more comfortable. That's why I'm on here posting again...getting all the input I can. And if it comes down to it, and we get pregnant and it's just becoming harmful for my health and for our relationship, I'll have to wipe away my tears and face the facts that maybe Sienna would be better off with someone else....I just hope it doesn't come to that because I really don't see many people giving her the time she needs.
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-11-19 16:53:25
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    @amti Yes, I definitely will be investing in a pen too. I think that's the best way.
  • My bub (Lucy) is now 16 months and our next child is due in early Jan.

    As for Kobe (the fur baby) he is two in Feb. We only had him 3 months before Lucy was born. That gave us enough time to get some basic training done with him and set up a few routines.

    Introductions are VERY important. I took some of Lucy's clothes home after she was born, and treated Kobe any time he was sniffing and licking the clothes. Any time he was showing ANY form of agression (including mouthing) that pups often do, he was given a warning "AH!"Introductions were done two days later once my wife and her were released from hospital and things have been pretty good since.

    We were VERY concious of exposing Kobe to a huge variety of situations, kids, noises, roads, country, other animals of all sizes and shapes, sporting arena (netball, hockey, running tracks etc). As a result he is a pretty well rounded pup.

    Now, they are AMAZING with one another. Every morning, she needs to give him a cuddle / kiss. She feeds him from her high chair and he is an amazing distraction for when she's upset. We don't leave them alone for any duration of time, but we trust them together. Any other kid, and we give constant supervision like we did at the start.

    It helped that we had rules where he wasn't allowed on the bed nor couches, as that was a "safe" zone for us to leave her. Obviously not near edges or able to roll off, usual kid safety rules apply.

    As for rescues. That's a hard one, as you don't know their history. I wouldn't have gotten one, if I knew kids were on the cards, but that's just me. Socialisation and exposure is PARAMOUNT, even more so with rescues! If you have friends with kids, visit them or have them visit often. Obviously supervise, we found telling off the child, and using their name and praise for Kobe was important, as he did initially get confused as to who was doing the "wrong thing" and who needed to be gentle. Particularly if he's sitting there doing nothing copping a beating / child pats.

    I know of dogs that become protective of the mother when she falls pregnant, as they can hear the second heartbeat later on. So the demeaner of some dog's rapidly change, but again, that's an individual thing.

    On a personal note, if you are in the ideal situation to have kids sooner rather than later, I would. Too many people I know are having difficulty falling pregnant, and they aren't over 30 either. It took us 14months with medical assistance to get a positive result with Lucy and 4 months with the current. We'll be stopping at two.

    Either way, you have a lot of work ahead. Just don't give in, it's difficult but you need to be more stubborn than them. That's both dog's and kids.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I think a lot of you are forgetting that nine months is a very long time. A lot can happen in that time span. It is impossible to determine how far or how close the two dogs will be in 6 months, but they are doing pretty well. The thoughts echoed by a lot of you might be valid in some cases, but people have the right to decide what they want to do and live their life the way they wish, even if it is not what you would do. I don't believe it is anyone's position to tell another person how to live their life if they aren't doing anything dangerous or hurting anyone. The truth is, we don't know how any dog will react with a newborn, and we probably will never find out until that time comes. But that doesn't mean someone shouldn't have kids. Or that she needs to wait. It isn't our decision. If she feels she's ready, then she is. I've raised two kids, I've also brought in babies while having a pretty high energy dog that I had for a few years. Of course I was worried on how she would react to my babies. I was a college student so I wasn't around many kids or babies either. But my dog turned out to be very nurturing and loving. I don't know if because she was a female, she was nurturing and bonded with my kids, or if it was adding to the pack mentality that made her love my kids. I don't know. I just know that I was worried at the time too. Taking proper precautions and trying to predict the worst case scenario to avoid something bad is a good thing although it might come across as insecure or uncertain. The truth is no one is ever truly prepared for what happens to your life when you have a baby. No one.

    Can't we just stick to helpful advice instead of put downs or personal opinions unless asked?
    Post edited by amti at 2013-11-20 00:20:21
  • Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-11-20 02:09:09
  • Going perhaps against the tide, I think that there are several things to consider before @mamayoko makes any decisions about Sienna.

    1) The OP is willing to put in the effort to help Sienna (and truly put in the effort, not just lip service).
    2) The OP is inexperienced in dealing with a problem dog with issues.
    3) The training curve with Sienna is causing tension between she and her husband.

    I think that their success with Yoko, who was also a rescue, perhaps set up some unrealistic expectations for Sienna who comes with a lot more issues. It hasn't actually been said before but maybe @mamayoko should just invest in doing an in-person evaluation with a behaviorist. Having someone with serious training who can see the dog in person will be a tremendous help in evaluating the long term fit of Sienna into the OP's particular household, setting realistic training goals, and learning how to evaluate the behavior of two dogs that may not express themselves so typically.

    If the behaviorist thinks the fit is bad, or the timeline or goals expected don't sit well with the OP and/or her husband, then the decision is clear. But I think what we are hearing is the tale of Sienna's progress filtered through inexperience, and stress. None of us really know how things are playing out in the household, and it could possibly be the case that things are better (or worse) than what they seem to us. The OP is clearly willing to invest the effort, so my personal opinion is that getting someone who is a certified behaviorist who can evaluate the situation in person is going to provide much more helpful feedback and clarity than either members of the forum or the OP herself.

    I'd also like to note that Sienna started as a foster. If the OP thinks that her long term situation won't be proper for Sienna, it's not so damaging if her forever home is elsewhere and the OP is a foster till they find a more experienced foster or forever home. This does sometimes happen with reputable rescues. But I do agree that she shouldn't be given back to the original rescue/foster who seemed very problematic.

    FWIW - I just remembered that @mamayoko is seeing someone experienced at the humane society. This is great but unless they are a certified behaviorist, I still think it'd be of linited value. Please see a professional.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Hello again everyone. Thanks for all the input and some tough love :). I am one of those people that is OVERLY worried about EVERYTHING. So to be honest, what I'm saying may seem worse than it may really be because I over-analyze. Yesterday was a great day. We had no issues whatsoever with the girls. It's up and down...and it's usually down if there is some sort of setback (loud noise). For example, we're pretty sure Sienna had heard some loud booms by our house while we were gone for work last week...that is when the obsession over the gate started. We noticed she was shaking before we went to the vet last week, and from experience, we know she shakes when something scared her (as it did with the fire alarm). We have been having this problem with some stupid neighbor off in the distance that CONTINUOUSLY lights off fireworks. It's ridiculous and scares both Sienna and Yoko, but Sienna takes the hit much harder, whereas Yoko just shakes it off pretty quickly. I'm thinking about playing our ocean wave sounds in the room where their kennels are while we are at work. We listen to this waves every night with the girls in our room when we go to bed. Maybe it will help. We also bought Herbsmith Calm Shen lastnight at our local Wags and Whiskers store (LOVE that place). I'm hoping that may at least help some.

    We're noticing that Sienna is starting to wag her tail more and while we were in our normal routine, getting ready for work this morning, she kept barking at me, wagging her tail, wanting me to chase after her and play. I think this is a good sign. It's interesting how much she likes me or Yoko chasing after her, especially when she is typically pretty jumpy/skittish. She is also a lot more vocal when playing or excited...she barks and howls a lot when we play, and crouches down, ready to pounce, tail wagging. Yoko is pretty quiet, unless she sees a squirrel or dog in our yard...then she sort of whines/cries and barks. Sienna also, like Yoko learned, has learned what "kennel up" means...When we're ready to leave for the day, she and Yoko walk right into their kennels and wait for a treat. I'm thinking we mostly need to work on how we use our time with the girls from about 4:30-10pm.

    As for the behaviorist, I looked into this weeks ago, and I can't find anyone near me that could come in. That's the hard part. The closest is Patricia McConnell in Madison area...and I've read some of her books, but it says "Dr. McConnell is no longer seeing new clients, either in-person or through phone/email." Maybe there's someone closer, but I have not seen anything? This is the woman I was going to possibly see...because she's in my hometown:

    What do you all think?

    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-11-20 09:54:25
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Post edited by Saya at 2013-11-20 10:20:45
  • MamaYoko: if it were me I would go ahead with your appt. and see how it goes and see what advice she gives you. Try to relax and take it one day at a time.

    Shiba Mistress and Violet do have some good points.

    For what it's worth…..9 months can seem like a mighty long time or very short depending on objectives and progression of the dog(s) themselves and what you are finally are able to put into place as far as a training/behavior plan that works for your household. It may take more than 9 months. Behavior modification is ongoing.

    As far as the future and fostering etc, adding human conception, you best make sure you get out there with a decent positive trainer before pregnancy makes you feel gravidly bloated, tired, along with potential morning sickness setting in. Some people love being pregnant and others detest it. Your body may be kicking you in the ass once it hits the blastocyst stage. Most are hopeful it won't but there are no guarantees….best to think about that now.

    Are your goals and objectives in line with your life stage or stage you plan to move into and managing a two dog household that may be touch and go between the dogs themselves?? Maybe you need to lay out a plan with the trainer.

    Only you can assess what you are able to handle. However, keep in mind these dogs will depend on you for their entire existence! Hopefully the dogs are not a "practice" round for intended human parenting, and discarded after you have baby on board. Think deep within about your intentions and what you really can provide.

    Basically what I am getting at….do to have a plan in place for what ifs? If you can not comfortably mange at this point then it might be best to reduce the dogs in the home before baby arrival and the foster settles in too much. Be fair to your dogs and to yourself with realistic expectations.

    Best of luck to you

    Please look at the other threads on this forum about baby and dogs. There is some prep you should be looking into way ahead of time.

    Here's a great site to look into about baby prep:

    Additional resources:
    a) "Living with kids and dogs without losing your mind by Colleen Pilar.

    b) Dr Yin @

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2013-11-20 10:43:58
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    I'm 17 weeks in... My shiba knew about my pregnancy...but didn't change in her habits (at first!) I think because Jackie (my mix) knew from day one and went into protective mode. When she does that, Bootz backs off.

    But lately Bootz has been watching the front door and looking out our window more. She has been barking at dogs near our house, and when a car or courier parks near our front door, she rushes back home (if we are on a walk) and guards our front door until they leave.

    Ever since I found out my pregnancy, I noticed one of my two girls always sleep next to me, and they HAVE to touch me to keep track. It had been Jackie all the time, but I woke up today to Bootz cuddled up next to me :)
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 143
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
    @Rooney I think the best idea would be hiring a dog walker (or willing friend) to take Rooney on walks, buy so he can stay at home with you and baby. To make the transition easier, you may want the walker to start once a week...and ramp up the amount as you close in on your due date.

    If at some point, Rooney seems really bored, I would reward him with a day to play at your friends house + their dogs. But I wouldn't recommend sending him away for weeks, bringing him back and having a baby in the house, would be too much to deal with.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I agree with @GrayJJ.

    I think it's best if you have somebody come to the house and walk the dog for you, that way your Shiba will still feel like part of the family and won't be surprised with the new addition.

    It'll be a tough journey. I'm sorry you have to do it alone. Feel free to PM me if you need somebody to talk to or need advice. My LO turn 1 today. It was a very bumpy ride at first for me. Even though my husband didn't really help with my son, he did help walk the 2 dogs we have.
  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 143
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Thank you!! :) yes time does fly quick

    @Rooney it sounds like he is in better condition baby wise than Bootz. Bootz was terrified and skiddish around kids from the start. She would always avoid them and run away. I didn't do any transition with her when my LO came, except walking her with a stroller prior to my LO being born. Now that it's been a year, she loves kids and try to initiate play with them. Just take it slow and let Rooney come and go as he likes.

    Too bad you don't live local to me! I'd be more than happy to help another mommy/Shiba owner :)
  • AntoinetteAntoinette
    Posts: 887
    @Rooney-It seems that you are really preparing for the baby's arrival and the transition for your fur baby. I commend you for all you are doing and I am sending many good wishes and positive energy your way. I can say that my Quakey spent his first 12 months of life with a family that had two little girls plus a baby girl. It has been three and one-half years since he lived with his first family and to this day he adores children.
  • RooneyRooney
    Posts: 143
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244

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