To prepare for the new arrival.
Most baby toys make noise. Can be a squeak, an animal noise, music or anything else you can possibly think of. Dogs are very attracted and curious about all of these noises.
Before the baby arrives, teach your dog the “touch, don’t touch” game. Show your dog which toys are acceptable and which toys are not. Reward them when they make the right choice.
Whether you breast feed or bottle feed, your dog will want to join you on the couch when you do it. Teach your dog to ask permission before jumping on any furniture (couch, chair, bed). This will prevent any potential accidents. This needs to be made clear long before the baby arrives.
Babies make a ton of noise. Maybe your dog isn’t used to it. Download an app that has different baby noises, crying, giggles, screaming etc. This is very helpful so the noisy changes don’t happen all at once.
Now here’s the biggest challenge for your dog, a new level of patience. Maybe when it’s time to take the dog out the baby decides to cry and poop. Now is when your dog’s patience comes in handy. The baby’s needs must be met before the dog. Teach your dog patience before the baby arrives. A Place Command is a great way to start and get ahead of the game.
Once the baby room is set up, bring you dog into the room. Allow them to smell the new furniture, clothes, and whatever else you have for the baby. Show your dog where they can lay down (if you allow them to hang out in the baby room). This will show your dog that they are still part of the family but that there will be changes in the future.
Dogs are very curious, show them the room so they don’t discover it themselves and potentially make a mistake.
Something that I loved when pregnant was my dogs smelling and kissing my belly. At the time I was pregnant we had 5 pitbulls. Each one wanted their turn smelling and sleeping on my belly. It was a great way for the dogs to get to know the baby before they arrive. This is great so that when the baby comes home, it is not a completely new smell. Your dog has been adjusting to the new arrival since you became pregnant.
Now that you have brought home your baby.
Since we had multiple dogs we allowed each one individually to come and meet the new arrival. By this I mean, allow the dog to approach the baby calmly and then sit. You can then present the feet to your dog. They can smell or lick. We did not allow finger or face licking. The baby is very fresh and we don’t want to cause a potential rash.
If you have to leave the room for a moment, or turn around to cook and cannot pay attention- elevate the baby from the floor. Use a baby chair or even the car bucket seat and then put them on the table. This way you can feel safe while keeping an eye on the baby and doing whatever you need to get done at the same time.
Allow your dog to participate in activities with the baby. Put your dog in a Place Command and then engage with your baby. Toys, tickles, giggles, all these sounds and movements with help your dog adjust to the new addition to the family.
Take everyone for a walk together. Make sure the dog heels to you and does not walk ahead of the stroller. Your perfect little newborn is now a pack leader. You need to show this to your dog, healing to you is a great way to do this.
When the baby is eating, your dog should remain in their Place Command. This will ensure the dog does not take food from the baby’s hand, or even lick their face at mealtime.
Remember, you have now brought in a new pack member. The entire family will need time to adjust and settle. Stay safe and have fun. These are the best moments.
Does your dog require a solid Place Command? Contact us today.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for Debra.