When you bring home your new baby, what can be a very exciting time for you and your spouse, could be confusing or even frightening for your dog. Experts recommend that you prepare the dog before the baby arrives. You can make changes and preparations ahead of time to reduce the chance of an accident. This will also make the transition easier for you and your dog as well.
In order to get your dog ready before the baby comes, make sure to include a basic obedience class as part of training so your dog does not jump and understands the basic commands such as sit, down and stay. Make sure to follow the following steps ahead of time to train your dog right:
- Make gradual changes to your dog’s routines such as changes in where the dog sleeps or the time he gets walked, so that the dog doesn’t associate these changes with the baby.
- Lessen the amount of play and attention two to three weeks before the baby comes home. You do not want to thrust upon last minute affection on your dog only to stop it when the baby comes home.
- Play a tape recording of various baby sounds to your dog for extended periods of time so that the dog can become used to it beforehand.
- Teach your dog to “go to place”. You can use a mat, couch or some other defined area to teach this behavior, and it would be easily transferred to other places. Point at the area you want your dog to go and once it does, reward it with treats. Use a command like ”Go”. Once your dog has learned this behavior, add a sit or down. Gradually, increase the length of time where the dog has to stay in its place and give your dog something rewarding in his place, like a chew toy.
- Once you arrive home with the new baby, greet your dog alone first so that it doesn’t get excited and jumps on the baby.
- Allow your dog to get familiarized with the sight, smell and sound of the baby before letting them introduce in a close proximity.
- After a few days, allow the dog to sniff on the baby while on the leash. Praise your dog when it sniffs. Most probably your dog will adjust easily to this but still take precautions.
- Give your dog lots of attention when the baby is around. You do not want the dog to only associate affection with when the baby’s not around.
- Once your baby starts to crawl, make sure he/she doesn’t pull on the dog’s ears or tail. It can cause a reaction out of your dog and even the most tolerant dogs have its limits.
- Never leave the baby and dog alone even when you trust your dog highly.
- Have a “safety zone” for your dog. A safety zone is a private place (crate, bed etc.) where the dog can go when the activity becomes too much for him/her. Children should not be allowed to invade the safe space of the dog.
Here at VIP we understand how exciting and stressful things can be when it’s time to give birth. It’s even more stressful when you’re trying to figure out what to do with your dog. We will gladly board your dog for the few nights that’s needed while you and the family spend time in the hospital with the newborn. It’s advised to make the reservation in advance on our website. If the baby comes early or life gets chaotic don’t worry just give us a call and we will do everything we can to accommodate your dog while you and the family are celebrating the birth of your baby.
Visit our website to RSVP or give us a call at 561-366-9000
Something else at VIP that we understand is the preparation of the house and the first interaction of your dog and baby. Our trainers can assist with all the necessary in home training so that your house, dog, and baby all get along! Contact our trainers today.