Bringing Home A New Baby

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Bringing Home A New Baby
Mon, 08-29-2005 - 10:12am

Hi everyone - I thougt this article was interesting and wanted to share it with you.

After Baby is Home

From Krista Mifflin,Your Guide to Dogs.

Once you've returned home with your new baby, yes, your dog may still feel a little jealous. It's perfectly natural to feel a little left out when there's a new arrival, but you can easily reassure your dog that she hasn't been displaced in your affections.

Make it a habit to play with your dog too, even when the baby is out. Pet him while you are feeding the baby, or while the baby is looking around the floor on a blanket. Be careful not to push your dog away when his curiosity gets the better of him and he comes to sniff your new bundle. Ignoring him while the baby is loose will create problems as your dog starts to associate the baby's presence with his neglect.

Some important things to remember:

First, please, never ever punish a dog for growling, all it does is teach the dog not to warn before biting. Remember, growling is NOT bad. It's the only way your dog has of warning your child that she's too close or telling you that he's had enough and needs time away.

Secondly, POSITIVE reinforcement is the only thing that will work with a dog, with reliable results. Punishing a dog is the worst thing to do; smacking a dog will incite biting, and it will also cause your dog to resent your child's presence. (ie: "when she's around, I get in trouble"). Start to reward your dog every time him and the baby are together. He NEEDS to associate the child with GOOD things.

Hold the baby, reward the dog.
Feed the baby, feed the dog.
Change the baby, reward the dog.

If your dog is rewarded everytime he comes near the baby and sits nicely to sniff, it will not be long before the baby becomes the dog's favourite person next to you.

I know that somedays you feel like you just don't have the energy to play with your dog in addition to caring for your new baby, but the extra effort will be worth it as your human child and your dog grow to be inseperable companions in the years ahead.