How To Prepare A Dog For The Arrival Of A Baby Or Child - Dog Training – Obedience, Tips and Tricks, Basics Commands, Techniques

How To Prepare A Dog For The Arrival Of A Baby Or Child – Dog Training – Obedience, Tips and Tricks, Basics Commands, Techniques

Bringing a new baby into your home causes a number of drastic changes to take place. In addition to the stress that you feel, your dog will also be stressed with the introduction of a new family member. Your dog will face new sounds and experiences that can be frightening if he has not been properly socialized before the arrival of your new baby. 

This time may be difficult for your furry friend, especially if this is your first baby and the dog is going from being the “only child” to having to share your attention with someone else. To ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible, it is important to prepare your dog before the arrival of your new baby. It is important to ensure that your dog has the skills necessary to interact with your baby in your home and is able to adjust to this drastic change without becoming aggressive or stressed out. 

Below, we will cover some of the things you can do before the arrival of your baby to prepare your dog for the introduction of a new family member. With proper training and patience, your dog will get along great with your new addition. 

Prior Training

Having a plan in place is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to preparing your dog for the arrival of your new baby. Your dog will greatly benefit from training routines and basic obedience training. It is important to teach your dog how to act before a real baby makes its arrival into your home. 

Teaching your dog new skills will help you to manage his behavior when your baby finally arrives in your home. You can work on training, including teaching your dog to sit, stay, lay down, watch me, etc. These commands ensure that you maintain proper control over your dog and prevent unwanted issues from arising. 

Before the baby arrives in the world, you should begin introducing your dog to new sounds and experiences by taking him out into the world. Gradually introduce your dog to these new experiences and expose her to similar things she will experience with the arrival of a new baby; new smells, sounds, sights, and attention. By continuing to expose your dog to new things, you will help your dog to learn that new things are not scary. This will help your dog learn to love living with a new member of the family. 

Once you come closer to your due date, begin altering your dog’s schedule to what it will be when the baby finally arrives. Try to think of the ways in which your dog’s routine will change. Will your dog have to go for walks at a different time? Will he have to eat at a different time? Will he have to sleep in a different area? These are all things that you should begin to adjust before the arrival of your baby. This helps the dog to adjust gradually instead of experiencing a lot of changes all at once. 

Lifestyle Changes and how to prepare your dog

Many dogs do not do well when it comes to a change in their schedule or daily routine. Our furry friends tend to experience anxiety when their lives are altered. This increased anxiety can lead to your dog acting out or developing aggressive behaviors that were not an issue prior. You can minimize the level of anxiety your dog experiences by gradually getting your dog used to these changes before your baby arrives. 

Life with a newborn baby can be hectic, as you are likely well aware. In order to teach your dog to cope with this new lifestyle, it may be helpful to create a less consistent daily schedule. Try varying the times that you feed your dog and change the times that you take your dog on a walk. This will help your dog to adjust to change more easily and expect it as a normal part of living with you. It is best to accustom your dog to these changes before the arrival of your baby to prevent any unwanted behavior issues from arising. 

You may also want to consider hiring a dog walker to provide your dog with physical activity and exercise. This may be beneficial during the first few weeks or months of having a baby as you adjust to your new lifestyle. In addition, you may also want to consider taking your dog to doggy daycare for the first few weeks or months while you try to adjust to your new way of living. If your dog enjoys playing with other dogs, this is a great option. Consider all of your options before the arrival of your baby to reduce the amount of stress on you and the amount of stress that your dog encounters. 

Changes in your home

As we previously discussed, our furry friends do not adjust well when it comes to changes. These changes also include physical changes to the dog’s environment. To prevent negative behaviors and issues from arising when your baby arrives, it is best to slowly adjust changes to the dog’s physical environment well before the arrival of your baby. 

Begin by creating a nursery for your baby and introducing this new space to your dog. Show him that it is not something that he should be afraid of. In addition, you may want to consider purchasing a baby gate to prevent your dog from going into certain areas. Do this before the arrival of your baby, so your dog becomes used to this restriction early on. 

Accustom your dog to your baby and his touch

To prevent unwanted incidence from occurring down the road, it is best to begin accustoming your dog to what it is like to have a baby or small child interact with him. This is likely a new sensation to your dog, and it may feel scared at first until it gets used to the interaction.

You can begin to accustom your dog to this new feeling by gently poking him and giving him a treat when he does not negatively respond. Gently tug on his ears or touch his body to simulate a child interacting with the dog. If your dog responds in a positive manner, provide him with a treat and additional praise. By getting your dog used to these sensations, it will make it much easier once the baby arrives. With proper repetition and patience, your dog will begin to relate to being touched in this manner with a positive experience.  

In addition to new touches and sensations, your dog will also need to become accustomed to new movements such as crawling. If this is the first baby that your dog has been around, he has likely never seen another human crawl on the ground; it can be a scary experience if he has not seen it before as crawling puts another person at eye level with the dog which can be intimidating. 

You can begin to get your dog used to this movement by slowly crawling towards him. When your dog begins to look at you while you are crawling towards him, offer him a treat and additional praise if he responds in a non-aggressive manner. Repeat this exercise multiple times before the arrival of your baby. Your dog will begin to associate a positive experience with crawling and be more comfortable when he encounters a small human crawling towards him. 

You can also have your dog spend additional time with children to get him used to the energetic energy of kids. Every pet owner wants nothing more than for their dog to be happy and comfortable. 

The First Introduction 

First impressions are very important, especially when it comes to our canine companions. It is important that your dog has a positive first interaction with your new baby. It is very important to remain calm during this first interaction to reduce the amount of stress that your dog feels. 

To begin, have all of the other members of your family walk in the door first, so the dog has time to greet everyone and begins to calm down. Next, place a leash on your dog to maintain control over his movement. Then bring the baby into the home and speak to your dog in a soft tone of voice. Have another person distract the dog with plenty of treats and praise the dog for acting in a calm manner around the baby. During this first introduction, you must refrain from yelling at or punishing your dog as you want him to associate the new baby with a positive experience. If you yell at or punish your dog, he will associate the baby with a negative experience. 

During this time, if your dog’s body language is relaxed and non-aggressive, you can introduce the dog to the baby if you feel comfortable with doing so. Allow your dog to sniff the baby if you feel comfortable; while he is doing this, speak to him in a calm tone of voice. After the dog has sniffed the baby for a few seconds, interrupt the interaction and offer your dog praise and a treat. You can repeat this exercise as many times as you would like. Eventually, the dog will begin to associate the new baby with a positive experience, leading to a happy relationship between your new baby and your furry family member. Keeping your dog and baby safe is what is important at the end of the day. 

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