By Paula Sunday:
“I’m having a baby. Everyone is asking me when am I going to get rid of the dog! I’m not going to get rid of the dog, but I want to do this right. Where do I start?
Dogs and babies –3 ways to prepare, before Baby comes home.
Dogs and babies can safely live in the same household, but it does helps to prepare your pet ahead of time.
1. Brush up with the training you’ve done with your dog. Does she sit? Stay? Go to her bed? Does she jump up? Be sure to teach a “go to your bed cue” so your dog is not underfoot when you are carrying the baby. Teach your dog to stop and stay at the bottom or the top of a stairway so she doesn’t get underfoot. While you have the time for your dog–before the baby comes–be sure your dog behaves. Consider taking a refresher basic manners class with your dog.
2. Purchase or borrow baby stuff like lotions, powder that have a baby scent. Put these on blankets so your dog gets used to it. You can teach your dog to leave anything with the baby “scent” alone. Reward her. Never scold and be sure your voice is friendly.
3. Walk around the house with a pillow or doll wrapped in the baby-scented blankets. When you carry a baby, your body language changes, so you want your dog to get used to this in advance.
These are hints to help train your dog before the baby comes. For your baby’s safety and your dog’s forever home, it’s important to know what the pros have to say about that, too so you will feel more secure when you bring your new little one home!
Paula Sunday, author of the dog behavior book ARL Iowa For Love of Dogs specializes in offering support to dog owners and teaching them positive training techniques. She offers answers to dog behavior questions, tips on understanding dogs’ needs and communication, and helps humans bond with their pets to keep them in their homes forever.