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Mr. B

Need a little advice (Newborn and Lab)

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I need a little advice on how to deal with my 5 year old lab Maggie. My wife and I just had our first child on the 20th. Brought Elizabeth home on 22nd and I need some advice on how to help Maggie deal with her.

Maggie is not aggressive ot even stand-offish with Elizabeth. She will sniff and lick her face and is very carefull around her.

The problem is that she is acting very strange. I got a call this morning from my wife that Maggie was hiding behind my mother-in-law with her tail between her legs and shaking. Maggie would not respond to anything my wife said or did, including treats. If Maggie is not responding to food there is something wrong.

I know that Maggie has not been receiving the same attention since we brought Elizabeth home, but I have been petting her taking her outside and trying to play with her when I can. Due to feeding and caring for Elizabeth my wife has not been spending much time with Maggie.

The real strange behavior started this morning once I went back to work. Does Maggie have seperation anxiety from me? Is this something that will pass in a couple of weeks? Is there anything that I can do to help Maggie return to normal?

Any help would be great, Maggie is a large part of our family and I want to do anything I can.

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I'm not a dog expert but Dogs must always be treated as dogs. A new family member will always get more attention and a Dog must be reminded that it is the submissive member of the pack. If you treat your dog as a human it will not adjust to changes in the pack hierachy. Dogs must understand that humans are always pack leaders including new born babies. You mentioned that other humans are in the household

and they may actually be causing the Dog to have problems.

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When I brought home my daughter almost 5 years ago, My dog was about 7. We brought her up the stairs and put her car seat on the floor and allowed the dog to sniff around it for herself and investigate. The whole time we were talking to the dog and paying attention to her. After that we tried to make sure we paid attention to the dog and still got her out for her usual walks. Still took the time and played with her, but from time to time we would put my daughter down in her seat and let the dog look. The dog adjusted well and the two were good buddies until we had to put her down the fall. Poor old dog was over 14. Daughter (and my wife and I) sure do miss her. I would recomend having your wife pay attention to the dog, even if it is only for a few minutes while the little one is napping. Will probably go a long way. Hope it helps, and congratulations. grin.gif

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Its not unusual for a dog to not really know how to feel when a new baby comes home. I would guess that she is aware of the importance of the new arrival but not quite sure how to act. My older dog didn't want anything to do with my son when we brought him home from the hospital, he absolutely tolerates my son (now 3) but would still rather not have much interaction with him, as kids are unpredictable, loud, jerky objects all of which make dogs nervous. I made a point to have my dog sit next to me while holding the new born, petting him and letting him investigate and trust my son as a non threat. I would just give her some time, congratulations on the new addition.

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Guys thanks for the information. So far Maggie has been ok. Like I said she is very good around Elizabeth, but you can tell that Maggie is not always sure what is going on. If Elizabeth is crying Maggie is lost.

I am hoping that Maggie will figure it out over time.

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