Hire A Trainer If You Have Concerns About Fear Reactivity Or Aggression
There are great Dogs and Storks programs out there where you can learn more about introducing your dog to a baby and find experienced trainers to help. This is a great idea for any dog-loving family that is planning on growing, but is especially important if your dog exhibits and of the red flags from above.
How To Introduce A Dog To A New Baby: What Every Parent Should Know
For families who have welcomed a newborn home to a household with pets, most folks will agree: bringing a new baby into a home with a dog can be a big period of adjustment for everyone concerned. Even the most docile and gentle dogs can get jealous, defensive, or curious with a new little person in the house, which is why smart adjustment techniques arent just wise, theyre an absolute necessity.
If you are about to have a new addition to the household, read on to learn how to introduce you dogs to a new baby including the steps that should be taken to acclimate a pup to their presence, before, during, and after the big day.
Discover Your Dogs Sensitivity And Motivation And Make A Plan
When a baby is on the way, learning about your dogs sensitivities is crucial so you can plan and prepare for things that will be stressful or overstimulating for your dog. In order to prepare for the baby, you must consider your dogs triggers and responses, as well as their motivators.
Any training you can give your dog before the birth of your child will be beneficial for both your dogs and the newborn. When the baby arrives, teaching your dog some basic obedience skills will help you regulate his or her behavior.
Four months before the baby arrives, gradually introduce your dog to the new experiences, sights, noises, and scents he or shell discover when you bring your baby home and praise her for them. This will assist your dog in learning to enjoy his time with the infant.
Anticipate the modifications youll make to your dogs daily routine and begin making those changes one to two months before the baby comes.
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Get Your Dog Used To Baby Sounds And Scents
As Lugones explains, dogs have an incredible sense of smell, so it can be super beneficial to give them a ‘sneak-sniff’ into what their new brother or sister will smell like. “Start using the baby shampoos, conditioners, soaps, powders, and laundry detergent on yourself and your family that you’ll be using on your baby,” she says. “Your dog will get accustomed to the scents, so when your baby arrives, they’ll already have a scent that’s familiar to your dog, which will be one less thing they have to get used to.”
Building A Common Language
Well teach the dog basic commands so that we can effectively handle him. The dog must understand its physical position in the household hierarchy. We shall increase our good leadership toward him in this way.
CONGRATULATION! THE BABY IS COMING HOME
Following the five suggestions below will help the dog understand his place in the household and lay the groundwork for a good friendship with the new baby:
- Bring the dog a cotton diaper with the baby’s fragrance and a snack to sniff in the days after birth so he can associate the aroma with a happy experience.
- It is recommended that the mother approach the dog while they are alone when she returns home with the infant, in order to reduce the excitement of her return.
- It is recommended that you introduce your dog and infant outside the house for the first time.
- It is critical that the dog participates in the baby’s absorption and that he be allowed to sniff him. It is critical that the contact be accompanied by a feeling of security.
- The dog’s habit of owning the infant should be prohibited, even though the idea of the dog guarding the baby is appealing. From a canine perspective, this is a possessive behavior in any case, especially when it comes to the newborn.
Remember: the dog is ultimately an animal, so if youre unsure about dog training or dont completely trust your dog, dont leave the infant alone with the dog!
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If You Have A Dog Crate Gate And Rotate
This should be our mantra when it comes to babies and dogs, Alonso said. With a larger, pushy dog, a crate will be your best friend. Get a dog used to a crate, and make it the best place in the world, Alonso said. Put in mashed potato-filled Kongs or special treats that they only get when in the crate. Through a wire-ventilated crate, a dog can still interact with the family. Or, for the crate-averse, separate babies and dogs with a baby gate. Then, switch it up. Put the baby in a pack-and-play and spend some quality time with the dog. Everyone is safe and gets a turn for attention. And, when distracted or in doubt, separate. Its important to remember that you can provide both your dog and your child with the love they both need, but not necessarily in the same place at the same time, Alonso said.
Elizabeth Greenwood, whose work has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine,Longreads and Glamour, is the author of Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud.
Get Him Used To All The New Stuff
A few months before a new baby arrives, start to introduce baby items to your home, like car seats, baby toys and strollers, so your dog can get used to having these new things around the house.
You can also start using some baby lotions and similar products around your dog, so your pup can start to get used to the new babys smells.
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Tidy Away Your Dogs Toys
Dog toys and baby toys are quite similar, and the last thing you want is your dog getting their paws on your babys toys or vice versa.
Establish a system for where youll keep both sets of toys. For example, you could keep your dogs toys in the kitchen and dining room, while your babys toys stay in the bedroom and living room.
Youll still need to play with your dog once your baby has arrived . Think about restricting games like tug or fetch to one area of the house, or even better, the garden.
A New Baby Is A New Experience For Your Pet
- Reward your pet for calm behavior with praise and special treats.
- Give your pet plenty of attention when the baby is in the room. Your pet will associate positive experiences with the baby.
- Never leave your pet alone with the baby, no matter how easy-going or friendly your pet may be.
A well-planned, positive introduction will help your pet and your new baby develop a deep and loving bond that can last a lifetime.
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Introducing Your Dog To A New Baby
Introducing your dog to a new baby is best done gradually to allow the dog time to adjust to the new family member and the new rules and routine. Some suggestions on how to make this transition along with appropriate time frames are outlined below.
It is also advisable that if your dog has any type of behavioural problem such as jumping up, excessive barking, or pulling on lead that you should resolve it before the baby arrives. A well-meaning dog can accidentally scratch the baby, keep everybody awake, or make it difficult for mum to walk the dog as well as push the stroller. In-home dog training can assist you to address issues specific to your family in the dogs own environment in the months leading up to the due date.
Set Up Safe Spaces And Baby Gates
Create an area of your home where your dog or cat can go when they need to decompress. For dogs, this may be their crate, a playpen, or a separate room where the newborn does not go. Feed your dog in this area to create positive associations.
Having a quiet, private room for your cat is also helpful. Keep toys, a litter box, water, and other favorite resources in this space, so its a positive experience for your cat.
Consider installing a cat/dog door in this room to give them easy access without you having the added burden of playing doorkeeper.
Set up strategic gates or playpens throughout your home to give you an easy way to safely distance your dog from your baby that still allows your dog to feel close to you and not isolated.
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Provide Your Dog With A Sanctuary
If your dog doesnt already have one, you need to set up a special sanctuary for your pup where they feel safe and secure. A crate really is an incredible way to do this, which is why allowing your dog time to adjust to their crate is so critical. Never use the crate for punishment, and leave the door open, so your pup doesnt feel trapped. Place a comfy blanket in the crate and give your pup some tasty treats when they go in it. Make sure to associate your dogs area with positive things so that they know they have a haven to retreat to when things get a little intense.
Introduce A Babys Scent To Your Dog
A successful introduction between dogs and newborns starts with a familiar smell. Thus, even before you bring a baby home from the hospital, get something into your house that has your new babys smell on it, such as one of baby’s blankets, toys, or anything you’ve used around the baby in the hospital.
This technique introduces your babys scent to your dog so that the smell wont be as foreign to dogs when you bring a newborn home. Plus, it will give your pet a chance to snuffle their nose into that blanket and get a really good smell of the new thing without the worry of your baby being jostled around.
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Mimic The Environment Of A Newborn
Many pets will find the sounds, smells and routine changes of a newborn difficult to adjust to. You can prepare your pet for these changes by introducing all the stimuli that might occur when the baby comes home.
The baby bundle
Pretend you have a baby by carrying around a doll. Its important your pet feels a positive association with the baby, so try to reward your pet for positive behaviour when in the presence of the doll .
The crying baby
A crying baby can startle even the most placid pet. To prepare your pet, start playing a sound recording of a baby crying while simultaneously rewarding him/her. Its also a good idea to expose your pet to small children before your baby arrives.
Walking with a Pram
Your dog may take some time to get used to walking with a pram. Practise by walking your leashed dog next to the pram and build it into your daily routine.
Most people find that having a new baby means less time for their pet, so its a good idea to gradually decrease the amount of time you spend with them. Do this before the baby arrives so your pet is used to the change when baby comes home.
Let Them Hang Out With Other Kids
In addition, it is also wise that you get your pet acclimated to being around other older children, toddlers, and babies and the noises that accompany having a child in the home. For instance, you can play baby-noises. You can also expose them to the new things like furniture and equipment that will be everywhere, like the bassinet or car seat.
âLet them check out the nursery and see/smell the setup,â Dr. Olsen advises. âAre there toys that make noise or swings that play songs? A new giant rocking chair? Get them used to those first before the baby is anywhere near them. Make these experiences positive by reinforcing based on your petâs primary motivator .â
For example, have your dog practice walking on a leash next to the stroller in preparation for your baby’s arrival. Use plenty of rewards and praise.
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How To Introduce A New Dog To Your Home And Other Pets
Curious as to how to introduce a new dog to your home and other pets in the smoothest way possible? Youve come to the right place. While investing in the best dog food, toys and bed are an important part of preparing for your dogs arrival, its important not to underestimate just how vital it is to plan out how youre going to help your canine companion to adjust to their new environment.
While welcoming a new fur friend into your family is hugely exciting, throwing open the door to your home and letting them bound in without any forward planning is a recipe for disaster. In order to ensure the safety of other pets in your home and to make life easier for yourself going forward, its key that you establish boundaries, limitations and house rules from the moment you arrive home.
Whether youre bringing home a puppy for the first time or youve just adopted a senior dog from a shelter, think of your new pet as being similar to a small child. Although setting and enforcing boundaries from the first day can feel harsh, knowing whats expected of them will help your dog to feel safe and secure.
And its not just the newest addition to your family you need to consider. While getting them used to their new home in a slow and steady way that prevents overwhelm is important for their wellbeing, youll also want to consider your other pets, who may be feeling just as nervous and apprehensive about this change in their living situation.
Tips For Bringing Baby Home
If mom comes in alone, it will give pets time to say hi without them jumping up on the baby, McGowan says.
After that, bring the baby inside to a pet-free room so your dog or cat can smell and hear the sounds your baby makes.
For dogs especially, it can be helpful to make introductions with a helper bringing the dog into a neutral room on a leash where you are sitting holding the baby, McGowan explains. This gives your dog the opportunity to approach you and the baby calmly.
Introducing your cat to your baby is different from introducing a dog to a baby. With a cat ask another person to help. While you are seated holding the baby, have your helper carry in the cat and join you. This gives your cat a chance to approach and withdraw on her own.
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Shift Routines And Pet Care Responsibilities
Everything will change when your little one arrives, for you and your pets. The duration of daily walks may be reduced, the timing will almost certainly change, and both feedings and playtime will be impacted.
As such, if you will be your childs primary caregiver, you may want to relegate these duties to a loved one or spouse or begin altering your daily routine.
The AKC suggests making gradual changes to schedules or caregivers before the new baby so that your pet wont associate the changes with the new baby. Of course, there are more than just schedule changes on the way.
You can experiment with bringing the empty stroller with you on walks so that your dog can get used to the new system ahead of time. This will allow you to work through challenges without the stress of a newborn in the mix. You may also want to hire a dog sitter or walker to alleviate some of the burden on you.
Help Them Get Used To Your Newborns Smell
Before you let your dog meet your baby directly, you should help them get used to your newbornâs smells, as well as other smells that will become increasingly relevant in your home. This is a fantastic way to introduce the two as dogs have exemplary senses of smell.
This could include baby formula, baby powder, lotions, etc. While your baby is in the hospital, you can bring home your baby’s blanket for your dog to sniff. This will help your dog become acclimated to the baby’s scent.
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Keep Your Pets Separate To Begin With
When meeting for the first time, cats and dogs require a much slower pace than two dogs or two cats might need, so patience is going to be the key to success here. Youll want to keep your new dog and resident cat separate for at least the first three days, ensuring they do not come into contact with each other.
You may be wondering how on earth your two fur babies are going to get used to each other’s presence if theyre in separate rooms, but, rest assured that even though they cant see each other, they can smell and hear one another, which is a good start.
Signs That Your Dog Might Get Along Fine With Babies
On the flip side, there are some really good signs for dogs that are likely to do well with a baby in the home. These signs are not guarantees, but theyre a good omen. When thinking about a dog that will do with a baby, I envision a dog that:
- Is a totally cool cucumber in a variety of situations. Some dogs are just awesome at rolling with it. They flop down and take a nap in coffee shops and patiently navigate Christmas parties like professionals. These dogs have the jackpot of genetics, socialization, and training. Theyre the ideal dog for a family with a baby or children.
- Has met and done well with lots of children of a variety of ages. Some dogs simply have never met a baby or toddler before. This alone can make the experience of meeting one extra-scary. The loud noises, strange smell, and abrupt movements of babies and toddlers easily throw many dogs off.
If youre adopting a dog, select one with a proven track record with babies. If youre going in blind, so to speak, its time to start introducing your dog to other small children. Well discuss how to do this safely later on.
My Border Collie, for example, is amazing with handling if you are gentle, consistent, and confident. I brush his teeth, pull out dreadlocks, and trim his nails with ease. Pull on his tail or surprise him when hes sleeping, though, and hes quick to give a warning growl. He is not an ideal dog for being around toddlers because of this.
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