Bringing a new baby home means that your dog will be facing a great number of new sights, scents and smells. It can be very upsetting, especially if it didn’t spend a lot of time with children. check HOW TO PREPARE YOUR DOG TO MEET THE NEW BABY!
Your daily routine and dog’s schedule will change drastically, so it will get less of your time and attention even whether you want it or don’t! It can be difficult since it was the only thing you paid attention to.
If you want to make things to be easier for everyone, the most important thing is to prepare your dog for bringing the new baby at home for a first time. In the months before the baby arrival, it is really important to take the next two steps:
- Training and teaching the dog few new skills in order to interact safely with the new baby.
- Finding ways to help your dog adjusting to the many changes ahead.
Before the baby is born try to teach your dog some basic obedience skills in order to manage the dog’s behavior when the baby comes home. Couple of months before the baby comes, little by little introduce your dog to some baby sounds and smells. It will help your dog to recognize those scents and sounds and managing its behavior in future. Also, it would be nice if you start making adjustments to the new schedule and routine.
Teaching the dog the following basic skills and manners is particularly important:
- Sit and down
- Stay or wait (This manner will teach the dog to control its impulses)
- Drop it (this manner will teach your dog to leave the baby’s things aside)
- Not jumping on people (this manner is really important to learn because it can be dangerous if you are holding the baby in your arms)
- Come when called
Sometimes the dog can be nervous and naughty and bring all its attention to the baby (wanting to lick and touch the baby), teaching the dog to target your hand with the baby’s nose can be really helpful.
The dog will learn to gently touch the baby with its nose and will feel more comfortable and confident.
Furthermore, teaching the dog to go away when asked will enable you to manage the dog’s movements and behaviours with the baby. The crying of the baby can sometimes make your dog feeling uncomfortable.
That is why if the dog can learn to simply walk away, the dog won’t express its anxiety by barking, growling or taking things.
This invaluable skill can be learned if:
- Step 1: Showing a treat and saying ‘’go away’’ while tossing the treat a few feet away from you.
- Step 2: Holding back from tossing the treat till your dog starts to move back. By saying ‘’go away’’ and moving your arm as though you are tossing a treat the dog might move in the direction of your arm, and if the takes one step back, say ‘’yes’’ or ‘’bravo’’. That is the right time to toss the treat in the direction your dog started to move.
Repeat this in sequence and then try to wait till your dog move away and before it waits for your approval by saying ‘’yes’’ or ‘’bravo’’ toss the treat.
Another useful thing is playing fetch with your dog.
Welcoming the baby home
From the very start, first impressions are the most important things. Before bringing the baby home, send someone into your home, so your dog can express its regular excitement and have a greeting time. It is important to have someone leash the dog.
Try and put some treats nearby when the dog is having its first moments with the baby.
What is a crucial moment is to stay calm when you enter the house with the baby. Your dog can easily pick up on your feeling if you are nervous. While entering the house you can try to speak to your dog with jolly voice.
In a meantime someone else should distract the dog. (while giving the treats and asking the dog to sit or to stay down, rewarding it for the good behavior). That is how the dog’s attention will be divided between you, the baby and the treats.
When you decide to allow the dog to investigate the baby, avoid being nervous or agitated. Remember the dog can pick up on your feelings. You can try to sit down with the baby and when you are ready talk to your dog with a pleasant and calm voice.
Choose the moment when to let the dog approach to the baby. Let the dog close to the baby so it can sniff briefly the baby’s feet for a few second. Allowing the dog to have a brief interaction with the baby is a good start.
If the dog is not over excited and gently investigates the baby reward it with a small treat. If not, gently interrupt its investigation and ask the dog some basic commandment cues like sit or stay down. Repeat this a couple of times.
The coexistence between your dog and the new baby member of the family is something that is a must. It has to be organized with time. Spend time with your dog, give it the training it needs and gradually adapt the dog to its new habits.
Everything is changing when you are having the baby. Teaching the dog to accept the new changes naturally will make that change less abrupt. Preparing and educating the dog properly to some basic commandments before introducing it to the baby will make things easier in future. This article would teach you how to prepare your dog to meet the new baby!
For more in-depth advices check this info from “Parents” – How to introduce Dogs and Babies