Who Brought That Kid Home? Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof!
The Art of Introducing Your Baby To Your Dogs
I have been thinking about this moment for a long time. What is the best way to introduce our baby to our dogs?
We have two labs; Bailey a black lab and Coco a chocolate lab.
Coco is very needy and wants everyone to pet her, especially if they are petting Bailey.
Bailey loves everyone, but has no clue that she is a 60-pound lab and not a lap dog.
Our dogs are two of the most lovable animals I have ever been around.
Both dogs like to say hello with their mouths, which makes people nervous, but they do not bite.
Now that you know a little about our dogs, I think you should know that I am not really a dog or cat person.
I didn’t have a pet as a child, except for a Shih Tzu puppy, which we had for a very brief time.
I do not like being licked, pawed, scratched at, laid on, etc., when it comes to pets.
Since that is the way I feel, I am certain that I am not going to like my son being licked, pawed, etc.
With all of that in mind, we have to bring our baby home and we have not created a plan for the dogs to meet Daniel.
Silly me; I didn’t realize that this introduction required a plan, but after just a few minutes of research, I discovered that there is definitely a right way to integrate your baby into your family.
Have a Clear Plan
- Have a designated helper
- Intro one pet at a time
- Daddy should stay outside with the baby for now
- If mommy has been away for a while, she should go in first and greet the pet. Let the pet welcome you home
- Have everyone else in the family enter and interact with the dog, for a moment or two (Mommy should slip outside)
- Leash the dog, for the baby’s safety
- Go into a quiet room
- The helper should have plenty of treats
- Praise and reward your dog for following voice commands, focus on positive reinforcement
- Mommy and baby should re-enter the room
- Be calm, your dog will mirror your emotions
- Speak to you dog in a soft but cheerful voice
- Sit with your baby in your arms
- Meeting the baby has to occur as a fun activity to your pet
- Allow your dog to investigate your baby. Start with letting the dog smell the baby’s feet
- IT IS NATURAL, NORMAL AND REASONABLE FOR YOU TO BE NERVOUS
- Pay attention to your dog’s behavior. Watch for any cues to aggressive behavior.
- Let the interaction go as far as you feel comfortable. It is okay to build upon brief interactions.
- Gently interrupt the encounter, by instructing your dog to sit or lay down (give reward)
- You may repeat as often as you are comfortable, allowing increased exploration and interaction
The important thing is to give your dog and your baby a safe environment, in which, to meet. Let them interact for as long as you are comfortable. Praise and reward your dog for appropriate behavior.
Build upon their first meeting until your dog and your baby are close friends.
Here are some links with a lot more detailed information:
How’s It Going with Daniel?
We are still fully introducing the dogs to Daniel.
We ran into a little snag, because it appears that Lynn has become allergic to at least one of the dogs. So the dogs are sleeping outside.
Since we are concerned that the dogs will associate the fact that they are sleeping outside with DJ joining our family, we have slowed the process a little.
That being said, when they are around him, for the most part they just lay by his crib or splash him (and Lynn) while he is sitting on Mommy’s lap in the pool.
The good new is that they have shown no signs of aggression towards Daniel.
By Bill Robertson