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How to Get Your Dog to Welcome a New Baby

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How to Get Your Dog to Welcome a New Baby

For years she has been your best friend. She was the one to cuddle with you when you were down, or maybe he was your jogging partner, loving you unconditionally as dogs are prone to do. But now you are expecting a new furless arrival, and well-meaning family members and friends are urging you to get rid of the dog. They spin horror stories of the dog attacking the baby out of jealousy, of the dog bringing nothing but sorrow to your hectic life. It’s not true. With a bit of effort and preparation your dog will welcome and love the new baby as much as you do. In some ways, it helps to think of the dog as the big brother and sister that you have to help prepare for the baby.


Before the Baby Arrives:

  1. Step 1: If you haven’t already, take an obedience class. The class would lay the groundwork of discipline that’s so important for both you and your pet. If you can get your dog to listen to you in a roomful of barking dogs, then you will have no problems doing the same when a crying baby is around.

  2. Step 2: Buy a doll that makes baby noises from the toy store. Maybe even start playing recordings of a baby crying around the house. A baby’s cry can be very stressful for a dog who has never heard it before; so getting him used to the noise in advance will make it second nature when the baby does arrive.

  3. Step 3: Start getting your dog ready for the baby’s smell. Sprinkle baby powder around the house, and if possible let her sniff the baby’s receiving blanket, so she will recognize the baby’s scent when brought home.

  4. Step 4: Decide now if the nursery is off limits. If it is, then start establishing that boundary. Whenever he wonders in, shoo him out. Be consistent and reward him when he does obey.

The Baby is Here:

  1. Step 1: Don’t walk into the house holding the baby. Your dog has missed you and will probably greet you at the door, ready to jump on to you. This could lead to a rather disastrous welcome home experience for you, the baby and the dog, if the little one is in your arms.

  2. Step 2: For the first introductions, have the dog on a leash and someone holding the baby at a good distance away. This allows the dog to sniff and observe your new bundle of joy.

  3. Step 3: Only when you are comfortable and all seems to be calm between the dog and the baby, allow the dog to come closer. Don’t scold the dog for approaching the baby, allow him to sniff, but not lick her. If he growls, immediately let him know that’s a no-no.

  4. Step 4: Give it up to three weeks for your dog to adapt to the baby. Use that time for some positive reinforcement. When you feed the baby, feed the dog. When you play with the baby, play with the dog. The idea is to get the dog to associate good things with the baby and not think, “geez, I always get in trouble when that furless thing is around.” Positive reinforcement will build a lasting friendship between your baby and your dog.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some experts frown on restricting the nursery. The dog, if he had free reign of the room before, can certainly want to continue to wander the room, and banning him could give him another reason to resent the baby. These experts suggest allowing the dog to wonder and learn that the new smells and objects are no big deal.

  • Establish a safe place for your dog. This place should be his place. It’s where he will go if he is stressed out, unhappy or just want some quiet time. My dog has chosen the floor in the linen closet. It’s lined with a rug and her favorite toys. When she goes into it, we all know that Elena wants to be alone.

By nservice, eHow Member

Big thank you to one of our NMO members for requesting an article on how to help your dog adapt to having a new baby! Want to see a certain topic highlighted on NMO!? Email us at!

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  1. Thanks so much for posting! I will definitely be keeping these tips in mind! :)


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