Introducing your Newborn to the Dog

How to Introducing your Baby/Newborn to the Dog

While the transition from living solo to living with a newborn may be difficult for your dog at first, many actually end up really enjoying being together. With obedience classes, your dog is trained on how to behave around the baby and not jump. Your dog should be able to come during recall and learn basic skills like stay, sit, go, and lay down before the baby comes home.

There are bound to be challenges as many things change when the center of attention is no longer the dog.

Allow Dog to Smell Baby’s Things, See and Hear Baby Cry Under Supervision

Regardless, with effective training the process becomes smooth and dogs adapt easily to the changes.

A newborn can have a big impact on your family. Understand how to prepare your furry friend to encourage a healthy bond between him and baby.

You’re likely to wonder how your dog will react to having a newborn in the house and how you’re going to meet both of their needs.

Get the baby’s things from the bottle, feeding items, cot in their own area to avoid territorial rivalry as dogs tend to be possessive of spaces and toys.

Happy and excited may not be the reaction you get from your dog about your new baby. Particularly your dog may find it difficult to adjust but with the following tips, the transition can be positive.

Effective Tips of Introducing your Newborn to Dog

  • Reward Good Behaviour

Your dog might try to get attention by breaking rules. To stop this behavior, praise your dog when he or she is behaving well. If you suspect your furry friend is behaving badly to get attention, consider ignoring the behavior. This might encourage him to look for a more positive way to get your attention.

  • Supervise First Meeting at a Distance

When the new baby arrives, have a family member or friend bring your dog to the hospital or birth center for a brief visit. Allow another family member or friend to hold the dog with a leash at a distance to observe as you hold the baby.

  • Schedule your Time to Cater For Dog and Baby Needs

Now you have both the baby and the dog to think about, the time demands are even greater as apparent and dog owner. The dog might feel left out or jealous hence will need one-on-one time with you. Have your alone time with the dog when times allow, play together, feed him, and shower him. Moreover, you can delegate the duties of the dog to another person when the baby requires your attention. If not handled well your dog can feel rejected and be depressed.

  • Have Separate Toys for Baby and Dog

Challenges of sharing not only you but also toys and space may bring conflict. It might be difficult for your dog to understand the amount of time and attention your newborn needs initially and start acting up. Reassure him or her of your love by spending quality time with her as before when the baby is asleep or with another family member.

  • Allow the Dog to Transition at Own Pace

Let your dog be, at first he might not be excited about the newest member of the household remember he is used to getting all the attention. Your happiness may not be his hence allow him to transition at his own pace and do not force things.

  • Have a Schedule of Routine and Activities

Try to keep the schedule the same as before, dogs love routines and continue with your activities together, take him to the park, play together, go for jogging this will reassure your dog of your care and love. Your dog may feel left out or jealous when routines change.

  • Train and Socialize Dog to Children

Remember when you bring the baby home a lot of things change from smell, sounds, sight and if your dog was not socialized around children she may not be happy.

Steps of Effective Interaction between Baby and Dog

To start with train your dog skills on how to interact with the baby without harming her. This can be done through obedience classes as the dog is able to verbal instruction and act on them as directed. First impressions are important. Your dog should have pleasant experiences with your baby right from the start.

Dog Should Be Calm and Relaxed when Meeting Baby

Your dog should be trained on how to behave when you bring the baby home for the first time from the hospital. Let someone go in first to calm the excited dog as you do not want the dog jumping on you as you carry the baby. The dog can be leashed as you want a calm and relaxed dog once you get inside the house with the baby.

Prepare your dog in advance for changes in lifestyle. With a newborn demand will increase for attention on the baby and the dog may feel left out. Anxiety can cause stress and depression for your dog as they are used to routines, have a schedule to balance both your baby needs and dog’s needs.

Familiarize your dog to baby smell and things, let your dog sniff baby’s blanket, stroller, and lotion to familiarize her to the baby smell. During the first meeting have a family member or friend leash your dog and bring her into the baby’s room. Ensure your dog is calm and not agitated. Reward your dog when the behavior is good with a treat or praise. Importantly talk to your dog in a calm, happy voice as you invite her to approach. Subsequently, you want to associate this meeting as fun and memorable and not stressful for your dog.

Final Thoughts

Most families bring home a dog before getting children and the dog is used to all the attention. Bringing home a newborn can be a happy moment or stressful moment for your dog depending on how you handle it.

Nonetheless address any potentially dangerous behaviors like jumping, food or toy possessiveness, and romping around on furniture where the new baby might be resting before the baby comes home.

It can be hard for the dog to adapt quickly but start introducing baby things like crib, ball, and blanket gradually before bringing the baby home.

You do not expect the dog to be happy and excited at first although it can happen, prepare your dog for lifestyle change by enrolling him for obedience classes.

This is a new chapter in your dog’s life with new smells, sounds, and changes in the household. Finally, he will notice divided attention and change in routine which can cause him anxiety and stress hence handle it well for a positive impact.

Post Author: carolkay

Caroline is a Stay At Home Mum with young children. My writing centers more on Babies, Parenting, Health, Family, and Personal Finances. My goal is to inspire Stay at home Mum's just like me.
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