Raising a Pitbull Puppy with a Newborn Baby

by Chelsea
(Fort St John )

Our friends pitbull/bull mastiff just whelped a litter of 12 puppies and our friend offered us a puppy as a baby shower gift.. Our baby is due May 2012 and the puppy will be about 5 months old...

I'm just curious as to the best way to socialize the puppy so that it will accept the baby and protect it.. Anyone have any ideas ??

Gale's Reply:

Hi Chelsea:

Congratulations on your baby news. You don't say whether or not this is your first, but if it is you may want to talk this over with other moms before making a final decision about taking on a puppy during this time.

Puppies are very needy. So are newborns. My main concern for you is that you will feel stretched too thinly among all the demands that will be made on your time.

Probably the chief complaint of parents of newborns is fatigue due to lack of sleep. So, it's not the best time to deal with an energetic puppy that needs plenty of exercise, attention and frequent bathroom breaks.

However, if you're determined to do this, realize that you have your work cut out for you if you're going to have a manageable situation in your household. Ideally, you'd want your puppy to be house trained by the time the baby arrives (which may or may not happen despite your best efforts).

Get an early start on teaching some basic obedience commands using positive reinforcement. By the time your baby arrives, you want your puppy to at least be able to sit and stay on command.

As far as socialization goes, it's important to expose your puppy to as many people and different situations as possible--especially during the 10 - 14 week window when puppies are most impressionable. BUT and this is important, never sacrifice quality of contact for quantity. You want the puppy's experience around people--particularly children--to be 100% positive. That means that contact with children needs to be carefully controlled and closely supervised.

You'll want to plan ahead for the day that you bring your baby home from the hospital. Here's an article with some additional tips about introducing a dog to a newborn.

While I would never take on a puppy and newborn together myself, I'm sure there are others who have and lived to tell the tale. So, it will be interesting to hear what other folks might have to say on this.

Good luck and best wishes to you and your family!

Comments for Raising a Pitbull Puppy with a Newborn Baby

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Dec 29, 2011
The Good & The Bad...
by: Traci in Texas

Two ways of looking at this:

First: You'll get the tired, sleepless, spread thin parts alllllll over with at once! :) That's pretty good...

Second: Consider that Mastiff's don't live very long; you are setting up your soon-to-be born child to lose a very important member of their family somewhere between 8 & 12 years old! That may be very traumatic, depending on the kid... and that's a very sensitive time in a kid's life.

You may want to hold off on the new pup until the newborn is a few years old. That way, Baby can "help train" the pup (read: train the kid!) and then will be (most likely) a bit older and able to cope with the imminent demise of the pooch.

Something to think about...
Good luck with whatever you decide! :)

Dec 29, 2011
Raising a puppy with a newborn
by: Karen

It's very important that you socialize your puppy early and to train him early. You'll have 5 months with just the puppy so you will have a little bit of time to teach it what is proper behavior and what's not. When I had my puppy, I used a baby doll to train him how to act with a baby in the house.

Dec 29, 2011
from experience....
by: Amanda

I got an 8 week old puppy when my daughter was 11 weeks old... and its hard.I also had another dog and a 2 year old to help run me ragged but here's what I experienced. My daughter was waking up a couple times a night to be fed, so i took the the dog out when she was settled back in bed, so I didnt have to get up again. But you cant leave a puppy unattended roaming free, and tummy time on the floor was difficult, and to have company over it was so hectic she ended up in her kennel before i opened the door. It was a lot to juggle, and between potty breaks outside, puddles when you forget, diaper changes, feeding both, and TRYING to train your puppy, forget eating or showering or sitting down much. From my own experience I suggest waiting until your kid is older and more independant so you have time to concentrate on your puppy. Its not fair to you pup or baby to spread yourself so thin, I ended up with an unconfidant dog who is very protective of my kids even when she doesnt need to be, and postpartum depression.

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