Dog Training 201: Introducing Your Dog To The New Baby

Hello again, everyone, Spike here for Acme Canine with some important information for new parents. Having your first baby causes a lot of changes in your house, and sometimes those changes can make life pretty rough on us dogs. So today I’m going to give you some tips that will help you make the transition as smooth as possible for your new baby’s furry, four-legged older sibling.

The first thing you need to understand is that we dogs think of families as packs. You, your spouse, the other dogs, and yes, even the cats, are all part of our pack, and we are driven instinctively to figure out who goes where in the pack order. You, if you’ve done dog training right, areat the head of the pack. When a new baby comes along, we tend to put them at the bottom of the pack, which makes us their boss. You’ve got to help us figure out that this noisy, smelly little bundle you’re bringing in is actually higher than we are in the pecking order. One good way to do that is to hold the baby while you give us commands – simple things like sit, come, and the like. That way we begin to associate the baby with you, and can start to understand that we aren’t the ones in charge of this new bald puppy.

Secondly, you need to help us get used to the baby before you bring him or her home. The fact is, babies are loud and they smell weird, and if you bring one into our house with no warning, we’re more likely to be upset by it. You need to start this process early. As soon as you know you’re going to be having a new baby in the house, you need to start getting us used to some of the sounds and smells we’ll have to deal with once the baby comes along. This is the best time to contact Acme Canine for help with training, because they can help correct some of your dog’s less desirable behaviors. Lots of us dogs tend to get excited and pull on our leashes or bark when we’re not supposed to or chew on toys that aren’t ours. Those sorts of issues are all best worked out before a new baby comes along, so it’s important to get any issues sorted out as soon as possible once you know the baby is on the way.

Third, you sometimes have to be a little careful with us. If we’ve never seen a baby before, we may not quite understand what it is. Our confusion can sometimes lead to some tragic misunderstandings. It isn’t that we want to hurt your baby. Some of us just haven’t had enough experience with babies to know how to behave. So you want to be sure and supervise our interactions pretty carefully, especially at first, so that you can help us learn how to behave appropriately.

Finally, make sure you don’t ignore us. Having a new baby takes up a lot of time, but most of us dogs have a hard time understanding that. All we really know is that now you’re spending all your time holding this noisy, smelly, wrinkly, ill-behaved little puppy and aren’t taking us for as many walks or going to the park or playing fetch with us as often. That can leave us confused and sad. So make a point of making time for us, too, even with the new baby in the house, so that we know we’re still important to you.

Bringing a new baby home to a house where a dog lives can be a little tricky. But following these steps can help you make the transition smooth and easy for everybody. Good luck!