Preparing a dog for a new baby

I always advise that as soon as you are aware that there will be a new baby in the house, begin to prepare your dog. It is essential that your dog has a basic understanding of good behaviour.

The dog should be able to lie quietly for short periods, not jump up, walk on a lead without pulling and come when called. Get your dog used to being ignored and left alone for short periods of time. If it is your intention to exclude your dog from certain areas of the house, establish these well in advance to the baby’s arrival. Ideally, the dog should be excluded from the baby’s bedroom.

It is a good idea to teach your dog to walk gently next to the pram, but never tie the leash to the pram. The dog should also be accustomed to new items of furniture such as playpens, carry cots and high chairs before baby arrives. Also teach the dog the difference between its toys and the baby’s toys.

It is important that the dog receives sufficient mental and physical stimulation. Teach the dog how to approach the baby properly and gently. Allow the dog to make initial investigations and approaches. Associate the baby’s presence with positive things. Give the dog titbits and lavish praise for desired behaviour around the baby.

Ensure that your dog is healthy and is up to date with worming and vaccinations. NEVER leave a baby or child unattended with any dog.


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