14 answers

Getting Dog Ready for Baby

Does anyone have any recommended reading, or training tips, on how to get my 5 year-old dog ready for the arrival of our first baby? Until this point it has been just the 3 of us, and I know I have my work cut out for me to prepare him for the shift in attention (away from him!). I've heard about the usual bringing baby blankets home from the hospital, etc., but I'm looking for somebody that's been through this and has some other ideas that I can work on now.

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I did this about forty years ago. A lot depends on the dog personality. Friendly and loving was my dog, I let him sleep next to my baby before she was born. I feel as if he knew her when we brought her home.
When I was holding her he got petting even if I had to rub him with my foot. I feel as long as the dog continues to get the love he has always had, and teach the baby to love the dog, and be kind to the dog also. I had no problems The dog did want a pacifier, so I got him blue ones and she got pink.
It is a lot of work, but you can make it work. Good luck. Shirley

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We were a little concerned before my daughter was born about our 2 dogs. We have a 140 lb rot/lab who was 3 at the time and a 70 lb doberman who was about 5 at the time. We were especially concerned about the bigger one he was still so much of a puppy jumping around even knocking me over when I was pregnant. After the baby was born it was so instinctual to them. He became so gentle & soft. He would become really concerned when the baby cried & just wanted to make sure she was safe. Needless to say the worrying was for nothing. Now my kids are 4 & 2 & the dogs are their best friends they ride them & crawl all over them. I think dogs are pretty smart & figure everything out on their own.
Brekka

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We went through this with our lab mix & our Boston Terrier. Our friend had a baby doll that cried liked a real baby. We brought that home while I was pregnant & let them see the baby, carried it around like it was our baby, let it cry. I think it helped a lot. My husband did bring a blanket home after Brandon was born as well. Just give your dog the love & attention like you normally would before the baby when the baby does come. Of course it won't be as much as before. Also, don't just give the dog attention when the baby is napping. If you're holding the baby, give your dog all the petting & loving it wants while you're holding the baby.

Good luck!

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Our friends recommended a CD with baby noises to get the dog used to hearing a baby. It worked great! Our dog was a little nervous the first few times we played it but got used to it very quickly. So she had no issues with all the weird baby noises coming from our daughter when we brought her home. The CD was called "preparing fido", but I'm sure there are many other similar products. Our daughter is 15 months now and our dog loves her!

1 mom found this helpful

I did this about forty years ago. A lot depends on the dog personality. Friendly and loving was my dog, I let him sleep next to my baby before she was born. I feel as if he knew her when we brought her home.
When I was holding her he got petting even if I had to rub him with my foot. I feel as long as the dog continues to get the love he has always had, and teach the baby to love the dog, and be kind to the dog also. I had no problems The dog did want a pacifier, so I got him blue ones and she got pink.
It is a lot of work, but you can make it work. Good luck. Shirley

1 mom found this helpful

I liked everyone's ideas. I would like to add a couple things: 1) be sure to do some training at the dog bowl- meaning- test your dog's patience while he is eating- pet him, gently tug his ears and tail, try to take food from his bowl, etc. Even though I tried to keep my baby away from the dog while he was eating- every once in a while he'd still get in the dog bowl and it would take a few seconds to get him away. 2) Establish a "break" area for your dog- somewhere he can go when he has definitely had enough; for example- we have 2 areas: in his "house" (kennel) and under the microwave stand. These area are his exclusively and when he goes there, we all know he is ready for a break.

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If you have any friends that have babies have them bring there baby over for a while so he can get used to seeing what a baby looks like. My hubby brought a baby blanket home form the hospital . We also put out the bassinet and the swing and other baby things early so the dog could get used to them and there sounds. When you first bring baby home always be holding the baby when introducing her to the dog until the dog is used to her sounds and smell. It went really good with our dog but every dog is different. No matter how docile your dog is never leave him alone with the baby at first if the baby makes a sudden move or cries the dog could nip. Good luck your family will get a long great with the new addition.

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We were in the same situation when we had our son. We tried to prepare our dog from puppy age to be kid ready. Even so, we were really nervous about how she would react to a new baby in the home. My husband did the blanket thing...our dog sniffed it then peed on it!!!! When we brought our son home, the first thing we did was put the carrier on the floor so our dog could smell him. Then I tried to pay attention to her as much as possible, with all the family around wanting the baby it was easy to do. Just keep her part of the family and you shouldn't have any problems.

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I would add that when you do bring the baby home, introduce him/her to the dog by name. We have brought home 4 children since we have had our dog Bear. With each one we have introduced them to the dog by name. For example we held the baby at Bear's level and said to him "Bear this is ...(say the child's name)" and then let Bear sniff and even lick the child. We were pretty lucky that we have had Bear since he has been a puppy and has grown up with our second child. Good luck!

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