Several evenings a week, I volunteer at the Naperville Humane Society. It is a very sad and common request to be asked to rescue a dog because there is a new baby in the house. One of the most frustrating things is that in the majority of these cases, the dog had a problem before the baby came. The owners didn’t do anything to address the issue prior to introducing dogs and babies. So the poor dog is re-homed needlessly when a bit of preparation would have prevented it.
9 Months Is Plenty of Time
It is a rare luxury in life to know in advance that a major change is going to happen to your circumstances. In these cases, you have up to nine months in which to prepare the dog. Please, do it!
The Main Points To Consider:
The dog won’t be welcome to sleep on your bed. You don’t want a dog who jumps on and off of the furniture when it pleases. Just think, it could leap straight on top of the baby one day!
Your dog must be safe to take toys and chews from.
Your dog must respond to basic commands properly. You can’t be carrying a baby around and have a dog who completely ignores you and won’t move out of your way. A dog that jumps up at you could easily injure a carried baby.
Dogs must learn to “go away” on command. This is so they don’t come up to you when you have a baby on your knee and put a paw straight on top of the baby or drop a toy on it.
Dogs are scent oriented and fascinated by new smells. Send something home from the hospital immediately that smells of the baby. This is so that when the baby actually comes, it isn’t so much of a novelty.
There are times when you might need to leave a room with the baby and leave the dog behind to stay, alone. Make sure your dog already accepts being left in one room whilst you are elsewhere in the house.
Do not leave the dog and baby alone together, for any length of time.
Allow the dog to calmly inspect new items you bring home.
Do not allow the dog to closely inspect the baby, however. Your dog is able to smell the baby from a distance. Teach him from the beginning to be calm around your new little one and respect the child’s personal space.
Preparation is Key
Common sense, really, but so many people just think of how pleasant their dog is and how sociable it is with kids. Most forget the practicalities of having a dog and baby together. If your dog has any sort of temperament problem before your new baby comes, it will be much worse when there is a new baby in your home.
So use the luxury of knowing that baby is coming and be prepared. The dog will not understand that suddenly when you walk through the door with your baby he now cannot jump up at you or leap on the sofa.
Perfect Manners Dog Training Can Help Introducing Dog To Baby
Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. What puts a lot of owners off is asking for baby/dog training help. This is especially true when there is any sort of obedience problem. They fear being told to re-home the dog or put it to sleep. In fact, this is unlikely. However, even if this is the outcome, you wouldn’t want to be responsible for ducking out on the issue now and then later your baby or dog pays the price.
Want to ensure a harmonious relationship between your dog and new baby? Trust Perfect Manners Dog Training to provide effective training and guidance for introducing them safely and happily.