Top Ten Tips for New Parents: Introducing the Family Dog to Baby
TOP TEN TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS
should greet the dog while dad brings in the baby - If mum has been
away at the hospital the dog will have missed her and be delighted to
see her back so despite the excitement of bringing the baby home, she
should remember to greet the dog first so that he doesn’t feel
excluded. Then the dog can get used to the presence of the baby calmly.
the dog busy - Use interactive toys like a stuffed Kong to occupy the
dog when you are busy with the baby. They use up a lot of energy, plus
if he learns that he gets really good things while the baby is around,
he is far more likely to be happy with this new addition to his family.
your dog's routine a little, long before the baby comes home - so he
doesn't always expect things to happen at the same time every day. While
dogs like routine, things are bound to change when the baby comes
that the dog will still need the same amount of exercise and
interaction - otherwise he will get frustrated and bored, which can lead
to difficult behaviour. Try and find some 'dog time' in hectic
don’t exclude - Do not punish your dog for trying to get your attention
– remember things have changed for him too! Instead calmly show him the
right way to behave and reward him for it. He will then associate
correct behaviour around the baby with something positive. Good manners
however should have been trained well before the baby comes home.
the baby is asleep, you can spend some quality time with your dog -
playing games, doing some training, or if you have a babysitter, going
for a walk. Remember to also include the dog when the baby is awake too
so everyone feels part of the family.
a baby gate - They are perfect for dogs as well as children as they can
keep him away from the baby while he can still see what is going on and
feel like part of the family. Try to teach your dog to spend time on
the other side of the baby gates from you long before the arrival of the
baby - making sure he always has something nice to chew so he learns
that this is a good thing.
training - By teaching the dog to enjoy being in a crate, he can be
included far more by being in the same room as you and the baby and get
used to all the new sounds, smells and sights, without having direct
access to the baby (and, once the baby starts crawling, so the baby
doesn't have direct access to the dog!).
leave the dog and baby alone together - and never allow the baby to
'play with the dog'. Many new parents think this is cute.... it isn't -
it is often just dangerous!
the baby grows, teach him how to behave - it is important to teach him
the correct way to behave around dogs and how to treat them with
respect. The Kennel Club has an interactive Safe and Sound game online,
which teaches children the correct way to behave around dogs in
different scenarios, so that safety is never compromised. www.thekennelclub.org.uk/safeandsound