How To safely Prepare Your Fur Baby For Your Newborn!
Never Leave Your Baby Alone For Even A Second
Not with the dog “I’ve had for 11 years…”
Not with the dog “who’s never bitten anybody…”
Not even with the dog “who is way too old to jump up on the couch…”
You’ve got to think things through before this baby comes into your home. You can’t wait until the moment you walk in the door with just your new born to introduce your pet to this intruder. Dogs, your dog, can become excited or nervous from the sounds and movements of a baby, your baby. So many new scents and sounds from this new, small human animal. In order to minimize stress for the dog and decrease the chances of a bad interaction with your baby you should make several changes ahead of time so that the transition is smooth, full of praise and controlled.
Control… Basic commands must always be obeyed… consistently. Practice during your last trimester, 20 minutes per day until your dog knows down, stay, sit, and come like the back of his paw. Train him to respond to your words whether you are standing, sitting, or lying on the couch. Do not use hand signals to cue an action as your hands might not be free when you need your dog to obey.
Foster positive associations with the new stimuli… Give treats, strong rubs… all the kinds of reinforcement for good behaviors that you and your dog have established previously.
Allow your dog to smell the fabric items that you have washed in the (soon to be born) baby’s laundry soap. Wear the baby’s soaps and lotions on your skin....
Desensitize your dog to the sound of a baby crying. Dogs have been known to hurt babies because the baby sounded like prey. There are many options for audio recordings of babies vocalizing. Here’s a YouTube offering:
Pair these skills with lots of high value treats and praise... Do It Now!
Never leave the baby alone with the dog for even a second.