newborn and needy dogs
I have 2 children, a 4 year old, and an almost 8 week old. I also have 3 pitbulls, one is very needy (he is only 3, so still has a lot of puppy in him), the other 2 are not as bad. I have been putting the needy one on the treadmill as much as I can lately to give him somewhere to get his energy out because I just don't have time right now to take him outside and play because the weather is still cold here. I don't know if this is an option for you but its what is working for me right now. Luckily in another month the weather will be better and I will be outside a lot more. If the weather is nice where you are maybe you could wear the baby and take them outside and play fetch for a bit, even 10 minutes would do them (and you) good. Or maybe if you don't have a yard you can wear the baby (or put her in a stroller) and go for a walk? I would put the yorkie in the kitchen on some newspaper or something to see if that helps, at least it would be easier to clean up. I am in the middle of crate training my 7 year old male because he has peed on everything in my house and I just can't take it anymore. I could never rehome my animals, I will be homeless and living in a tent with them before I get rid of them. I also have 4 cats and a horse, and a snake and fish (fish and snake cant live in a tent with me though) so I really love having animals.
I would consider crating the dogs, or maybe even having someone drop them off at doggy day care for you. I have 3 jerk cats that can't bear life without me (Insert dramatic meowling.), and I've locked them all in a bathroom, food and water equipped room for a day because I just could not stand it any more. Now that Little Miss is older, I've declared shillelagh law, which means as soon as I sit down every single critter in the house bum rushes my lap, but the baby wins because she finally outweighs all the cats.
And as also stated above, trying to get them more exercise will also help. Do they know basic obedience? If not doing some training with them would we benificial. Simple things like sit, lay, stay would get their minds working and entertain them.
Practice contra freeloading. Get puzzle feeders or hide their food. There are many things you can do to alleviate their abundant nervous energy.
Your place sounds awesome can I come over?
I agree with the PP. Doggy daycare, a treadmill, anything to get the energy out. Depending on where you live, longs walks with baby in a sling will help create a "pack" environment and get them tired out. We have three dogs and for the first month of our baby's life I spent most days walking with her in a sling and all three dogs on various kinds of leashes. Most babies love walks too, so it's a great win-win. Since you're in Portland, you've got rain to deal with, but it's still workable.
If you have any runner friends you could also ask them to borrow the Weimerener. You could also see if you can hire a dog walker/jogger for one or two days a week so the Weim can get a long run in. I bet Portland has a ton of people who run dogs for small fees.
ETA: You can also look into "IQ" toys like toys that slowly dispense food, requiring the dogs to work for it. Other kinds of longer lasting treats like bully sticks can keep them occupied. Putting peanut butter in a Kong will keep some dogs occupied for hours. Kyjen and other companies make some great interactive toys: http://www.chewy.com/dog/toys-315/kyjen
Edited by LilyTiger - 2/21/13 at 6:50am
I'll second (3rd?) the crate idea when unattended. My coonhound is a handfull anyway, was before the newborn too. I have to consider it our fault for giving her the chance to cause trouble if she manages to. She is either outside, roaming the house when watched, or in her crate. I think maybe she was trained to it before because when we bought her it she happily went right in no training needed. Unless she's sick she doesn't have any accidents in the crate. Best if you can get them some serious exercise somehow as well, a tired dog is a good dog.
1. Doggie daycare, or maybe even just hiring someone to come over and walk them until the baby gets a bit older (and it's easier to manage both).
2. Also, I keep our dog in a gated off area (she's too big for a crate) when I can't directly supervise her, so I don't have to worry about what she's doing when I'm preoccupied.
It depends on your dogs' personalities. In some dogs, doggie daycare it too much stimulation (especially since it tends to be a place where people just drop uncontrollable problem dogs in hopes of tiring them out for the evening)
How were they before your baby was born?
Crating while unsupervised is usually a great solution, also some mental stimulation might be helpful.
The walking suggestions are great. Babies and dogs love walks. Our German shorthair tears things up if he does not get enough exercise. If you can't do it, hire someone to exercise them or call on those friends and family who ask what you need. In the long run it is great to raise kids with dogs, even though it can be lots of work. They get to grow up loving nonhumans as family.
Jamie- We have a coonhound too. She is a bit clingy and loves her warm bed; she also talks a lot, as many hounds do. She is 9 and has been best nanny dog in the world for my two daughters- looks for them, loves them, keeps the young dog in line if he is to rowdy near the baby.
Hope this was helpful !