Dogs and Infants - How Help Your Puppy Adjust To Your Newborn Baby
Are you having a new baby soon? Congratulations! Bringing a brand new son or daughter into this world is one of life's greatest pleasures. Your baby is going to make a life-changing addition to your house.
And when you already have a little one running around then you need to prepare him for the arrival of the new family member.
Yes, the little one that I am referring to is your puppy. Many dog owners forget to take the necessary steps needed to help their puppy adjust to having someone else in the house that will get more attention than they are getting. Here are a few ways to help you prepare:
1. The most important thing that you can do is to allow your pup the opportunity to socialize with small children inside your house. While this may not be practical for some people, the idea here is to have small toddlers and children introduced into the house so that your puppy can understand that these little people are friendly and he has no reason to feel defensive or insecure.
Have your friends who have children come over and play with your dog in the house. If your puppy seems a little aggressive at first, a great way to help them adjust is to allow the children to carry dog treats in their hands so that the puppy can associate the treat to a child as being something positive.
This will help relieve tension for the dog when your new baby arrives.
2. Dogs thrive on repetitive schedules. Your puppy is the same way. If you have gone through the same routine on a daily basis with your puppy as far as feeding times, exercise times, play times, etc. then you need to realize that the schedule may suddenly change when your new baby is born.
This sudden shift in the daily routine can prove to be alarming to your puppy, especially with the addition of a new person in the house that is getting all the attention.
A few weeks before the baby is due, start changing up the daily routine so your puppy can get used to it. Perhaps change around his feeding times. Exercise with your puppy at different times each day.
Maybe take a nap unexpectedly in the room in which your baby will be sleeping. Although doing these things may sound strange, you will understand the benefit that it has upon your puppy when your schedule is personally thrown way off guard due to taking care of the responsibilities of a new baby. This will help your puppy to not be so alarmed when you are doing different things each day.
3. Immediately stop any games that you play with your puppy which are on the aggressive side. For example, most dog owners love to play tug-of-war with their dogs, or play-wrestle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these dog games and you should continue them in the near future. However, it doesn't take much common sense to understand that your dog may view the new baby as a toy which he wants to play these same aggressive games with.
Let's not have that happen!
Dogs & Babies – Learn How To Help Your Puppy Adjust To Your New Baby
Bringing a new baby into the household that already has a puppy living in it can prove to be a little difficult at times. You need to understand that a puppy who has been in the house for a while views the home as his territory and when you bring home a small child then this toy-like new person can feel like a threat. There is no best way to prepare for this scenario, however we do have a few suggestions to help your puppy adjust to the new arrival of your baby:
1. Once your new baby comes home, the puppy is going to experience times when he will be ignored. It is just unstoppable and he must get used to it. Your baby will need your full and undivided attention and sometimes your dog may not be able to participate.
In order to start helping your puppy adjust to these times, start by ignoring him at least one full hour every day. This exercise should be practiced a few weeks before the due date of your baby. Be sure that you are in the house doing something simple such as watching TV or folding your clothes, etc.
2. Keep in mind that you're going to have a lot of baby items laying around the house, especially toys. While you can do your best to keep your home clear of these toys, there are times when your dog may make an attempt to grab them. Therefore, you must try to discourage your puppy from eating the toys.
You can do this by having a few baby toys laying on the floor next to his play items. When he goes and reaches for the baby toys, give him the "no" command and then shift his attention to one of his own toys. One way to make your dog remember the difference in the toys is to mark all the baby's toys with mouthwash. Soon he will associate the "no" command with the smell and taste of mouthwash and ignore the toys altogether. Needless to say, dogs hate the smell and taste of mouthwash products.
3. You are going to have to allow your puppy to sniff and get used to the baby. However, keep in mind that babies love to tug and pull at everything they see. This may startle your puppy when the baby goes to tug at him. So in order to get your puppy used to this behavior, start by tugging and pulling at your puppy whenever you praise him. For example, give his ears a quick tug when you pet him. Grab at his coat when you go to praise him. And for extra training, perhaps make some baby sounds as you go along. Remember, your goal is to have your puppy desensitized to the new sounds and actions that your baby will display when he or she arrives at the home.
Dogs & Babies – How To Handle Your Jealous Puppy When The New Baby Arrives
If you've had a puppy for sometime now, then you probably realize just how much he loves being the center of attention. Unfortunately, when a family suddenly gives birth to a new baby, this may create a problem of jealousy with your puppy. Your dog may display bad behavior such as barking, pawing, as well as destructive tendencies towards household belongings.
To help prepare for this scenario, the following steps will help you avoid potential problems when faced with a jealous puppy and a newborn baby:
1. When you bring home a new baby, you need to have the dog used to having the baby around, so that he does not mistake it for a toy. You can start preparing ahead of time before your baby is born by going through your daily routine with a toy doll. Take time each day to pretend to change the doll's diaper as if it were a real baby so that you can practice teaching your dog commands in front of the “baby” such as sit and stay. Also, place the doll lying down as if you were going to give it a nap each day (like you will have your baby do) and allow your dog to be in the same room, but make sure he obeys you and stays away.
2. Get your puppy used to being around toddlers and children by taking him to a playground or other public area that has children visiting often. Be sure to keep him on a leash, but allow enough room to walk around, at least 6 feet. Kindly let the other children pet your dog slowly so that he can understand that the kids are friendly. This will help to reduce any tension or aggression your puppy might feel when you bring home the baby.
3. If you are making an attempt to socialize your puppy with small children as suggested in step two above, but he is showing aggression, then you should contact a professional who specializes in dog behavior. Some dogs may need a some specialized dog training techniques to relieve this tension that is caused by young toddlers and children.
4. Several weeks before the baby is due, prepare the baby's room with all of the baby furniture and accessories that will remain in the house, especially the baby's crib. Allow your puppy to be in and out of the room under your supervision and be sure that he sniffs all of the items that you are bringing into the house for the baby. Watch him closely as he sniffs at the crib. Should the puppy try to paw at the crib then be sure to say "NO!" and teach them to back away and respect your command.