Parents often ask me, what they should do to help their dog adjust to the arrival of a new baby. I’d like to share with you some of my advice.
There are many different circumstances but the outcome mostly depends on the family’s understanding of their dog and in the making of a good plan that everyone will follow.
Some people are happy for the dog to carry on as it has always done, others want to make big changes just before the baby arrives. This can unsettle your dog and trigger problems almost straight away.
The best way to integrate a new baby into your dog’s life is to start as soon as you know your little one is on the way. Dogs can feel rejected and become confused and stressed when their owners suddenly change their routine, and shift their attention from dog to baby. They do not understand why the baby has automatically been put above them in the pack. They can start to develop some attention seeking behaviours such as barking, jumping or chewing.
Owners often worry that their dog is “too old to learn” or “too set in their ways”. I don’t find this is the case. We can make these experiences easy and stress free if a good plan is in place. Children must also be taught to respect a dog and that they must not be teased or purposefully hurt. At times the dog will also need its own space.
If you need help to teach your dog the correct behaviour and how to be calm and relaxed around babies and children, please contact me I look forward to hearing from you!