The PAWS Blog

How to Train Your Dog to Accept a New Member Into the Family

You may have done all the necessary preparations for the arrival of your new bundle of joy. But are you confident your dog can handle the change? Many people have furbabies, like dogs or cats, before having an actual human child. Often, while the new parents and the rest of the family are elated in excitement because of the family’s latest member, their dogs are left to wonder what all the commotion is about.

Luckily, there are steps people can take to have a smoother transition for your furbaby.

Training Your Dogs To Accept A New Member Into The Family

Although dogs will eventually get used to your baby, they will be confused at first. It is a good idea to take steps to introduce your pet to the idea of your baby, so they will be able to accept the change more quickly.

1 – Create A Success Station For Your Dog

Dogs respond well to positive reinforcement. Set up a place where your dog and your baby can interact successfully. This space could be on a mat on the floor or any area where the two can be together. Your dog and baby should be able to see each other, even play without being interrupted. Of course, keep a watchful eye on them the whole time. It is unwise to leave your dog and baby unsupervised.

2 – Get your Dog Used To Being Handled

Babies can be a bit grabby at times. Although dogs may already be used to some level of rough play, they can still become startled if the baby pulls on their tail. This is why even before your baby is born, getting your dog used to being handled is a good idea. Prepare them for the actions that they may encounter with your baby. Play with their paws or playfully ruffle their fur. Make them used to being handled. Make sure to reward them with treats and cheerful voice tones to train them to associate being handled with positive things.

3 – Teach Your Child How To Play With Your Dog

It is equally important to teach your child how to play with your dog. You can lead by example, showing them how they should treat your dog. Start by teaching the child how to pet the dog and later also show them how to respect your dog’s space and things.

When To Start Preparing Your Dog?

It is ideal to start prepping your dog for your baby’s arrival at least six months before they are born. This will be plenty of time for your dog to get used to the idea, and it will allow them to have positive interactions instead of confusion when they meet your little one for the first time.

Conclusion

If all else fails, you can hire a trainer to help your dog during the transition period. Trainers are equipped with the knowledge to handle such situations. They will use a combination of positive reinforcement and training techniques to help your dog become the best big fur-brother or fur-sister they need to be.

The P.A.W.S. Bed & Biscuit is a bed and biscuit pet hotel. We offer boarding and doggie daycare. We are known for our first-rate care provided by Daniel Antonellis and Maegan Antonellis. Looking for a place to leave your dog while you go to the hospital to have your new baby? Book their stay with us!

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