Dogs with Babies
Unleashed Potential’s 10 Tips For Introducing A Baby To A Dog And Getting Prepared:
So, Your expecting! Congratulations!! This is very exciting news! 🙂 Soooo……….Now what are you going to do with the dog? How will he/she take the baby coming?
Does your dog have any behavior problems that need to be addressed? Jumping? chewing or destructive behaviour? excessive barking? Running away or pulling on the leash? What about housebreaking or anxiety?
Does he dog growl around its food or toys? These are all issues and need to be addressed.
Even if you have good o’l faithful as a dog, you still should prepare for when baby comes home.
No worries!! you now have 9 months to prepare for success. 🙂 I suggest getting started now. With out to much detail I am going to list a number of tips and thing to take care of before baby comes.
1. LEADERSHIP. Make sure you have the right relationship with your dog. Leadership is important, just like a child with a parent, an employee with a boss, a team with a coach and so on…. If you have this bonded relationship then your dog is probably well behaved with little to no issues. The dog will look to you most often and work for things it wants instead of just demanding or taking what it wants. The dog will know its place in your family, trust you and most often be less anxious or fearful of things. Any training will be relatively easy and quick. If you don’t have the proper relationship and your dog is unruly, with behavior problems or shy and fearful then Implementing leadership skills or a nothing in life is free policy or doggy boot camp is important to start TODAY!
Lets put it this way. You work for a living right??? So why does your dog not? LOL! 🙂
2. OBEDIENCE TRAINING and Behavior Modification is most important while implementing the no free lunch policy. This teaches the dog how to work for you and will help build confidence, self control, and enhance your relationship. Seek out an educated, experienced, well balanced trainer to help you with this. Private training is much better to begin with than just a dog training group class. Educating you is the key. Do your research properly before hiring a trainer as they are a dime a dozen!! Talk is cheap, get several references, see their dog ,and assess the trainer and dog, meet with the trainer if possible don’t just talk on the phone to hire. Once you start training, work with your dog daily….even after baby comes. Work with any issues that still exist if any. Food bowl or resource guarding needs to be addressed asap.
3. ENERGY BURN OFF!!! A Tired dog is a good dog. 🙂 Most often a lot of behaviors go away when you start obedience training, running, swimming or other activities. The dog will be working both body and brain daily and this will satisfy its needs. Fetching and searching for toys is a life saver. Keep this up even after baby comes.
4. SPAY or NEUTER. If possible spay or neuter your dog. This is not a must but I highly suggest it unless you are a breeder.
5.CRATE TRAINING. With many dogs you might consider crate training in early stages of the no free lunch policy. This gives the dog a place to go, like a safe haven if they feel like getting some personal space. Like a baby needing a play pen when you cant supervise. ( PREVENTION).
6. SOCIALIZATION Get your dog socialized or desensitized to other baby’s and children as much as you can and make it positive. Depending on your dogs personality and issues you can even buy a baby doll and have the dog get used to you holding it and doing things you will soon be doing when baby comes. Teach the dog to be calm and obedient and attentive to you around the baby doll then around the real baby when it comes. Get the dog used to baby noises in the house if possible. After your baby is born and prior to baby coming home from the hospital dress the baby doll at home with the real baby’s clothing or blanket so the dog will get used to the scent. This makes for a smooth transition. Also desensitize the dog to being grabbed, poked,hugged and pinched, this is bound to happen when little one is around.
7. BOUNDARIES. no matter how good your dog is, boundary train the dog to stay out of the baby’s room. This should be off limits. Safety and prevention.
8. INTRODUCE. There are several ways to do this I will explain one basic way. When you do come home from the hospital make sure that you have the dogs energy burnt off prior to. Have the dog in another room or in its kennel resting. Bring baby in to the home and then when the environment is settled take the dog out to meet baby. Having the dog on a leash might need to be required depending on your dog and how much work you put in to preparing. Don’t make a big issue of the baby to prevent exciting the dog. Stay calm and relaxed. Don’t let the dog jump up or bump the baby or be pushy and invade the baby’s space. Make sure you are holding the baby to prevent this and maintain a personal space boundary. Continue teaching the dog to be calm around the baby by laying down or sitting quietly near you and the baby. As Baby gets older ….2..3..4 years old have him/her involved in training with you and the dog. I will post a video of a toddler training a german shepherd. Keep an eye out for this on my next blog post. 🙂
9. SPEND THE TIME. You have a big change in your life but don’t let this be an excuse to not spend the same amount of attention to your dog. Every day keep up working and playing with your dog. Burn off the energy and keep the obedience fresh. If you don’t think you have the time, make it!! No matter how much time the baby takes. It does not have to be long periods of time a day….frequent 10- 15 minute intervals here and there at random are effective. One on one time every day with the dog is important.
10. NEVER LEAVE THE DOG UNSUPERVISED WITH THE BABY!! Not for 1 second and it does not matter the size of your dog or how good your dog is. Do not leave the dog unsupervised with the baby.
Need Help? Find a trainer in your area. See Below
Duke Ferguson, ABDT, MT
Do you have problems training your dog or dogs? Do you want help? No matter the size, sex, age or breed We Can Help!
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