11 January 2009

New Baby and Your Dog

A new baby coming into your home can cause rivalries and danger to both your dog and your new baby. There are some basic steps you can take to help everyone make the adjustment.

Allow you dog to sniff things your baby will be using so the dog's scent will be on these items. This is a sanitary method because dogs can pick up scent on items even after the have been laundered.

Get yourself a baby doll and introduce it to your dog using the word "baby" and teaching your dog to sit and lie down whenever the baby is near.

Train your dog. If your dog hasn't been trained yet, it need to learn SIT, DOWN and HEEL. Find a local obedience trainer and get signed up for an obedience class.

Introduce your dog to toddlers. Start with toddlers that are away from your dog's territory, then on his property and finally in your house.

Acclimate your dog to a baby's cry. You can do this with a tape recording of babies at the hospital. (There may even be recordings like this on places like eBay.) Let pooch check out this sound and investigate as long as all four feet stay on the floor.

When your baby comes home from the hospital, have mom enter the house first without the baby. Introduce the dog to the baby's items first and then the baby. Do not let the baby interfere with the dog's regular routines with like feeding, walking and playtime. Never leave your dog alone with the baby and do not let the dog sleep in the baby's room.

Remember that children can hurt dogs too. Don't get a dog for the baby, the baby is too young to learn about a dog. It is not a good idea for them to "grow up together" because you'll be too busy to attend the needs of both. Teach your child that a dog needs quiet when sleeping and eating. Teach your child to pet the dog gently and use a calm voice.

For More Information:

Preventing Dog Bites
Dog Safety Tips for Children and Parents

Image: iStock

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