Dogs and Newborn Babies. How will my dog behave around the new baby?
So you have gotten a new addition to the family, and you are wondering how your dog will be handling it.
It is understandable that you are going through a few worries and thoughts that pop up from time to time.
I have 3 Kids, 3 dogs and 3cats and if you handle and keep in mind a few rules I can assure you that dogs and newborn babies get on well together.
Believe me, there is nothing wrong with your worries we love our dogs, and we love our kids, in most of the cases dogs and babies are great together.
When Life starts to change for you and your dog.
Keep in Mind that after the baby arrives not only your life is also changing the dog’s life is changing.
One thing you should be aware that your dog will get less attention when the baby is here, and you should start doing so already during the time you are pregnant.
Dogs are sensitive, and your dog knows already something is up, so be aware of your own energy. Pregnancy affects the entire household. Even if you feel anxious, excited, or worried. Always keep in mind that your dog will mirror your emotions.
Dogs are sensitive and can feel that something is on.
My dogs could tell every time I was pregnant, they started to act differently around me and they were so protective of me.
They followed me everywhere, and when we went out for a walk somehow, they knew I am not that fast with my bigger belly, and they slowed down always watching out for me.
Believe it or not but my youngest one still loves the touch of fur on his face. This comes because our Rottweiler was lying with his head on my stomach before my youngest son was born.
Whenever I was sitting down, Bonnie came along and put her head onto my tummy.
Dogs and Kids form a special bond.
I also have to say that my youngest son Brian been very close to Bonnie.
Somehow they had a special bond.
I could leave my son in the nursery and Bonnie would wait in front of the child gate until Brian woke up again.
She would not move not even to have her food.
Even with the chance, the other dogs would eat her food.
She did not care. She was determined to wait until Brian woke up.
You know your Dog best what are your concerns start addressing them.
Start by addressing your concerns you may have for your dog does he have any fear or aggression issues.
#Does your dog guards his food bowl, chew toys or his resting area?
#Is your dog reacting aggressively towards children and toddlers?
#How easy can you get your dog upset?
#How sensitive is your dog towards being touched on the ears and tail?
It is crucial that you pay attention to any sensitivity your dog may show when approached by strangers especially children and toddlers.
Know how your Dog acts when they are held in uncomfortable ways so look at sensitive areas such as their ears their mouths their paws their tail and help them to be more comfortable in these areas when they are grabbed by someone like a child or toddler.
When you have issues with your dog, consult a professional certified dog trainer. If you are not able to handle the training let someone else do the training for you.
Don’t ignore the issue as it is important for you and your dog’s happiness. Click on the Link Brain training for dogs.
Pulling the ears and tail of a dog.
A lot of children like to grab and pull on to the ears and the tail.
What I did with my own dogs before I was having my children was to get the dog really comfortable with this areas to make sure my dogs are comfortable and not feeling threatened when touched in this areas.
Sometimes dogs are the boss, and they train the human. If that is your case you need urgently train your dog.
If you have any areas of concerns, address these with your veterinarian,
Address the Manners of your Dog. Yes, you can teach your dog manners.
Jumping up is not only a nuisance, but it can also become a safety hazard, especially when you are pregnant or when you are holding the baby that can be injured or knocked out of your arms.
Teach your dog to sit for greeting and to only come up on furniture or up on your lap if you invite him first.
Loose leash walking also becomes very critical when a stroller comes into the picture. Practice walking with a stroller before the baby comes. It is essential to do so as if you have a dog who pulls you during the walk it is essential to teach him to walk heel before the baby arrives.
Believe me, it is so much more relaxing when you can walk in peace and without struggle and pulling from a dog with a stroller.
Get your dog comfortable, use gentle devices for your dog training and infuse the dog training with a passion.
I am not talking about harmful devices like shock collars or other devices that hurt your four-legged friend.
For example, The front clip harness and head halters discourage pulling.
Take Training classes or get a professional certified Dog Trainer who has experience and can lend you a helping hand.
Training your dog is essential, and it benefits everyone in the family.
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Practice Different Commands. You don’t want your Dog to snap the toys of your Baby.
Practice the Leave it and drop it command with your dog. This will come in handy when it comes to having your dog to drop the baby’s toys when your dog picked them up already.
Play ball or a game with him where your dog has to fetch and bring the items than teach your dog to drop it and leave it.
Do reward and praise your dog during the training this is important.
When you Baby Proof your Home. Think about your dog too and make it dog proof.
What you should consider is the sleeping area for your baby.
If your dog is currently sleeping in your bed, you may need to relocate him, especially if your baby is sleeping in a co-sleeper or a bassinet next to you.
Start a new routine with your dog well ahead before the baby comes you have 9 months to do so.
Consider to crate train your dog or setting up a dog-proofed area for those times when you are not there to supervise your dog.
Once your Baby starts crawling the crate or the dog proof area can serve as a refuge area for your dog to get away for that quiet time if they need.
Crate Training is a great way to give your dog some space.
My dogs love their crate, but that was not always so.
The crates are in an area for my dogs where they can feel safe
and have their peace from all the action what is going on in a
family with kids.
Put child gates at the door or of your baby’s room to prevent your dog from going inside when unsupervised.
Gates with vertical slats discourage your dog from trying to climb over the top of them to go inside.
Dogs protect their food. Be aware. This is a natural behaviour.
Move your dog’s food and water out of the area where your baby may be, dogs will protect their food and a crawling baby going after the dog food could be a threat to your dog.
It might not be, but don’t take any chances, as you know babies will put everything in their mouth and if you do not want your baby to eat dog food then you should move the feeding area for your dog into an area where your toddler has no access too.
A piece of good advice and you can take it on or not, but please get a good and secure diaper pail.
Believe me, if you have dogs they sniff everything, and they love somehow diapers.
Especially Labradors they like to go to anything, especially smelly things.
Start Preparing in advance. Introduce your dog to the changes coming.
Expectant parents are really tempted to lavish extra time and attention on their dog before the baby arrives.
They feel guilty about the time they are going to take away from their dog, but the smoothest approach is preparing him in advance to be independent.
Reduce the time spent with your dog a bit as when the baby arrives you can’t give him your undivided attention; go through what your routine will be like with the baby before it comes.
Do a mockup diaper change or take out the stroller and the dog together for a walk.
This way your dog is already used to have a decrease in attention and maybe shorter walks before you bring the baby home.
Treat your dog nicely and don’t neglect him. Keep him busy with himself.
Stock up on food puzzles and chew toys to keep your dog ‘s mind engaged.
Prepare an exercise routine for your dog, you can actually stick too when your baby arrives.
This is important. Pets love a routine, and they get a bit uncomfortable when that changes. So do it before the baby comes. Please, not only 1 week before I am talking about 4-6 months in advance.
Exercise is a critical point and walks the dog yourself and if you are not able to set up a doggie daycare or a dog walker to exercise your dog for you.
A happy dog is a healthy dog. Dogs when they do not get enough exercise can become a real problem inside the home. They can become real mischievous.
Exercise for your dog is important and keeps your dog calm.
The sounds and the smell of the newborn Baby.
The final thing is to get your dog acclimated to the sights and sounds of a new baby.
Desensitise your four-legged friend with the sounds of the two-legged edition by playing baby sounds for your dog. Start at a low volume and watch your dog as you slowly increase the volume based on how your dog reacts.
Important is that you want your dog in a calm state when he hears baby noises.
Stop if your dog reacts not so well with the sounds, try to desensitise him slowly and if you do not have the passion and time for it get a certified dog trainer to do it for you or help you with it.
Practice with your dog and a baby doll.
Use the baby doll to practice activities you will actually do when your real baby arrives. Let your dog see the diaper, feed, bathe and put your doll in the swing.
Teach your dog to respect the baby’s space and to stay calm when you are doing baby related things.
Play baby noise such as crying and pair them with tasty rewards, this way your dog associates the sounds with really something good occurring.
It may seem I am recommending a lot, but it is worth putting in the effort and training time in creating a routine for your dog that way the transition is easy and smooth for you and your dog when the baby arrives.
Introducing the newborn baby to your dog.
Once the baby is born, bring your dog the worn clothes of your baby, so he gets used to the smell.
What I used to do is I used the baby socks, and a diaper brought them home to my pets and let them lying around. All of my dogs and cats been smelling them and the day I bring the baby home I let the baby wear those socks.
Wait a few days before your dog meets the new family member.
Don’t let them meet right away, after a few days when the dog is used to the sounds and the smell of the newborn baby you can start to let him get closer to the new family member.
Keep your fur child on the leash when he meets for the first time the new family member.
Slowly let your dog sniff the baby, once that works out you can let your dog go up to the baby without the leash, but always supervise it.
Praise your dog and give him attention.
Don’t let the dog lick the baby while this is usually a sign of
submission and acceptance in the case of your baby it could be a sign of dominance.
Stay with your Dog for the first couple of times.
Pay attention to your dog, and don’t neglect him.
When the baby starts crawling. Teach him to respect your dog. Your dog is not a toy.
When the baby becomes more mobile teach them to be gentle to your dog. Your dog is not a toy.
Babies do like to pull and tug the dog’s ears or dog tail, keep the baby away during your dog is eating, and if there is some left over kibble put it somewhere, so your baby can not reach it.
I know I repeat myself but I can not stretch it enough.
There are different possibilities and if your child eats the dog food it might choke, or your dog might see your child as a threat to his food.
It is a territorial reaction. So please be aware.
Best is arrange an area for your dog where he can withdraw himself from the toddler and the activity.
Supervise your dog and your toddler to avoid unwanted accidents.
Please note there is only so much passion left in a dog when a toddler starts to mistreat a dog.
Do it from an early stage on and teach your toddler that a dog has feelings and is hurt when hit with a toy or stepped on the body.
To avoid accidents, it is essential to teach your child to respect the dog and treat him nicely.
It is crucial that you always supervise the time when your dog and baby are together. Never let them play together without someone being in the room with them.
Following these simple tips can go a long way to a lasting relationship between your dog and your baby /toddler.
If you are overwhelmed and not able to do all the training, then please get a professional and certified dog trainer.
Different dogs behave differently and in case of doubt do seek professional advice.
Have a look at the Brain Training for Dogs from Adrienne. She is a professional and certified Dog trainer and knows how to train your dog.
My name is Adrienne Farricelli, I’m a professional CPDT-KA certified dog trainer, and for the last 10 years, I’ve been helping people to eliminate bad behaviours in dogs and train well behaved, obedient, loving pets…by showing them how to bring out the ‘hidden intelligence’ inside their dog.
Every dog without exception – has a hidden intelligence inside.
It’s an untapped resource to help you remove just about any troublesome behaviour.
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I’m going to reveal how you can QUICKLY eliminate any behavioural problem… no matter how badly you think it’s ingrained… no matter what kind of dog you have.
If that excites you, I know you’ll find this letter EXTREMELY valuable…
I have 3 kids, and we always had pets.
Through my experience dogs and newborn babies can get along and are great companions. If a dog is well trained and well behaved there will be no jealousy between the child and the dog.
You have to keep a good balance between the attention you give to your dog and to your child.
I could not imagine my kids sharing their life with our pets. Kids who grow up with pets know the love and passion of a pet. It teaches them valuable skills.
Please share your advice and experience and let us know your tips and tricks. If you know someone who is pregnant feel free to share with your friends, family and social network.
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Thank you with Gratitude.
All yours Melanie.
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