Bringing a baby into the world is difficult for any couple; especially their first. However, it is more complicated if you have a dog at home, and sadly, if you have an adopted dog with a difficult past it may be additionally problematic. It’s been a pleasure and a challenge to bring adopted dogs into my household, and over the last few years, it’s been a new challenge to bring a baby in too. This is a summary of another guide I’ve written on preparing your dog for the arrival of a new baby.
Get Your Adopted Pup Ready for the Baby’s Arrival
No matter where you are in the world, the problems are the same. Your dog could get jealous of the new baby, which may stem from an attention deficit problem or a psychosis from previous mistreatment if adopted. However, you can prepare for the best! So...
1. Behavioral Specialists: Get expert advice on your dog. If your dog is adopted you may have some knowledge of their issues, but with a specialist’s help, you can train them and prepare them in advance.
2. Introduce Your Baby’s Scent: Take home a used item with your baby’s unique smell on it. Don’t just give it to the dog, but track control and invite them to come to you.
3. Remember the Rules: This is a great opportunity to reinforce your rules of behavior with your dog, ensure they remain submissive, and to correct any misdemeanors. Most of all, reward submissiveness.
4. Develop a New Routine: Your dog is used to a regular walking routine, but having a baby is going to disrupt this, so even before the baby is born, it’s a great time to devise a new schedule and implement it long before your kid is home.
5. Introduce Kids to Your Dog: If your dog is used to babies and kids, it’ll react better to your own. Ensure meetings are controlled and tightly supervised, and that your dog remains calm and submissive throughout.
That First Introduction
Now time for the big one, the baby is coming home, so what do you do? Here’s what we recommend:
1. Exercise your dog, get them tired on a good long walk.
2. At the same time, your family brings the baby home.
3. Pause on the doorstep, make sure your dog is submissive and calm.
4. Whoever holds the baby should be calm and relaxed too.
5. Take control, let the dog sniff at a respectful distance.
6. Make sure the dog knows the baby is a mini pack leader by making it slowly approach.
When you introduce your adopted dog to your newly expanded family, you should always remember that your dog has needs too. This includes the need for attention and a regular, predictable routine. Also, don’t forget your baby will grow up fast. They will begin to wander and touch things, like your dog, like your dog’s tail. So be careful, but also, never forget that the child comes first. If there’s a problem, find a new home for your pup no matter how hard it is to let them go.