How To Prepare My Dog Before The Arrival Of My New Baby?
So think about:
- The size
- The education that you will give him (you need to frame your puppy and teach him that he must know how to handle the frustrations!)
- The energy level of the puppy (genetic and created by us)
- Channeling his excitement via the offered games
- Channeling his excitement about children
- Biting: There is no race more biting than another! It’s all about context.
Your dog is not a child in fixed-term
Everyone has a unique relationship with their dog and you have to think about it before having a child.
The first thing to know is that Human is one of the resources or the priority resource of the dog. He will defend it if he ever loses it, we can compare that to the jealousy of the elder relative to the newborn.
If you choose to have a relationship with your dog, treat him as your child, it will be necessary to ensure that you can continue to offer the same quality of relationship after the birth of the baby. However, we all know that a newborn takes a lot of time and it is difficult if not illusory to be able to maintain the same relationship.
So, well before the arrival of your baby, think about changing your relationship, take a distance without leaving your dog. Teach him to be more independent, make a transfer of attachment to another person who will have time to devote him, etc. His needs for physical and mental expenses must be respected !!
Your dog must know what a child is: I call this Familiarization!
So let me tell you what is familiarization. Once the dog arrived in your home, you must socialize him with his fellow-creatures, get used to his environment and finally, to familiarize him with various living beings: humans of all ages and morphotypes, various animal species.
Let’s focus on children!
Upon arrival, have him meet children of all ages and make sure his experiences are positive but not exciting. Indeed, you want your dog to appreciate children but not to take them to live toys!
I often receive this type of answers from a lot of people saying: “My dog believes that my child is a toy, he chews all the time, jumps on it, tears off his clothes …” Yes, a dog (especially if he is young as a puppy) will be attracted by children naturally (except if he is afraid for x reason) because a child moves, cries, laughs… in short, it’s fun!
How to familiarize my dog with my new baby?
As soon as you know that you are expecting a child, have your dog see newborns and check his reactions. You must start by crossing children outside and with your dog on a leash to control it. If all is well, invite friends who have a child and hold your dog. A dog can have very different reactions outside and at home.
Test all types of children: infants, young children, crawling baby, walking baby, restless baby, calm baby, screaming baby …
But also, try to show a stroller and all the equipment for children so that your dog gets used to his rhythm.
If there is any problem, there is still time to appeal to a behaviorist (and avoid an abandonment!). When your baby is born, you will not have time to deal with a potential problem and you will be worried about your child.
If you notice that your dog does not support screaming for example, it is time to get used to these via Youtube sound effects, first very low then gradually increasing the sound.
Baby is born: how to prepare and meet?
It’s up to dad to take care of the dog. He must bring clothes that smell mom and baby so that the dog gets used to the smell of this newcomer.
Preserve spaces dedicated to your dog, he must be able to isolate himself if he wishes and has stable benchmarks.
For the first meeting, let your dog say hello to madam, he needs it. Make this meeting outside.
Introduce him to your baby in his baby carrier, holding your dog. It’s your dog that has to come by himself. Try to do this as naturally as possible and stress-free because your dog feels your emotions.
When your dog has inquired about this newcomer, you can calmly go home, all together.
Then make sure to make the presence of the child positive, his arrival should not mean withdrawing his humans and the attention he enjoyed to the dog.
You must maintain the same level of occupancy as before, do not push your dog as soon as he approaches the baby and do not leave him no matter what happens.
What are the safety rules to adopt once the child has arrived?
A dog is an animal, he can bite to defend himself. Whatever dog you have, a dog stays a dog and the child does not have the ability to understand his discomfort signals.
You need to know that you shouldn’t leave your dog alone with your child. 95% of the bites come with the family dog. It is the responsibility of the parents to manage the interactions between the dog and the child.
Everyone must have their belongings
To avoid discord and misunderstandings, make sure everyone has their belongings. For this, you will have to store the toys of each in two separate places and avoid buying the same kind of toys for both. For example, I do not recommend teddy bears for a dog that will have a small human in his family. He could have fun to go take his stuff …
A dog can also protect his stuff, so avoid letting the dog’s toys or anything related to him drag when the baby is on the floor.
You must manage interactions. Your baby should not hit the dog, put his fingers in his eyes/ears, pull his hair … You must teach him to respect his dog.
When your child gets older, you will need to prevent him from running in all directions, gesticulating, screaming on or next to the dog, grips, places his face too close …
There are basic rules like: do not touch the toys of the dog, disturb him when he sleeps, put in his basket, touch his bowls (you must remove them after meals, even if they are empty)
Have a calm dog in the presence of baby
As mentioned above, your dog must understand that your child is not a toy. It’s up to you to manage your dog’s attitude without your dog associating your child with a negative feeling.
Have a separate space for the child. As a precaution, to make your life easier and to avoid overflowing, it is ideal to provide a clean and secure space reserved for the child. A baby barrier is perfect for dividing spaces without isolating one or the other.
Supervise all activities. It’s up to you to be the mediator who oversees the contacts and activities between the child and the dog. There must be contact but not in a chaotic way.
Children under the age of 12 must not be in charge of education in order to maintain a harmonious relationship.
You can suggest to your dog to go for walks with the baby to create a positive association., A grown child will be able to pet the dog, brush it gently, accompany out, all in peace and if the dog appreciates these activities, the child can hug the dog in a non-invasive consented way if your dog is tactile.