5 Steps to Introducing Your Dog To A Baby

Guest Post by Mildred Delgado 

Introducing Your Dog To A Baby

When you bring a new baby home, chances are you’ll surprise your dog with this new addition to the home. Along with this “change” comes different routines, and much more time devoted to a baby than a dog. Although dogs are eager learners, they can also feel jealous, because they’re not the center of attention anymore.

So, how do you introduce a dog to a baby?

 

Here are five steps to get your dog to recognize and adapt to the new family member.

Focus On Training

“If you haven’t trained your dog to behave yet, then do so before baby arrives,” says Sienna Keith, a lifestyle writer at Australia2write and Britstudent. “Work on fixing the unwanted habits that your dog has. Or, if you still need help correcting your dog’s behavior, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Teach these things now before the baby is born.”

Teach your dog the command 'go' or 'away' - this should be a positive command rather than yelling at them to leave. One of the easiest ways to do this is to throw cookies or treats away from the dog while saying 'go' or 'away!' Work on this command so that eventually your dog waits to leave before you throw the treat.

 

Introduce Baby Items / Nursery

Allow your dog to look at baby items, so that they can get used to their noises, their shapes, etc. Let them look, but not touch.

Teach your dog to walk with a stroller before the baby arrives. Another tip is to carry a baby doll around the house, sit with it in our arms, this will not only help your dog to see this as normal, but it will also help you to create boundaries when you have the baby in your arms.

The nursery should be off-limits to your dog. Set this boundary now, so that your dog will know not to walk in that room, whether the baby is in there or not.

 

  

 

Introduce Baby Scent

Dogs are good with smell; therefore, they should get to know baby smell (baby lotion, powder, etc.). Once baby is born, bring something that has your baby’s scent, so you’re your dog will get used to smelling it – this can be a burp cloth or a baby blanket.

 

  

Conduct The First Meeting

As your dog gets used to the sight, smell, and sounds of the baby, you’ll need to make that first meeting count. Start by taking your dog for a walk so they are calm for the first introduction.  Once your dog is inside, they’ll either notice a new scent, or they’ll recognize it already. Either way, the person holding the baby should also be in a calm state, and take it slow, as the introduction is made.
During this first meeting, the dog should be able to sniff the baby, but at a safe distance. But don’t bring the baby too close, and don’t force things to happen. In time, the dog will be allowed to get closer and closer to the baby, though still, at a good distance. 

 

Baby’s Safety Comes First

“The most important thing to remember is to never leave your dog alone with your baby,” says Manuela Lehto, a pet blogger at Writemyx and Nextcoursework. “Even if you believe that your dog is well-behaved, don’t ever leave them alone with the child. You’ll be doing more harm to this baby-dog relationship than good. And, if the dog starts to get too excited or aggressive towards the baby, then get baby away from there immediately.”

It also helps to remember that the baby-dog relationship is built on respect, which makes it a two-way street: Just as your dog should respect the baby, the baby should respect your dog. Teach your child to not pull on tails, and to not try to ride them like a pony, or else this can set off your dog in a negative way.
And, if you’re still not 100% certain that your dog can handle being with the baby, then you may have to decide whether having a dog is right for you at this time or not.

 

 

Conclusion

As you read through these steps, always remember that proper training, preparation, and your child’s safety are essential to making the introduction work. And, as you grow the baby-dog relationship little by little, you may seem them grow to be best friends.
 

 

About the author:

Mildred Delgado writes for Thesis help and AcademicBrits, and presents as a guest contributor to PhDKingdom. As a marketing strategist, she has assisted in several high-profile marketing campaigns and writes about her experiences online.

  

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