Bringing a new baby into the world is one of the greatest joys in life. One thing some people don’t think about is how they are going to go about introducing their newborn baby to their family dog. This is a big and important step that needs to be done right. Follow these few steps to ensure your pup and new baby hit it off and form a fur-ever lasting friendship.
Pave the way to success:
During the months before the baby is born, use this time to focus on your dog. Correct any unwanted habits and make sure your dog is aware that YOU are the pack leader. Bringing your new baby home to a well behaved dog is going to ease the introduction. If you can’t do this on your own, seek the help of a dog training professional, you won’t be sorry.
Introduce and claim your baby’s scent:
Bring an item home from the hospital containing your baby’s scent prior to bringing the little one home. This will allow your dog to sniff the scent of the child before the child actually being there. This gives you the opportunity to claim your baby’s scent. Have your dog sniff the item from afar, while holding the item. This makes the dog aware that you are claiming that item/scent and you are giving them permission to sniff and rules must be followed. By doing so, it helps create a feeling of respect between baby and dog and lets the dog know there are boundaries.
YOU must be in control of the introduction, not the dog. Before the introduction, take your dog for a long walk to get any excess energy out. An exercised/tired dog is a more focused, calm dog. Make sure your dog is in a very calm and submissive state before allowing them to re-enter the home. The person holding the new baby must also be in a calm state for the introduction to work, as dogs feed off of our emotions and behaviors. First, allow the dog to sniff the baby, but only from a distance. Gradually allow the dog to get closer and closer (on your terms). This creates respect as well. It teaches the dog they must also treat the new baby as a leader.
Don't Forget About the Dog!
Your dog does not need anything special during this time, just don’t forget about your pup. Maintaining your normal routine with your dog is very important during this time. Keeping to your dog’s regular routine and walk schedule will help your dog relax and become more comfortable with the new addition to your family.