Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Preparing ahead with the entire family.

Preparing ahead for baby with your dogs really helps to avoid confusion and frustration for all once the real baby arrives. Allow dogs to be curious but teach them the boundaries that will be expected with your little one. Ex. here Windsor is sitting and sniffing feet of the baby doll. This is acceptable and comfortable. Sniffing the head and being pushy or jumpy is not. Allowing the dogs and you to role play makes the transition alot smoother.

Setting up swings, bouncer seats etc really helps these items loose their novelty in the dogs minds. It also allows you the chance to reward calm and appropriate behavior before the baby is in this equipment. Swings now have various sounds, objets, motions etc and some dogs need more time to adapt then others. Duke is pretty relaxed while the baby doll swings in my office in the swing.

We have three children to include in our preparation for dog and baby harmony. Here Kayleigh is working with Windsor and reminding him that calm behavior allows him to be included as she talks to the baby doll.
All family members should be included in the preparation of dog and baby harmony. This allows consistency as well as increases safety by providing education to older siblings about safety BEFORE baby arrives. This will make for an easier transition and success for all.

1 comment:

Bibliopet said...

Just wanted to voice my appreciation of your blog. I had my dog - who is a *GOOD DOG*! - at my home birth. He slept through the labor, in the same room, and was a calming presence.

I purposefully wanted him included in the birth - i.e. not be excluded - and made sure my home birth midwife was happy with his being there.

He was the first to touch the baby after the midwife. (Sniffed her gently and briefly, actually quite reverently.) Thereafter I made sure that good things happened to him when the baby was about right down to patting him with my foot while I was breastfeeding.

All this truly exhausting early effort has paid off tremendously in the long run.

My daughter is now 6 and she and the dog have never had a single unloving moment.

It's about putting the effort in before and especially right after the birth. I imagine it would be easy for any dog to feel resentful of a sudden lack of attention and you really need to decide to make a commitment to your dog, tiring as it is, you are setting your dog up for success and giving your child the joy of a canine companion which is an important pay-off for the initial effort.