Dog trainer tips: How to introduce your dog and baby
ARE you expecting a baby and wondering how to prepare your dog for the new member?
Kyra Ensbey from Bright Bessy Dog Training answeres a concerned Coffs Harbour residents question.
Question: I am four months pregnant and would like to know how to get our dog, that we have had for six years, ready for the baby's arrival.
I hear so many horror stories about dogs and babies, I don't want this to happen to us.
- Poppy Stannard
Answer: Start now by making a list of what you want your dog to do and not do when the baby arrives.
Begin training these behaviours or implementing changes straight away.
Suggestions include teaching your dog to let you go through doors first, train your dog to station on its own place, lay a baby quilt on the floor and teach the dog it's not to go on it.
If there are any other no go zones, train the dog about them now, not when the baby is already there.
Get a recording of a baby crying, play it regularly to desensitise your dog to the sound. Train you dog not to lick and to walk nicely next to the baby pram.
Just before baby comes home, bring an item that the baby has been in contact with and let your dog smell it.
Do the same with clothing worn while breast feeding your baby.
When coming home, let your dog smell your baby while on your lap.
Praise dog for nice calm behaviour and allow your dog to interact with you as always, including them in walks and other activities.
Get your dog used to other people coming up to the pram when baby is in it by using rewards.
This will stop the dog from becoming protective.
Ensure that your dog is wormed regularly, maintain normal routines your dog is used to and don't change the dog's whole life just because you have had a baby.
Pay attention to your dog as you always did.
Don't ignore it but don't leave them alone with your baby.
Be patient with your dog, this is a huge change in its life.
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