Introduce Dog To Baby
When A New Baby Meets The Family Dog...
New puppy meets baby.
When a new baby meets the family dog for the first time, extra care is needed. There can be concern over introducing a baby to a dog that has established himself in the household. How the dog meets the baby is critical.
A new baby can pose a big threat to a dog because along with the baby comes total focus away from the dog and considerable hoopla and confusion brought on by the entrance of an infant. Suddenly the neighbors are coming in to see the baby, not Fido. Fido now has to wait extra long for his dinner, to play (if at all) and no one pays any attention or affection to him — it’s that "dumb screamin’ critter in the basket."
Yes, a dog can get very jealous and many have been taken to animal shelters because of it. Some parents are afraid for the infant’s sake; that the dog might harm the baby out of jealously.
Introducing your dog to a new baby can be done. It takes time and needs to be done carefully. First, you have to prepare the dog for the child's arrival and second, introduce them.
Get your dog ready to meet the new baby
When the new baby arrives there will certainly be a degree of jealously. The dog has been used to being the focus of attention. Here are some things to do ahead of time:
Have your dog checked by the vet two months before the baby is due. Worms and parasites are harmful to babies so get all that taken care of in advance.
Spay or neuter your dog. If not already done, now’s the time. You want the dog as settled and calm as possible.
Round up all your friends with babies, small children and especially screaming infants to visit your house frequently. Get the dog involved, but start to partially ignore him. These are practice runs for when Fido meets the incoming baby.
The dog should explore the diaper changing, bed, ;lotion, powder, diapers and other areas and things where and what the new baby will be using. Put baby lotion on your hands and let Fido smell them.
There are CD’s of babies screamin’ and cryin’ to high Heaven that are made for the purpose on introducing Fido to what's about to happen with the baby. Get one and play it. After enduring a few minutes of this, give your dog a hug and a treat. Dog meets baby continues.
Let’s assume the baby’s room is a no-go place for Fido. Gate it off now so he gets used to it. A removable gate works or if the dog is a jumper, put in a screen door. The dog can still see and hear what’s going on which is what he wants. Don't isolate the dog. He needs to hear the baby noises he’s been hearing on the CD.
Get a cheap doll that approximates the size of what you will bring home. Carry this baby doll around wrapped in cloth to introduce your dog to what’s coming. While doing this, give the dog PRAISE AND GIVE TREATS OR A CAR RIDE with the doll or some other wonderful thing so he can begin to see the baby is NOT a bad thing for him to meet.
When you walk the dog, take the baby doll in a stroller right along side the dog. Stop and talk to the doll and then the dog.
Be sure to maintain the alpha dog status over your dog. You will need to have complete control over him or her later on, especially if any jealously develops when the baby comes home and meets up with Fido!
Now for the second part of the introduction. This is the delicate part.
This baby is in danger. Petting a sleeping dog on the nose can have terrible side effects. Don't introduce dog to baby this way
The dog and new baby meet:
- Upon first arriving home, have mom, who has been missing for a while, greet the dog with hugs and praise while someone else holds the baby.
- Mom, let your dog know you have missed him.
- Give the dog a new toy. He’ll smell the baby on you (mom) and will associate the new toy with the baby, all positive.
- Make a major fuss over the dog.
- Once the initial homecoming has died down, let the dog and baby meet. Keep the dog on leash and talk to him. Encourage him to sniff the baby’s hands. DON’T force this. The dog has to explore on his own volition.
- DO NOT leave the dog alone in the room with the infant for a second. The actions of a baby can scare some dogs and cause them to bite in fear or self-defense. If your dog seems at all agitated, aggressive or nervous, put him in another part of the house and try this again later.
- Don’t isolate your dog or toss him aside. Let him be part of everything.
- Make time to play with and cuddle him. He’s not to become a cast off.
- If you DO cast the dog aside, there will be problems.
- The end goal is to have your dog accept and love the baby and grow along with the baby. As the baby grows, the dog should become the child's best friend.
Spend quality time with the dog and baby together. Give the dog treats for good behavior when in the presence of the baby so it becomes a positive thing. By now, all should be going well.
Cute? Yes. BUT, an adult should be no more than 1 foot away to supervise.
Dogs can suddenly bite if they feel "crowded" or feel the opponent might hurt them.
Watch out for the carpet-crawler and toddler stages. Carpet crawlers tend to pull dog hair, dog tails and ears and otherwise annoy a dog. In return, the dog can bite the child. This is a difficult stage and is best handled with the dog separated from the new baby as much as possible.
Never leave a dog and baby alone, unsupervised!
The key to having a dog meet a new baby is close supervision and common sense. Don’t let the dog feel let out and abandoned.
Pug and baby face off. Pugs are very tolerant but normally, this
could be very dangerous. Dogs don't like to be starred at.
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