Are you worried that the arrival of your baby might be problematic for your dog? And what are some of the warning signs to let you know you should be concerned?
There are a number of things that I would consider red flags when considering bringing a baby into a home with a resident dog.
Bear in mind that just because these are red flags does not mean that your dog can’t adapt to the arrival of your baby. It just means that you want to take them seriously and start planning ahead.
Three Warning Signs: Trouble Between Your Dog And Baby
1. The most obvious red flag is if your dog doesn’t like children.
Generally, not liking children is related to fear. And the primary way of dealing with fear is through a process called systematic desensitization.
This simply means slowly getting your dog used to whatever she’s afraid of by connecting it with something she really likes, like a favorite treat or, for the toy crazy dogs, a favorite toy.
2. If you have an older dog that is physically frail you really need to start planning ahead.
You can do this not only by getting your dog used to the presence of children now, but also by being sure that your dog has some “safe zones” around the house to which she can escape once your child begins crawling.
3. If your dog has a strong prey instinct and especially if your dog has killed small animals or domestic pets, you should take extra precautions.
A lot of the most dangerous dog bites are triggered when a baby’s high-pitched squealing triggers your dog’s predatory drives. If you find yourself in this situation, I recommend hiring a qualified professional trainer right away to help you.
In addition, you can also begin to desensitize your dog to such high-pitched trigger sounds by purchasing one of the multiple cd’s out there filled with baby sounds in order to get your dog used to them.
Play the sounds and as your dog hears them, teach her to do something like lie calmly on her bed while getting treats. This can help teach her that when she hears those sounds lying down and being calm will result in a big reward.