When you’re about to become a parent for the first time, there are so many things that seem complicated and overwhelming. There’s one thing, though, you can start to prepare your dog for: the addition of a new family member. If your dog is used to being the center of attention in your life, adding a baby might mean they suddenly have to share that attention with someone else.
1. Start preparing your dog early.
The first step in training your dog to accept a new baby is preparing him or her. This means you’ll need to make sure your dog is healthy and well-groomed, as well as used to the sounds and smells of babies. This can be done by visiting with friends who have children, or even taking them over to visit a friend’s house that has children—but only if your friend is okay with this!
One way you can help familiarize your dog with the odor of newborns is by taking a clean diaper, putting it on a non-porous surface like glass or stainless steel (don’t use aluminum!), then letting your dog sniff the diaper. Once they’re comfortable sniffing it, try opening up the diaper so they can see what’s inside—and maybe even touch it!
2. Make sure they’re used to the smells and sounds of babies.
Now it’s time to make sure your dog is used to the smells, sounds, sights and feel of babies. If they’ve never met a baby before, they won’t know what to expect when one comes into the house. This can cause them to behave badly or even run away because they don’t know how else to react.
3. Introduce them to new situations before your baby arrives.
At this point, your dog is no longer a stranger to babies. They will have been exposed to baby clothes and blankets, as well as lots of other things that are part of the baby package.
Now it’s time for you to introduce your dog to new situations. You should continue playing videos from earlier (if you haven’t already), but now also play videos of babies crying, laughing, playing and making noises – anything that will get them used to the idea of having a new member in the family. It’s important that your dog doesn’t become overwhelmed by all this activity – so keep it short!
4. Start asking for and teaching new behaviors, like “Off” and “Out.”
- By teaching your dog to accept things like being petted by strangers, you’re helping her develop confidence in new situations. This is especially important if the baby will be interacting with your dog a lot; it’s best if she learns that all these new people are safe and harmless. If she expects everyone who comes over to pet her and give her treats, then she’ll be more willing to accept them when they show up with the baby in tow.
- Teach your puppy how to get along with other pets in the house, such as other dogs and cats (if applicable). You can also teach her how to ignore them completely if that’s what works best for your family situation!
- Start teaching commands like “Off” and “Out” so that when someone tries to pick up the puppy or sit down on an armchair while he’s resting on it, he’ll leap off instead of growling at them–or worse!
5. Create a safe space for your dog to go when they need to be by themselves.
The final step in training your dog to accept the new baby is creating a safe space for them to go when they need to be by themselves. This can come in the form of a crate, or it could be a small room with soft blankets, toys, food and water dishes that’s just for them. This is where they’ll go when you’re too busy to play fetch with them or they need some quiet time after spending time with the baby.
Just like toddlers (and children) need their own spaces and routines, so do dogs! Having an area set aside specifically for your dog will ensure that everyone gets what they need out of these adjustments.
6. Teach your dog to be alone without you in the room with them.
Once you have taught your dog to be alone when you are in the room with them, it is time to teach them to be alone without you in the room.
Teach them that they can still get a reward even if they don’t see or hear you. This will help them understand that they will not always receive rewards when they are with people and that there are other things that can motivate them.
7. Ask your dog to do their behaviors from further distances away from you than normal.
You can also do this by asking your dog to do their behaviors from further distances away from you than normal. If you’re trying to teach a new behavior, like “sit” or “lie down,” ask them to do it from further and further away. This will help them learn that they need to respond more quickly as the distance increases.
You can also practice different exercises with your dog at a distance: have them sit while you move around the room, have them lie down while you walk past them, have them stay when someone else enters the room (ideally someone who is carrying baby items).
8. Practice having someone else walk your dog with you, so that if something happens, you can ask for help and get them out of the situation if needed.
You can also practice having someone else walk your dog with you, so that if something happens, you can ask for help and get them out of the situation if needed. This person could be a friend or family member; or it could be a training professional who will be able to give you instructions on how to handle being in this type of situation with your pup.
You can train your dog to get used to a new baby being around in a way that’s safe for both of them
Because your dog is used to being part of the family, they will be happier and more comfortable if they are trained to be around babies. In addition, it’s safer for both you and your baby if you train your dog to get along with new babies in your home.
Training an older dog is similar to training a puppy: both need positive reinforcement and patient positive guidance. When training any animal (including humans), it’s important not only that we correct bad behavior but also reward good behavior.
If you’ve already trained your dog well and want them to continue behaving in a proper manner during this transition period, keep up with them as much as possible by continuing their existing routine while adding new people or pets into the mix.
Hopefully, this post has helped you feel more confident about introducing your dog to your new baby. It can be stressful trying to make sure Fido is ready for the arrival of little Johnny or Jane, but remember that teaching your pup doesn’t have to happen overnight. Start small, and work up to the big day!