Early May of 2013, I found out I was going to be a father. It was exciting, hectic, nerve racking, terrifying all balled up into a pile of wow. There were many things in my life that would change forever with my son Brennan’s arrival, least of which being, my dogs. Many people asked me questions or expressed concerns about the whole “baby/dog” thing, and rightfully so. You see, many folks don’t see their relationship with their dogs the way I see my relationship with mine. Questions like “do you think they’ll be jealous?” and “Do you think they’ll be protective of the baby?” were commonly asked questions so much so that I had the answers down to a rehearsed science.
You see, welcoming new pups into the pack is a natural occurrence for more wild canids. The domestic dog may never get a chance to welcome a litter of puppies into the pack, but bringing a baby home brings it’s own set of rules and boundaries. The way I handled it was the same way I would expect a bitch to protect her whelping pen. My dogs were kept at a distance until the point they could exist around Brennan with an energy level of 1 or lower (on a scale to 10). If they were unable to do so, they were removed from the 5 foot space bubble I insisted on being around Brennan at all times.
The thing that makes the transition for a new baby into the home with dogs easiest is being clear to the dogs on what is expected and understanding the human side of the equasion. For instance, humans think the dogs need to be right up close to “sniff and get to know the baby”. That’s not true. A dog can catch the babies sent from ten feet away in a decent sized room… there’s no reason for him to be in baby’s face.
Hopefully, this video helps you understand a bit better on how to prepare for your newest addition as well as aliviate some anxiety you might be feeling if you’re in this position now.
Are you or someone you know expecting a baby? Is your dog untrustworthy? are you concerned with his behaviour around your new addition?
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