How Will Your Fur-Baby Will Feel About A Real Baby?
For many of us, the family dog is our first baby.
Dogs are children who never grow up, who love us unconditionally, who provide us with immense joy, and who depend on us for their health, happiness, and safety.
So, it’s natural for us to worry when a real baby is on the way.
How will the dog feel about the new family member? Could your precious fur-baby feel neglected, jealous, or even… aggressive?
After all, there are some sobering statistics out there…
- 50% of children will be bitten by a dog before they turn 12.
- 68% of bites happen to children under the age of 5.
- Children are more likely to die from a dog bite than adults.
- Most dog bites happen when a child accidentally steps on the dog, trips and falls on the dog, or simply pats a little too hard.
- Most dog bites are from family pets or a dog known to the family
- “Good” breeds like Labs are just as likely to bite as Pitbulls or Rottweilers
- Perhaps most worryingly, one study showed that 66% of dogs who bit a child had never bitten a child before, and 20% had never bitten anyone before, ever.
I think every expectant parent worries about what to do if the family dog resents the new baby. In our worst nightmares we see ourselves having to give up a beloved family member due to safety concerns.
…And some of us can’t decide which family member would have to be the one to go!
Even in cases where the dog is known to be gentle with infants, we don’t want to make her feel neglected or upset by the arrival of the baby.
Many dogs love babies in general, but come to dislike the tiny invader who took over their home.
Other families feel sure their dog will welcome the baby, but are afraid that behaviour problems, like barking or poor housebreaking may cause additional difficulties once a baby arrives on the scene.
Have no fear, Wag The Dog is here!
Our Baby Preparation Program helps identifies potential problems in an expectant family and deal with them effectively BEFORE the baby arrives.
By getting to know you and your dog(s), we can tell you what changes you need to make to help the transition go smoothly and prevent problems with jealousy or aggression.
We can also give you tips on how to avoid common pitfalls that trap new parents and how to help your dog feel involved… instead of left out.
Small, active dogs can quickly learn how to act like baby monitors, coming to let you know when the baby is crying. Larger dogs can help out by fetching diapers or opening the fridge for you when your arms are full of infant.
Bringing a baby into your family should bring everyone joy – including any furry big brothers or sisters.
Preparing For Baby Basic
This basic package is for families whose dogs do not have current behaviour problems, and who are not interested in teaching their dog how to help out with the baby.
Over three private sessions, we will cover the following topics:
- Temperament Testing
- Basic Manners
- Tolerating Rough Handling
- Tolerating Baby’s Cries
- Changing Routines
- Jealousy Prevention
- Problem Prevention
- Walking With A Stroller
- Leaving Baby’s Toys Alone
- Dog-Baby Safety
- Common Pitfalls To Avoid
Preparing For Baby Deluxe
The deluxe package is recommended for those whose dogs have significant behaviour problems (fear, aggression, anxiety, etc) and/or who want to teach their dog how to get involved in caring for baby.
The deluxe package includes all topics above but can also include:
- Behaviour Modification as applicable
- Fetching Diapers
- Opening cupboards/fridge
- Closing doors
- Alerting you to baby’s cries
Do you already have a baby?
Have you noticed behaviour changes in your dog since the baby’s arrival? Maybe your dog has started urinating under the baby’s crib, or is barking and pacing more than before the baby was born.
Don’t worry, these problems are not uncommon in families with new babies, but they do need to be dealt with quickly, before they escalate into worse problems, and before bad habits become too deeply entrenched.