8.08.2014

tips for introducing baby to dog

The very lovely, pregnant and glowing Kate asked me a few days ago if I had any tips on how to introduce your new bundle of joy to your old ball of fur.
Lucky for you, I do.
Or lucky for the two of you who might actually be interested in this. :)
But first let's talk about what not to do.
Do not place a chocolate chip doggy cookie near your newborn in hopes to lure your 110 lb dog to them for a picture. Yes, it could make for a cute picture but your dog might then think their new sibling is a chocolate chip doggy cookie and eat them. Please do not do this. I'm not sure what we were thinking.

Here are some things I would recommend: 
  • Before meeting baby.
    • We made sure that Sherman was (somewhat) trained before bringing Porter home. Sherm is far from perfect but he knows the following commands:  Sit, Stay, Leave it, Drop it, Lay down.
    • Acclimate your dog to new noises that the baby will be making. We downloaded baby sounds from www.findsounds.com and played these daily for several weeks before Porter was born. Play these sounds while going about your daily business as if there is nothing different. Pretend like you don't hear that baby in the background screaming like a banshee. But trust me, you'll hear it. :)
    • We all know dogs love to smell. And it's super important that they get familiar with their sibling's scent as soon as possible. Make an effort to have someone go visit the dog (without baby) as soon as possible and take something with the baby's scent on it so that the dog can start sniffing away.
    • I've heard that it's best to not introduce baby and dog too quickly. There's no rush. This may not be an option for you, but Sherman's grandparents were willing to keep him for the week so that we could have a few days to get established at home with just Porter. It was a nice little break for all of us, including Sherm dog.
  • The big day.
    • Remember that both dogs and babies can sense fear and stress. Make sure to plan the introduction on a day when you have plenty of time to dedicate to the meet and greet so that everyone involved is calm and ... hopefully ... rested? Yeah right. You have a newborn!
    • As long as you feel comfortable with how your dog will react, let him sniff the baby as much as possible during that first greeting. If you're apprehensive, have one person hold on to the dog with a leash while doing this. We started off by letting Sherman sniff Porter's little toes and within about ten seconds he was licking his face. Oops. Probably a little fast, but we were pretty comfortable with Sherman and how he would react. 
    • The dog should show curious interest in the baby, but should not be obsessed with sniffing, licking, etc. Now for Sherman, he greeted Porter for about 45 seconds, then decided it would be more fun to chew on his bone. All dogs are different. Give your dog as much time as they need.
  • After meeting baby. 
    • As I always say to Dan ... "a tired dog is a good dog and a good dog is a tired dog." Don't forget to give your dog the attention and exercise they need and deserve. No matter how exhausted Dan and I were at the end of the day, Sherman always got walked no matter what. And he still gets one or two walks every single day. Porter and I would much rather stay around the house and play after his nap, but instead we go on a walk for Sherman. I would much rather blog in the evenings after Porter goes to bed, but instead I go on a walk for Sherman. Just remember that this transition isn't easy for your four-legged one either and try your best to give them some lovin' too. 

And most importantly ... have fun and take lots of pictures!
Just remember. No cookies by the baby. Geeez. 

15 comments:

  1. Good tips!!! I will be soon needing to introduce my dog to baby!

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    1. I can't believe you are already 30 weeks!?!? So exciting!

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  2. yay!! thanks for the tips, lady! these are great. i can only hope henry will be as good of a big brother as sherman is! i'm bookmarking that find sounds site right now! :)

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    1. You are welcome mama bear! Henry will do amazing, no doubt.

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  3. Sarah MillerAugust 08, 2014

    These tips are great!!! I love that sound sit, we did the same thing.

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    1. Sarah MillerAugust 08, 2014

      Ugh. Sound *site*.

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    2. And look at how well Bella did with the transition. She's a champ. :)

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  4. Haha this is perfect! I am saving this for the future.

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    1. And by future you mean ... soon right? ;) I see all of those baby pictures on your blog. Those nephews, they can be a bad influence! ha.

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  5. Katy ErinsAugust 08, 2014

    Love this post, I'll be saving this one for sure!

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  6. Where was this post 6 years ago?! :)

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  7. Thanks for this post! We just found out we are expecting and have spent a few evenings discussing how life is not only going to change for us but for our "first baby" as well. I will be bookmarking this for the March arrival of our little one:)

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  8. Interesting read. When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Dog You're Pregnant: An essential guide for dog owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful and came with a baby sounds and toy noises. Max (my fur child!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. It gave me advice on what changes will occur and how to prepare my Max for them. It also talked about the causes for aggression and why it might occur and how to avoid it. It is written by a vet behaviorist too so it cover health issues as well - I got it from www.babyandpet.com.au or Amazon too i guess - mayb that will help someone else!

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  9. This is hilarious- and sweet- and true! I love that other mommies have those {what was I thinking} moments because I think I do that every single day.

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