A New Baby or Child In The House

Today’s article is in response to several emails I have received asking how to introduce your dog to a new baby in the house or even an older child that has come to live with you.

Believe it or not the answer is really simple.  In fact I’ll spell it out for you right here:

T – R –  A – I – N –  I – N – G

Yes training is the answer.  If you have a well trained dog you will have a dog that knows how to behave in all sorts of situations.  Just like a well behaved child you can take them anywhere and know that they will not embarrass you because they have been trained properly

Teaching your dog some simple commands like sit, down, sit-stay, down-stay and off are really a must.

I’m always amazed how people with a 4 – 5 year old dog wait until 4 weeks before the baby is coming home to decide to get the dog trained.  Even more amazing is when there are 2, 3 or even 4 untrained dogs in the house.

If that sounds like you start now and get those dogs trained.  It’s really not hard and the experience will bring you and your dog closer than you have ever been.  Your dog needs a pack leader and training makes you that leader that he is craving.

Another factor involving children and dogs goes way back to when your dog was a puppy.  It is called:

S – O – C – I – A – L – I – Z – A – T – I – O – N

The period of socialization for a dog is from birth to 20 weeks old.  During the socialization period your dog needs to be introduced to strange environments, new people and children.  Yes, children !  Dogs consider kids as a different creature than adults and it is always great if you can get that pup socialized with kids.

Now keep in mind that when I talk about socializing with kids I don’t mean the kids that your dog lives with because that seems to usually come just naturally, they are part of the pack.  I’m talking about other kids that come to your home as well as kids that your dogs meets away from your house.

One thing to keep in mind is that dogs usually sense that there is a baby in the house and usually seem to be calmer around the newcomer.

With an older child coming into the house treats are always a peace maker.  Use treats to make the new child and the dog best friends by offering treats to build that bond.

Until next time…..

About the Author: Wayne Booth is owner of Canine Behavior Specialists in Nashville, TN.  Wayne has been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network, www.K9-University.com

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