How to introduce dogs to a new baby

MaddieDogs are keen observers and will pick up on any tension or anxiety you are feeling during the introduction. First off never leave them unsupervised, and go slow. Stay calm and pay attention to body language. How does your dog act when you get near his food bowl, chew toys and resting area? Pay attention to any sensitivity your dog shows when being approached by people, especially children. How does your dog act when he is handled in uncomfortable ways, including tail tugs and grabbing his feet, mouth and ears. If you have concerns get a professional trainer.

Recently a good friend was showing me a photo of his 22 yr. old son who was bit in the face by his 15 yr. old Lab, who he had grown up with; because he touched his food bowl. Dog bites can happen at anytime and can be extremely dangerous. Teach your dogs proper manners, like no jumping up to prevent the baby from being jostled or stepped on. While the baby is still at the hospital try bringing home a blanket for the pet. After everyone is acquainted allow direct contact. After a short period take a break and reward the dog. Avoid any food or prized possessions around the baby. Never allow an unsupervised interaction between your dog and a new baby. When getting aquainted assuming the body language, socialization and temperament, I recommend doing it off-leash when meeting another dog. The reason is that your dog is sensing your anxiety about the interaction and feels restrained.

Jumi.