Dog Training/Dogs meet baby!
I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to properly introduce my two dogs to our new baby (due march 20 2015)?
So briefly about my two angles, we have a 5 year old collie/lab cross spayed very cuddly and a bit of a princess named Cleo. Shes a wonderful loving dog with a playful personalty, but she can be a bit pushy and loves to use her paws to get your attention (we are ignoring her when she paws us to discourage this behavior). Then we have the baby of the family Miaya, shes 4 year old border collie whose spayed as well. she has a very out going personality and is a bit of a goofball, and like any border collie shes full of energy and loves to play! shes also love to talk lol.
So our two dogs have been my husbands and my focus for the last 5 years with training and attention. Miaya is now starting to understand what children are (she use to bark at them) and doesn't give them much attention unless they trow the ball. But my issue is they get jealous of each other when i'm paying attention to the other. nothing serious they just push the other out of the way so i'm focused on them. i'm concerned how they will take me paying attention to the new baby (this is our first child). i have a feeling they should be fine but i don't want them to get jealous of the baby and push they baby out of the way. I want this transition of there new brother or sister to be easy on them.
What should we do to prep them for the new addition?
Stacy, good for you for thinking early enough about how a baby will affect the dogs. Here are some tips for you:
Refresh all their basic obedience behaviors. Make sure they can respond to all their known cues in a variety of situations and distractions. Example: Can the dog respond to a "sit" or "down" cue while you are seated in a chair? while you're sitting on the floor? while you are not looking directly at them?
Pushy, demanding behaviors must be ignored - or punished by losing you and/or your attention. Teach them what you want them to do INSTEAD of pawing. Sitting and making eye contact is a good alternative. Be sure to notice the dogs when they are being good and not just when they are misbehaving. It's easy to ignore good dogs!
Get a baby sounds CD. As you start to gather the all the baby equipment allow the dogs opportunities to sniff. Get a lifelike baby doll and put it in the car seat/swing/carrier. Practice carrying the doll around and get an idea what you'll do when you have to manage the baby and the dogs in the house. With the doll, you can also teach the dogs what you expect of them while you're nursing on the couch, changing diapers, etc. If they don't already know how, teach them to go to their beds while you're involved with the baby.
Please let me know if you have further questions or need clarification on anything I've recommended. Good luck!