Dogs can actually sense that there is a big change your body is going through, sometimes even before you find out you are pregnant. That doesn’t mean he exactly knows what’s going to happen and how the new alpha is going to take attention of his old ones. This could make him jealous and uncomfortable. He might react in a way which you certainly wouldn’t want.
So it’s better that you start training your dog early for all the changes from the time you find out you are pregnant.
How should I start ?
Start with asking yourself questions about your dog. Questions such as How does my dog behave around children ? How does my dog react when a guest arrives ? Is he sensitive to loud noises or continuous disturbance ? Does your dog fight with you if you take any toy which belongs to him ?
If you don’t know the answer to the first question try introducing him to a child of any of your relatives or friends.
If he seems okay (not too positive), then the steps mentioned below might help, however if he shows aggressive behaviour you might want to seek professional help before it’s too late.
Tips to start training dog:
- Don’t give him anything he wants instantly because when the baby comes you don’t want the dog to play with her toys so it’s best that you teach him that some things are out of boundaries.
- Teach him obedience commands. When he asks for a toy, ask him to sit first before handing him over the toy.
- Do these obedience drills frequently. Ask him to stay calmly by your side by 15-20 minutes and then increasing it up to half an hour or so. It might be difficult at first, so tie a leash but don’t let him move from there or come close to you. He can stay where he want, sleep or lie down but not move. This will train him to lie down next to you quietly while the baby is feeding or trying to sleep.
- Start spending less time with your dog. Approximately, the same which you would cut off once the baby is here. Do it slowly. You can be a little harsh and cold. Sometimes,dogs might not like this and will sit alone for a while all depressed. But don’t give in. That’s important. Whenever your dog comes to play with you (his usual time), turn around and walk away. This might sound cold but this is the only way to let him know that his schedule is going to go down. The baby will also make you feel very exhausted and you would want to rest instead of playing with your dog. So let him know that the play time is when you ask for it and not when he does.
- Establish boundaries of where he sleeps and rests. Introduce to him baby’s nursery and sleeping places like bed, cot, dock-a-tot etc. and let him know that they are off his limits. You would also want that he doesn’t climb into your bed that often. Make sure that he knows where all he can sleep and rest. That in no way should mean that he is not allowed on the bed EVER. The point is to make him understand that these places are not available as and when he wants to.You can also install safety gates so that your dog knows which rooms are not for him to visit whenever he wants.
- Make sure that he knows you are the leader of the pack and not him. Ask him to follow you. Some dogs stand in the way and are not ready to move. Next time when your dog follows you don’t let him enter before you do. Shut the door if he does that and then open. You make your way before the dog does. Your dog should not enter your baby’s room without your permission this is why this obedience training is important.
- Start to go on walks with your dog and imagine you have your baby in the stroller too. Make sure that the dog doesn’t pull on the leash and walks at a safe pace at which YOU find the walking COMFORTABLE.
- Don’t let the dog jump on you or your partner as a form of greeting. He may want to do that when the baby arrives too which is obviously not safe. Take a squirt bottle and squirt some water on your dog’s face, he might be in a complete shock for a while. But it’s important because babies do all sorts of things which set the dog in a playful mood and develop an urge to jump. It’s not safe.
- Introduce the scent of all baby’s products like lotion, massage oil etc. Something which the baby would be smelling off. Put some lotion on your arms so that the dog is already used to the smell when he sniffs the baby for the first time.
- Keep your food off limits. This is important because if the dog is snatching from you he might snatch it from the baby too leading to injuries. Teach your dog “OFF” and “TAKE IT” commands using the squirt bottle. It’s okay to be harsh this is something he needs to learn strictly.
- Play baby sounds. When you watch videos on Youtube about breastfeeding/newborn hacks etc. make sure that your dog is there with you so that he becomes used to the sounds he is about to hear in the near future.
- Make sure that your dog’s room is on a lower floor than yours. It might seem strange but this does play a leadership role when it comes to dogs.
- The last tip is to never ever leave even the most trained/trusted dog with your baby ALONE.
All the tips might seem like a lot to do but once all of them gets done, the relationship which you will see between your dog and your baby is gonna melt your heart. It’s immensely cute. Tell us about the problems you faced with your dog around and how well did your tactic handle it?
Mention your SUPER advice in the Comments Section below.