Bringing a new baby into your family is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful one for your dog. Introducing your dog to a new baby requires patience, preparation, and a lot of positive reinforcement. Here are 6 tips for introducing your new baby to your dog!
Prepare Your Dog in Advance
Before the baby arrives, begin preparing your dog for the new addition to the family. Play baby sounds, such as crying and cooing, so that your dog becomes familiar with them. Now is the time to introduce the new sights and sounds of baby gadgets.
Teach Your Dog Basic Commands
Basic commands such as "sit," "stay," and "leave it" will be important when your new baby arrives. Teaching your dog these commands will help them understand what is expected of them and give you greater control over their behavior around the baby. Reinforcing positive behavior with treats and praise will help to make the commands more effective.
Supervise All Interactions
When you bring your baby home, it's important to supervise all interactions between your dog and your baby. Praise your dog for calm and relaxed behavior around the baby, and never leave your dog and baby alone together, even if your dog is well-behaved around the baby. Accidents can happen, and it's better to be safe.
Create Safe Spaces
Creating safe spaces for your dog will help them feel secure and reduce anxiety around the baby. Designate areas in the house where your dog can go to escape, such as a crate or a separate room. It's important to make sure that your dog has plenty of space and access to food, water, and toys.
Give Your Dog Attention!
The most exciting time in your life might be the loneliest in theirs. With the arrival of a new baby, it can be easy to forget about your dog's needs. It's important to make time for your dog and give them attention, so they don't feel neglected, and worse: associate this new found loneliness with the baby. Take your dog for walks, play with them, and give them plenty of love and attention.
Utilize help from a Canine Behavior Professional
Here at Pawsome University we specialize in creating harmony between dogs and their baby counterparts. After our two appearances on The Pregnancy Podcast (Navigating Pregnancy and a New Baby With a Dog & Troubleshooting Your Dog with a New Baby), and becoming parents ourselves, we realized the need for resources for new and expecting parents. Fast forward to today and we now offer two options no matter where you are in the world! Our 1 on 1 award winning Virtual Dog Training has helped countless families from all over. You can browse Pricing & Bundles here. You might also be interested in our brand new Dogs & Babies super course! It's a self paced online course that turns new and expecting parents like yourself into Dog & Baby Gurus! Click here to learn more about our Dogs & Babies Online Course!
So to wrap it all up, introducing a new baby to your dog requires patience, preparation, and positive reinforcement. Preparing your dog in advance, teaching them basic commands, supervising all interactions, creating safe spaces, giving your dog attention, and consulting a Canine Behavior Professional are all important steps to ensure a smooth introduction. With time and effort, your dog and baby can develop a strong and loving bond.