Leading dog experts recommend that you prepare the family dog for when the baby first arrives. Dogs also need time to adjust to a new person in the house and may at first see the baby as a threat. To avoid any harm coming to your new born, take time to train your dog and let him ease into the new change that has come about to your household. In order to minimize tension for the dog and reduce the chance of a mishap you can make many changes and provisions ahead of time for an easy transition.
The preparation time for your dog
Practice giving cues to your dog in any position you may be, sitting on the floor or lounging back on the couch. If your dog does not respond to familiar cues such as “sit” and “down” when you are resting in various positions, then you will you will need to practice these in order to get it right. It can even occur that the word “sit” that the dog is responding to, can be a signal that you are giving that you don’t even know about.
Let your dog get familiar with baby items
Get your dog to become familiar with the baby equipment by teaching them what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Bring in new features and make it part of your daily lives with the dog. For instance, walk around with the carrier or go for walk with the stroller to see the reaction of your dog. If he shows unacceptable behaviour like jumping on it, then it needs to be worked on immediately. You don’t need to put up fencing around baby’s items, if the dog is used to them.
Get the dog to familiarise the scent of the baby
Dogs are extremely territorial and for them to be accepting of a new member, they must get used to their scent. Put baby lotion in the carrier, car seat, as well as the teddy you carry in the sling. Bring the same lotion with you to put the same familiar scent on the baby’s clothing for the dog to be familiar with. You can also get a CD of baby sounds to introduce and create a positive experience prior to the baby’s arrival.
Dog expert, Jennifer Shylock says, “If you have any concerns at all about your dog’s behavior or attitude towards the baby, seek professional help right away.”