It happened nearly every time. “What about the dogs??? Are you scared of that???” I totally get it. We have a german shepherd and a rottweiler. People will cross the street when we’re walking them — and they’re adults! So it makes sense that so many people think that our dogs might end up eating our baby. However, reality is much, much different. And I knew it would be.
I was told that I would get rid of one of them (or both) the moment I laid eyes on my son. That my priorities would change and the dogs would be put on the back burner. That they’d be miserable with jealousy due to lack of attention. I knew that wouldn’t be the case — but you can’t say that until you’ve had a kid (because the response is “oh… you’ll see…“). Well now I can say what I want! I have my baby and those people, as sweet and well-intentioned as they may have been, were wrong. Of course, they’ll be sure that the “my dog ate my baby” blog post is right around the corner :P
Lindsay and I have loved seeing our dogs with Clive. We allow them full access at all times — and they are learning REAL boundaries (not fake boundaries by having barriers between the dogs and the baby). Like with ANY pet, you don’t want to leave them unattended with a baby (the funny thing is that you’re much less likely to do that when you have two large dogs than you are if you have, say, small dogs or a cat — so I’d almost imagine that babies are safer with big dogs :P). Small dogs like Jack Russells and even puppies have recently killed babies. But letting the dogs get used to your baby in a supervised manner is a great thing! And while we don’t want the dogs licking the roof of Clive’s mouth for hours on end, we most certainly love watching them give much more gentle licks to baby Clive than they do everyone else ;)
I also don’t think that our dogs are exceptional, either. I think people confuse dogs with wild animals — forgetting that dogs have been domesticated. And many, many people think that the “guard dog” breeds have something bred into them that makes them aggressive — which just isn’t true. The aggressive dog that would bite a baby is the exception — not the rule. And the real danger is in leaving a baby alone with ANY pet (small dogs and cats included) — not in having a big, sweet dog that happens to be characterized in movies as mean. So if you have a dog and are nervous about having a baby — don’t be unless you have a reason to be. Make sure your dog lets go of toys when asked, doesn’t hoard food, drops food if you ask him/her to, and so on. Those are big things to pay attention to (as those things tend to be things that trigger snap bites).
Dogs are amazing. I love my son so much, but I still can’t wait to hang out with my dogs every day. If anything, I’m more excited now than I was a week ago. The heart doesn’t have a finite amount of love that it can hand out. It’s unlimited. So I’m happy to say that my enormous amounts of love for my son didn’t take away from my love for my dogs. It added.
If you’re a dog owner with kids — specifically if you own one of the “scary” breeds (Rotties, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Dobies, etc) — forward this around. It’s high time people learn that there are no dangerous breeds — so long as they are raised with love, disciplined, well socialized, and not left unattended with children :)