You are expecting a baby in a few months!
And don’t know what to do with your dog so that he becomes baby compatible!
A series of training methods can make your dog safe to be around the baby.
Though I always had in my mind how to train your dog for a new baby. Looks like the internet is just like me, all information regarding this topic is a bit gloomy!
So, I broke down the entire training plan into two parts to make it easy for you:
- Training before the baby comes.
- And training after the baby comes.
**Important thing to keep in mind: You can start training your dog after the baby comes, but that puts your baby under a lot of risks and can kill your time quite a lot.
So, you want to start preparing your pup at least 3 months ahead of your baby’s delivery time.
Why should you train your dog for a newborn baby?
Dogs are curious animals. And if someone new comes in their home, they don’t act normally.
Here are the reasons for training dogs for babies:
- Dogs become overexcited sensing new smell and baby toys.
- They become jealous as owners are unable to provide the same attention and time to their dogs prior to the arrival of the baby.
- Dogs can become stressed with all those things you do with your baby.
- Non-baby compatible dogs can harm your baby in lots of ways.
Now that you know why it’s super important to train your dog. Let’s get started.
Dog training before the baby comes home.
Setting up a boundary in your home should be the first thing you need to make sure.
You need to designate a room or other spaces for your children. Essentially it’s the bedroom you don’t want your dog to keep sneaking without your permission.
So, implement this training way before your baby comes home.
This will make sure that the dog knows that he doesn’t own the house. And he will look up to you to access a particular part of your home.
If you find him near that designated room, move him away affectionately and make him do something he loves. In that way, he associates a happy feeling for not going to that area.
Introduce to baby accessories.
To get a feel for the baby, you need to replicate the scenario at your home for your dog to get used to it.
I along with many other dog owners recommend getting a baby doll that matches your skin complexion.
That’s not the end. Get baby accessories like diapers, toys, and other similar stuff. Move with the baby doll-like you will be doing with your baby and use those accessories.
Observe your dog’s behavior and what he’s up to.
If he seems very anxious and excited, you can train him to control it. We will cover this later in this post!
Here’s a cool thing you can do.
Get some baby crying sound clips and let your dog hear it. And before your baby arrives, your dog will get used to it.
Walk-behind a stroller.
The last thing you want is your furry buddy interrupting while you are pushing the stroller.
So you have to train him to walk behind the stroller.
The #1 mistake I did was training my dog to walk behind a stroller after my baby came home.
And believe me, I had a hard time to control him and the stroller at the same time.
Take your dog out for walks along with a stroller. And apply reward and treatment methods to get him to walk behind.
Hopefully, he will learn it sooner than you think.
Rough handling your dog for safety.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to misbehave with your dog.
Babies have a habit of touching and hitting things out of curiosity. And if she does it with your dog, things can go wrong.
So prepare your dog before the baby comes.
For this, you need to touch your dog in different parts, especially where he doesn’t like touching.
You can do this when your dog is busy with other stuff. This is to replicate how a baby touches.
Slowly with rewards and treats, your pup will take it positively.
Train your dog to behave while you hold the baby.
You need to ensure certain behavior from your dog before you bring home the baby.
So make a replica routine with the baby doll.
Sit on the couch, move around and stuff like that.
Create some distractions like dropping baby toys, dropping a few bits of food and walking from one corner of your home to another.
You should train your dog to stay calm in these situations.
Learning to relax is a great way to keep your dog under control. This training video from Zak George explains it all.
Dog training after the baby comes home.
Training with the baby’s scent.
The baby has landed on earth! And you have a job to complete!
Get some pieces of cloth that have your baby’s scent. Put them in a plastic bag and send them home before the baby arrives.
You should make sure that your dog gets maximum exposure to the smell.
Associate the smell to something happy.
I have two suggestions that might help:
- Take a piece of your baby’s cloth and place it underneath your dog’s food bowl. So your dog will associate the smell to eating which he dearly loves.
- Attach a baby item to your body and play fetch with your dog. So later on when the baby comes home, he will not get distracted during his playtime.
How to introduce your baby to your dog?
The introduction part is crucial.
Take your dog slowly to your baby. But keep a good amount of distance.
Let him sniff the new scent and get used to it. If you have already let him experience the scent before the baby came, things will get easier.
As days go, you can decrease the distance. But never leave your baby unsupervised around your furry buddy.
You should also be concerned about your dog’s oral care. Because you don’t want your baby to feel disgusted from bad breath!
Establish table manners.
When your baby becomes 3 months old, you don’t want your dog to grab food from her hand. This creates risks for unintended biting.
So during the meal when your baby is in her chair, the dog should remain on his mat.
You can develop a mat command and give him a treat if he stays on the mat during the meal.
Leash training might come in help although not mandatory.
Create a personal space and stop jumping.
This is a thing I always advise other dog owners.
Never let your dog jump on you and make him feel that he can do whatever he wants.
You don’t want to keep him under pressure. Instead, you want your dog to wait for your permission before he does something.
The last thing you want is your dog jumping over you while the baby is sleeping on your lap.
Reward your dog for maintaining a distance from you and the baby. And over time your dog will learn to respect this space.
Train your child on how to behave with the furry buddy.
Don’t make the mistake to focus solely on your dog’s behavior.
You should also teach your child how to behave with a dog. So things, like biting, or touching suddenly, grabbing the tail, or throwing things at the dog, should be kept under control.
This mutual respect and space will keep your baby safe, and your dog will also start treating her as a member of the pack.
Crate training for avoiding isolation.
Your dog will feel isolated if you totally keep your baby away from him.
Your dog will start thinking that if the baby is here, I can’t be here. And things can turn dangerous.
So you can let your dog stay inside his crate and see the baby from a distance.
In this way, he will remain a part of your family and respect the baby as well.
Make sure to give enough food or treats and toys inside the crate. Homemade dog cakes are also becoming more popular as treats in recent times. You can try that too.
The training is just a guideline for your dog to behave around your baby.
The real focus should be to make the baby time a positive experience for your dog. Don’t scold or punish your dog if he goes near your baby.
Use positive reinforcement and other reward-based training methods. It can be a bit tricky and time-consuming but worth the effort.