Your dog is your baby. It can be hard to bring a real baby home and teach your pup to share the attention after being the only “child” for so long. For a comfortable meeting and transition, it’s important to prepare beforehand. Doing so can make your dog’s life less stressful.
Introduce the baby’s scent first
Before you bring your baby home from the hospital, show your dog the baby’s scent. Doing so will familiarize your dog with the smell. Now is the time to set clear boundaries, so your dog knows to respect the baby as another pack leader. Let him sniff from a distance and let him know that it’s yours.
Watch your energy
Your dog mirrors your emotions. If you’re excited and nervous when you introduce the baby, so will he. Make sure to stay calm during the first few introductions.
Set boundaries around the nursery
Your dog needs to know that the nursery is off limits, to begin with. Train your dog to not go into the room without your permission. After a while, allow your dog in the room to explore with supervision. Do so a few times before the baby arrives, with specific instructions on when to leave, so they respect the space.
Teach your dog basic new tricks
- Stay, wait and settle: This teaches your dog to control his impulses. That will be beneficial when you’re trying to feed, change or put your baby to sleep.
- Sit and down
- Greet people: No one wants to be jumped on as soon as they walk in the door. By teaching them to greet politely, they will learn not to jump on you, especially when you’re holding your baby.
- Come when called.
- Relax: If your dog is crate trained, they will know that a crate is a safe place they can go when overwhelmed or tired.
- Drop it and leave it: this can teach your dog to leave the baby’s things alone and not mess with them.
The importance of training
Dogs obey best when they are taught a trick repeatedly in a short period and continually over time. Your dog can react to your baby well if they’re trained to do so. If you need help with the training or don’t know where to start, give our dog trainers a call, and we can help! 703-779-1333