A lot of parents worry about bringing a new baby home when there is a dog in the house. However, dogs can, and do, understand. Most of the time it is as simple as introducing your dog to the new baby and then setting some ground rules.
Dogs are curious by nature and when you bring a newborn baby into the home, of course, they want to see and sniff.
With a new little human, the introduction needs to be a little different than when guests come over.
Dogs need to understand that there are boundaries when it comes to children, especially new babies.
It’s essential that these boundaries are established in the very beginning, so new parents need to introduce their dogs to the new baby as soon as they come home.
If you don’t, their curiosity will keep building. So, it is best to just jump right on in there!
Let’s talk about how to to about the introduction and a few ground rules to set.
Dogs respond to leadership, and it is important that you re-establish your role as leader of the pack when you bring a new baby home.
Even though the baby is smaller than the dog and helpless, it is important that the dog realizes that the baby is off limits and needs to be respected.
Your dog needs to understand that your word and commands are THE final word!
Practice giving commands and getting the response needed while the baby is in the room.
Introducing the Baby’s Scent
One of the best things about dogs is their ability to recognize and distinguish between our scents.
As soon as you bring the baby home they know that there is a new person around, based on the scent of the baby.
Allow your dog to sniff an item that the baby has used. This will help them establish the item is the baby’s and they are not allowed to have it.
Make sure that while you are introducing the scent, you do not allow the dog to take the item.
Keep Baby’s Room Off Limits
I am a little easier going on this one than most as I have always had a large pack of dogs even when I had newborns.
However, until you can be certain how your dogs will react, it is better safe than sorry.
For starters, you need to establish boundaries. You need further indicate to your dog that the baby is not a toy and needs to be respected.
Keep the room that the baby is using off limits.
If your dog tries to enter the room, remind him that the baby’s room is not allowed and take them back out.
Watch your dog closely around this time to ensure that they understand that they cannot be in there.
This is important, especially at first, until you can know for sure the actions of your dog.
Introduce Baby to Dog During Lessons
One of the biggest mistakes parents make is not intentionally introducing the baby to the dog.
If any of the above things have been an issue, wait until they respond to your commands. They need to respect the word no when you tell them to remain outside of the baby’s room.
Once your dog responds to these commands, bring the baby into the room or lesson space. Then, invite your dog to come and meet the baby.
If at any time your dog becomes overexcited or begins to disobey your commands, remove the baby and begin again with your dog.
Give Your Dog Extra Attention
Having a new baby is hard and takes up most of your free time, but it’s important that you continually and regularly give attention to your dog.
They might be feeling a little left out of all the excitement.
The best way to ensure that they are calm when the baby is around is to help them get as much of that extra energy out as possible.
After all, our dogs just want to be a part of the pack!
We hope these tips for introducing your dog to the new baby help you out and ease your mind.
Your dog will eventually accept the new baby into the pack as part of the family and pack.
They may even become friends for life!