having babies should your pet dog be around a newborn baby
So your pregnant and your mother in law says get rid of the dog will you after reading this article ? The first step in this process is your arrival home from the hospital. If you do this the right way your dog will be more likely to accept your new baby.
When you come home from the hospital, have mom enter first, alone with something of baby's, such as a blanket or clothes the baby has worn. This allows your dog to smell the new "thing" that will be coming into the house, making it less alien to him. Have dad hold baby outside so that your dog can greet her and start to calm down before the baby comes in the house. Then, have mom go outside and hold the baby while dad goes in to greet the dog. It is OK for your dog to get a little excited, but make sure you get him calm before the baby comes in to the house. If mom and dad are calm and relaxed when they enter it will transfer to the dog and put him at ease a little faster. Do not make a big deal out of the greeting, but make it a happy one! Put the dog on leash and make him sit and stay so you have control when mom and baby enter. When your dog has calmed, come in the house with the baby. Do not let the dog jump on anyone, especially baby! If he does, give him a firm correction verbally and with a quick jerk on the leash. Do not use any harsh punishments unless the dog becomes a threat to the baby. Do not hit your dog! If you believe that the situation is too much for the dog to handle, put him in his crate or gate him in a room. When the dog is calm, allow him to sniff baby's feet. Be very careful not to let the dog too close to the baby's face at first because he could accidentally hurt the baby if he jumps or licks too hard. Basically, keep control of him at all times and the likelihood of something bad happening will be minimal. Do make sure that you praise your dog for good behavior. You can also give him high value treats for the good behavior.
Even by following the above procedures your dog may still be "jealous", even though dogs really don't have that emotion. They do understand when the attention has diminished or completely gone away. Make sure to still give your dog attention when possible! Make special time for him just as you did before the baby came home. Set up time to play with and give attention to him when the baby is around and is not around. This shows your dog that he is still a part of the family and will still get attention. It also teaches him to share the attention with the baby. This may seem like a tough task to achieve because you will not have much energy due to the demands a baby places on you, but it is vital!
How Your Dog Should Act Around the Baby
Have your dog sit or lay down when he is near the baby. This will assist in the process of teaching the dog "gentle" and promote calm behavior around the baby. Keeping the leash on in the house will allow you to have the extra control over your dog that you may need. Make sure to only have the leash on the dog when you are home and able to supervise, otherwise the dog could get injured from the leash. You can also use the leash to teach your dog to walk slowly around the baby. Make sure to praise when he is doing what you want.
It is very important for your dog to respect your baby. When your baby is young you need to be the one to make your dog have respect for your baby. Making the dog be gentle and do down-stays around the baby helps to teach the dog to respect the infant. As your child grows you can have your child interact and do different activities with your dog to teach your dog that the child is higher in the pack than he is.
When to Pay Attention to Your Dog
Good times to give your dog attention when you have your baby out are when the baby is in his or her swing, on a blanket, or while you are feeding baby (if you can juggle both tasks at once!). You can give your dog treats during every aspect of dealing with the baby, such as while you are feeding, while you are changing, holding or playing with your baby. Again, this will teach your dog to accept all of the different things that you will be doing with your baby.
Do not push the dog away if he shows attention to the new baby. Make sure to keep all baby experiences positive, when possible, using praise and the high value treats. Encourage the calm, gentle behavior around your baby so that he understands the right way to be with the baby. If you ignore your dog when the baby is out it can cause feelings of neglect in your dog. This can lead to bad attention seeking behaviors such as stealing things that aren't his, jumping, nipping or barking. Realize that both your dog and baby will still need individual attention.
A good way to pay attention to your dog is by taking him out for a walk or play. It is very important for your dog to get plenty of exercise daily. If your dog does not receive this necessity, he will become out of control and a pain in the you-know-what! so do you think you will keep your pet dog now when the baby arrives ?