Having a baby has changed your world, but it has changed someone else’s world too. If you own a dog or dogs, then introducing a new lifeform into a settled environment can cause its own problems.
As far as your pet dog is concerned, the pack is settled, the territories are laid out, as are patterns of behavior, and scheduling.
Making a sudden change to them with a crying baby not only disrupts all of that but takes vital attention away from the dog onto something new.
Dog jealousy is a very real possibility if the introduction is handled badly. However, the good news is that there are many steps you can take for your dog(s) to accept a new member of the pack.
Forget breeds, how a dog reacts to a new baby in the household is down to the particular dog, the household, and how the situation is handled. There are countless examples of canine behavior changing once a baby has been brought into the home, turning a seemingly normal and well-behaved dog into a jealous one.
They will start to act up to get more attention, may get over excited, or aggressive toward whoever they feel is stealing attention.
Sometimes it is possible to know a dog is a jealous type before you bring a baby home if they challenge people who want to interact with you, such as snuggling on the couch - same goes for how they might challenge other pets.
They do this because they fear
The best way to stop dog jealousy is to meet the problem before it develops. This means setting boundaries, preparing routines, and giving off the right vibe for the dog(s) to key into.
Here are a few preparations you can make:
As you will have noticed above, it is vital to claim ownership and leadership of the situation. No matter the stage of a dog’s development, they need to know that you are the pack leader(s) and not them.
This means they behave better in the house, while on walks, and crucially in this circumstance, while around the baby.
Leadership and control are most needed during the first introduction. This means a well-timed operation to maximize the chances of your dog accepting the new baby as part of the family without feeling jealous. In order to do this, take the following steps:
Your Dog Needs Attention Too: Never forget the dog. This does not mean excessive shows of affection or new toys, but just keeping to the routine. Provide a dog with consistent daily walks and leadership will keep them happy and secure.
Your Child Will Grow Up Fast: This means they will start to wander, touch and interact with the world and this world includes the dog. Supervise all interactions between them and your dog, so both get to know each other and no harm comes to either - we all know babies love to yank tails!
Dogs Pick Up on Your Energy: If you are feeling excited, worried, or nervous about the impending birth and homecoming, your dog will pick up on this and may mirror them.
First and foremost, the safety of your newborn child, as well as other children, is most important of all. If, even after seeking professional advice and dog therapy, you do not trust your dog to be around your baby, seek a new home for them.
This will protect both the well-being and safety of your child and the mental wellbeing of your pet. It sounds like a drastic step to make, but sometimes this is just the way it has to be.
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