How to intoroduce the newborn baby to your dog

 “O-ha-yo-u! Ge-n-ki Ka-na..(Translation: Good morning! How are you?” )

 Looking at my belly,I rub my belly with my hands, I talk to my little son every morning like this.

 I am currently in 24th week and, since 21st week, I have started feeling his movement. Since then, me and my husband started talking to them; me in Japanese, he in English.

 Every time we feel his little kick as if responding to what we talk to him, we smile ear to ear and, it makes us very happy.

 For me and my husband, it was emotionally, physically hard road to get to the point we can have and carry our own baby and, each and every little kick means a lot to us.

Our little son’s foot..

 Now we know that we will be having a son around summer, I have started thinking more about life with our little son, especially how we manage our little son and princess Palette the Corgi.

 Palette does great with people, old and new. She does good with screaming,running, touchy kids, but she has never had a chance to meet a baby,who makes sound she would not have heard of before.

 At this moment, I do not know how she would react to the baby but, I wanted to learn and practice for the arrival of our little son.

  I love watching dog
related TV shows such as dog training show like Victoria Stilwell’s “Its
Me Or The Dog”, and I love reading dog magazines. Through those
materials, I knew somewhat what is good thing to do when you introduce
the newborn baby to the dog such as “bringing the baby’s blanket from
hospital to home and let your dog to sniff at it and let them familiarize the baby’s scent.

 However, I did  not know much in depth.

 Therefore, I thought I would like to spend time to learn more about how you can introduce your newborn baby to your dog in the house.

 Then, if there were something we can practice before our little son will come join us, I thought, it will be great to have practice time with Palette.

Dogs need adjustment for the new routine..

 Right now, Palette gets all the attention, and she lives great life.

 However, from dog’s point of view, that full attention will be divided between her and our little son when he comes to our house in summer.

 Not only that, her regular routine from meal time, walk time, potty time, play time, and training time etc.. might get shifted due to new routines surround around our little son. Especially, he is our very first son and, I am sure, it would take time to get used to everything we do with him.

 Plus, she will find new tools she has never seen. She would hear the sound she has never heard. She would smell the scent she has never smelled before…

 Because of all the new changes, she may get stressed out.

 Because of the stress, she might have potty accident in the house even if she was well potty trained.

 When baby arrives home, everybody in the house needs adjustment. However, often times, new parent’s focus is set on the  new baby. What about the dog in the house?

 What can you do to help them adjust to the new environment/routine etc..?

 I have asked around to those who has had experience with introducing a baby to the dog, and I have got plenty of good suggestions and, I have certainly have good time to learn and practice.

 Of course, as with any dog training issue, we need patient,consistency and commitment.

 Before anything, I think no matter how stressed I might be with new things to do with baby, I think that Palette could sense my emotion just like the time she can sense I am not feeling so great. Therefore, I should learn to be relaxed and calm.

 One suggestion I got was to reward the dog every time he/she shows interests to the baby; good thing happens when they are around the baby.This is to create the positive association with the baby.

 I thought it makes sense because if you were removing the dog every time the baby is around, dog could think that baby equal bad.

 Another suggestion I thought is good is that introducing the baby tool such as cribs, stroller, changing station, and more even before the baby is born.

 Someone suggested to take Palette for a walk with empty stroller before our little son is born.

 Desensitizing dogs to baby stuff from early on will be good idea.

 One other suggestion that I got from experienced moms on the topic was to make one area baby free zone so dog can have rest and relax there.

 This suggestion comes from positive dog trainer “Amber Walker” from Animal institutions.

 When I read the suggestion, I remembered one occasion,where my in law brother’s 2 kids were playing with Palette but one point time, Palette got enough of it and while the kids were away for a second, she excused herself to the room where we were staying at my mother-in law house.

 For her, that room was that kids free zone and, she felt relaxed.

 I thought it is the great suggestion and we can certainly work on that for Palette to be rest well, and relaxed;stress free.

 Amber wrote a great article on the very topic;baby and a dog for e-magazine here.

 In it, she writes ..

** to keep the routine as closely as possible.

** to keep treats in every room so you can rewar your dog every time they were doing good thing to the baby (praise the positive reaction to the baby)

 Then, I thought of.. dogs loves stinky stuff like.. Palette find kitty poop delicacy although she does not show any interests in dog’s poop.

 That got me thinking that, we need to make sure that she cannot get into the diaper,and put them out of reach that include the time when we are changing diapers in front of her.

 For other expecting moms living with dogs, I was introduced to the website where many baby-dog resource can be found on the web called “Family paws“. You can find article regarding topic on the website as well.

 The blog section here has interesting topics to read.

 When babies can move around..

 Once baby can move around, of course, as always, supervision is important but also it is important to teach your baby how to interact with/approach to your dog.

 Not only dog needs to learn to interact with baby, baby also needs to learn how to interact/approach to the dog.

 Kids sometimes do what dogs do not appreciate;pulling fur, step on the tail, hugging etc and no matter how calm,gentle dog you have, there will be a threshold and dog could snap at the kids and it may end up with injury.

 If the dog was old dog, then, kids might touch where they feel pain and it could cause the dog to snap at the kid.

 Sometimes, parents blame dogs for snapping at the kid but, it is not always the dogs that were bad.

 What are your tips and suggestions for new/expecting moms with dogs in the house?

Apr 16, 2014 | Comments are off | Dog Training

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