Introducing a Dog to your Baby
Learn how to prepare a dog for a new member of the family. This course explores:
- Force free training needs and punishment-free homes
- Acclimatising the dog to various smells, sounds and equipment
- Introduce reduced exercise and/or rest days
- Preparing a safe and quiet place for the dog to go when they desire
- Brushing up on helpful training cues
- The importance of calm in a dog
- Actual introductions to baby
During pregnancy is the perfect time to start to prepare the dog(s) for the new arrival. After all, it is not just your routine that will change when the baby arrives. The dog’s life will change also, more than we often initially consider.
We often require our dogs to go with the flow of our lives. We ask them to accept it if we go to work, accept it if we don’t. We ask them to accept it if we take them out on a long hike, accept it if we just walk them round the block. We ask them to accept it if we have adult guests over, accept it if the guests are children; and so on. Consequently, it can then also be assumed that a dog will just accept a baby coming home with very little preparation.
Making this assumption is where significant problems can arise. Even with those dogs judged as the most easy-going. Pre-preparation can go a long way to ensure stress levels are not heightened resulting in friction between the dog and human family at such a wonderful, but challenging time.
Practical issues such as who will look after the dog when the baby is being born is important to plan well in advance. The friend, family member, neighbour or professional is best having the dog for a few practice stays well before the due date. You will want to know that if labour is prolonged and/or hospital is required, the dog is comfortable and safe with someone they know. Stress can prolong labour so make it easier on yourselves and ensure your dog is catered for before labour begins.