How to introduce a new baby to the dog?
Prepare yourself for lots of licking! When you come home from the hospital with the new baby, your dog is going to be happy to see you again.
Be careful not to dwell on other people’s opinions when facing something so big and overwhelming as introducing our dog to the new baby.
When it is an experienced dog person, that is one thing. However, if someone’s only experience with dogs has been their own Dachshund’s, keep that in mind.
The first step is helping your dog learn to distinguish between children and adults. It means teaching your dog how to behave around children.
You need to teach your dog what’s acceptable behavior in this situation. For example, your dog should never jump up or grab at any children.
When you are trying to teach your dog about kids, make sure you do it right away. The sooner you start, the better.
There are several things to keep in mind when expecting a new baby and introducing the baby to the dog.
1. Dogs love their babies just as much as we do.
2. Your dog needs to be part of the family from the beginning.
3. Be patient and gentle with your dog.
4. Give him lots of attention and affection.
5. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
6. Don’t leave your dog alone with a crying baby.
7. Keep your dog away from sharp objects like the baby’s scissors.
Begin Early and Center Yourself
Before the baby arrives, let’s talk about the things you’ll focus on a few things to teach your dog the skills he needs for interacting safely with his new family members.
1. Be prepared. Know your dog. Understand his temperament, his history, and his needs.
2. Give him plenty of love and attention.
3. Don’t force anything. Let him come to you.
4. Reward good behavior.
5. Watch out for signs of stress.
6. Keep the environment safe.
7. Use distraction techniques.
8. Be patient.
9. Have fun!
10. And don’t forget to enjoy it all while you
According to some experts, dogs can read your mind. They can read your body language and your pheromones. Therefore, it’s important that you begin early training your dog before the baby arrives.
You will encourage your dog to be anxious and worried about the baby’s reaction if you are anxious.
Visualize a calm encounter. This may seem simple, and in theory it is, but in practice it can be the most challenging task, especially when you have a dog who is having difficulty adjusting to the new baby.
Making a Plan
Before giving birth, train your dog so they’ll be ready for his new family member when your baby arrives.
When the baby comes, you will manage your dog’s behavior better if you teach your dog some basic obedience skills. If you need a head start, enroll in a group obedience class.
Approximately four months before you bring your baby home, gradually introduce your dog to the sights, sounds, and smells she will encounter and reward her for these new experiences. This will help your dog become attached to your little one.
Two to three months before the baby arrives: Plan to change your dog’s daily routine.
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Teaching Your Dog Important New Skills
In juggling your dog’s needs and the baby’s care, being able to control her verbally can really help.
Teaching your dog these basic manner are helpful.
Sit and down
Leave it and drop it - You can teach your dog to leave the baby’s things alone by using these two behaviors.
Greet people politely - Jumping dogs are annoying and dangerous at worst when you’re holding a baby.
Come when called - this is one of the most important things to teach your dog. Not only for your new baby, but for the dog.
Special Skills to Teach your Dog
Targeting with your nose - If your dog is nervous, teaching her to do this will give her something to do when she’s around the baby. This might help her feel more at ease and confident.
You can even teach your dog to gently touch the baby with her nose once she has learned how to target your hand!
Please go away - You can control your baby’s movements and interactions by teaching your dog to go away when you ask.
You can use this cue, to instruct your dog to move away from the baby if he crawls toward her and she seems uncomfortable. Some dogs don’t realize that moving away is an option!
In the future, if she understands she can simply walk away when the baby makes her nervous, she will never feel trapped in a stressful situation, and she won’t be forced to express her anxiety through growling or snapping.
Here’s how to teach your dog this invaluable skill
1 Give her a treat, tell her “Go away,” and throw it four or five feet away from you. Repeat this process several times.
2. Next, wait until your dog begins to move away before throwing treats. When you say “Go away,” move your arm like you’re throwing a treat. When your dog moves in the direction of your gesture, even if she only takes one step, say “Yes!“Yes!“Yes! And toss a treat four or five feet away in the direction she moved.
3. Once you have repeated the exercise several times, wait until your dog has taken several steps away before you say “Yes!” and toss the treat.
Play fetch: Playing fetch with a toy can prepare your dog for safe, fun interactions with children.
Preparing Your Dog for Lifestyle Changes
Dogs can experience anxiety when their lifestyles are drastically altered.
Even though things will change with your new baby, you can minimize your dog’s stress by gradually introducing her to the changes in advance.
Plan and Practice Changes to Your Daily Routine
Start a slow transition towards the new schedule now if you can predict how your schedule will change after the baby is born.
- Change your dog’s routine gradually if you intend to walk him at different times of the day.
- At least for the first few weeks after the baby is born, consider hiring a dog walker to take care of your dog’s exercise needs.
- After the baby is born, take your dog to a doggie daycare once or twice a week if she enjoys playing with other dogs. Begin these visits now.
Don’t overindulge your dog with attention just before the baby’s due date. Having the baby come and take center stage will only set her up for a bigger letdown later.
- Rather than giving your dog more attention throughout the day, schedule short play and cuddle sessions with her.
- If you don’t want your dog on the furniture or the bed after the baby arrives, introduce that restriction now.
- You can use a little of the baby’s lotions, shampoos, creams, and powders on yourself so that your dog will associate them with you. Make sure the dog is used to the smell of baby clothes and blankets, if you can.
- Your dog might become agitated or scared if she hears the baby cry, if she is sensitive to strange noises. Play a recording of realistic baby noises frequently to help her get used to the sound in advance.
- When you play the recording, give your dog lots of attention, treats, and anything else she likes. Keep the recording on for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn it off and ignore your dog for about half an hour.
How to Practice with a Doll
Some behaviorists recommend you purchase a lifelike doll and use it to simulate common activities you’ll do with your baby, such as feeding, carrying, and rocking.
It’s obvious that your dog will discover that the doll isn’t a real baby, but her reactions to it may help you determine which obedience skills you should work on before the little one arrives.
You can also use the doll to practice caring for the baby and interacting with your dog simultaneously.
If you lift a doll and hold it in your arms, some dogs will jump up. When this happens, you should have a plan in place. If you are holding, lifting, or handling the doll, you can ask your dog to sit or lie down.
In the event your dog bites the doll (knowing it’s not a real baby, she may think it’s a toy), tell her “No.” Then immediately redirect her attention to an appropriate toy and praise her enthusiastically if she plays with it instead.
She should always act as if you are holding her like a baby when you hold anything in your arms.
Bringing the Baby Home
Creating a positive first impression is key.
From the start, your dog should have pleasurable experiences with your baby.
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, let the rest of your family in first so your dog can express her excitement at seeing everyone.
Once she has had a few minutes of greeting time and has spent some energy, leash her. It is important to do this even if you believe she won’t react badly to the baby.
You should also have some small treats ready for the person to use during your dog’s first few moments with the baby. (Preparing these treats ahead of time and keeping them near the front door may help).
Introducing Dog to the New Baby
As soon as you and your baby enter the house, you need to remain relaxed.
Dogs pick up on feelings and may become nervous as well, thinking that the bundle in your arms is something to worry about if you seem nervous.
- As you walk into the house, speak to your dog in a soft but cheerful voice.
- Distract her with treats so that her attention is divided between you, your baby, and anyone else present.
- When your dog responds politely to obedience cues, like sit and down, your helper can reward her with treats.
- Praise your dog for showing calm interest in the baby.
- Do not scold your dog. It’s important that she associates the baby with good things, not with your displeasure.
Whether you choose to let your dog investigate the baby right away or to wait until a later time, make sure the event is well orchestrated.
- Sit down in a quiet room while holding the baby in your arms.
- Bring your dog into the room with the help of a friend.
- Avoid nervous behavior.
- As you invite your dog to come to you, use a calm, cheerful voice.
- Encourage her to enjoy meeting and interacting with her new friend rather than feeling stressed.
- Your friend can walk your dog toward you and the baby if your dog’s body language is relaxed and friendly.
- Keep the leash short but loose.
- Let your dog sniff the baby if she wants to while you continue to speak softly to her. Encourage her gently by praising her.
Despite the dog’s curiosity and calm demeanor, at first, you may feel most comfortable allowing only brief interactions. Let your dog sniff the baby’s feet for a couple of seconds.
Make special time for your Dog
Even though parents will be exhausted, carving out some special time with your pet can pay off in the long run.
You can try setting a timer for just five minutes and dedicating that time solely to your dog.
Establish Boundaries Around the Nursery
If you don’t want your dog in the baby’s room. Now is a good idea to start by limiting access to the nursery.
Prepare your dog to understand that there is an invisible barrier she may not cross without your permission.
You can eventually allow your dog to explore and sniff certain things in the room under your supervision. She will then be allowed to leave when you decide.
Repeat this process several times before the baby arrives. Keeping this in mind will let your dog know that it must respect the pack leader in this room.
Teach Your Baby
You should supervise your child’s interactions with the dog once he or she is in the exploratory stage.
It’s a great opportunity to teach your child not to bother the dog, yank her tail, etc. It’s never too early to teach your child mutual respect.
Inadvertently, too many children have provoked a peaceful dog because they were unsupervised or their parents failed to teach them how to behave.
Don’t Forget the Dog
The best way to make your dog feel important is to provide daily walks and consistent leadership, not toys or special attention.
Your dog will feel secure and relaxed about the new addition to the family when you do this.