Making Sure Your Dog And Baby Get Along
How do you get your dog accustomed to your new baby? How do you let it know that it's not a toy, but a human and needs to be respected and treated gently?
When a family brings home their newborn baby for the very first time, it is doubtful that they are thinking about how their pet dog will react. Unfortunately, a dog that is accustomed to constant attention may become jealous when you suddenly have new priorities to attend to. But if
you prepare for this situation ahead of time you can make this already hectic situation a little easier for you, your baby, and your pet.
How should you prepare your dog?
Before bringing home a baby, you'll want to brush up on your dog's knowledge of the "stay" command. Work with your dog on "staying" for up to 15 minutes. Tending to a baby will rarely take less than 15 minutes, so be sure that your dog can act appropriately.
How should you prepare for the homecoming?
Allow the dog to sniff around the baby's room and its possessions. You'll want the dog to get the impression that these things do not belong to it. If your dog tries to bite or run off with anything then you can reprimand it now, before the baby is thrown into the mix. It's a good idea to bring home the clothing that your baby has worn the first night after birth. If you let your dog get used to the baby's smell now, it won't feel threatened by the baby later.
Coming home with the baby.
Give your dog some attention as soon as you return from the hospital with the infant. You do not want the dog to associate your baby with any negative behaviors. Never hold your baby out to your dog, and correct it as soon as it becomes too rough around the child. Your dog will eventually learn that the baby belongs to you, and requires gentle behavior.