Now that you have successfully introduced the baby and dog, it is time to build a bond between the two!
Babies and Dogs
Creating a Safe and Harmonious Relationship
Building a Bond Between Baby and Dog
Now that you’ve reviewed Parts 1 through 3, let’s finish with how you can help create a beautiful bond between your baby and dog.
You will need to help your dog understand that this new little person, who is demanding all of your attention is actually going to stay and is part of the family or pack (as your dog sees it)!
Overall, be sure to do some of the activities your dog enjoys every day, and importantly, include the baby. For example, a dog walk with the baby stroller is an excellent activity. The dog sees everyone walking as a pack unit, with the baby in the lead. Plus, walking is very healthy for everyone!
If you play games like fetch, the baby can be present as you are playing with the dog. Also, if you play indoor scent games like searching for hidden dog treats, your baby can be present for this as well. Try to find as many things as possible that you can still do where your dog sees that the baby is included.
Of note, even practicing the basic commands your dog knows, followed by praise and a treat, while your baby is in your arms, makes the dog see the baby as part of the interaction and training. In the eyes of the dog, “Good things happen when the baby is present!”
Two final precautionary thoughts –
1. If you think your dog is showing signs of jealously, please contact a professional trainer to help you. It is usually a situation that can be helped by having the owner make changes in the way they are relating to the dog.
2. Most important, because things can happen in a split second, always supervise your dog and baby when they are together!
It is a wonderful experience for a child to grow up with a dog. Learning to have compassion and understanding of a different species starts with you, and how you model respect and kindness to your canine family member. Enjoy your new family!