Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introducing the New Baby to The “Furry Baby”: Dogs, Newborns & The New Pack Structure

Guest Blog Post

Jonas and I were married for 4 years before we even started talking about Bug. Surely we wanted kids but life was so busy we never discussed a firm timeline.

One day last winter the bug hit us. We wanted a teeny one and we wanted it now! We noticed the change of heart at the dog park. Our eyes no longer focused on the newest Chinese Crested. We now wanted to play, talk and engage with the two-legged creatures with smiley faces while their frazzled moms tried to control the playful instincts of their bear-sized Labrador.

Bug was first conceived in our heart before she was ever in my belly. In my mind I began to replace the jogging leash with a jogging stroller. At the store all things baby had a magnetic power that I could not resist. The first one to find out about Bug was Marx our St. Bernard. Marx was so thrilled he jumped on me and hugged me the way only a St. Bernard can hug. Alas! I suddenly realized I had Bug inside me. Bug was fragile, tiny and priceless to me. Marx affection was now perceived as a threat. Mom instincts started to kick in and I was going to do anything in my power to protect Bug.

Marx met Jonas before I did. In fact they had been together as a team longer than any relationship he had ever had. As a mommy-to-be I started to worry about size issues, hygiene and general safety. Jonas on the other hand had visions of Bug and Marx sleeping together on the floor.

To appease my fears and concerns we reached out to my friend Jena. Jena is a vet, a mom to 8 kids and a professional Doberman breeder. We knew with a breed like Dobermans and the experience of having mothered eight kids she would have some tips for us on how to handle this transition. These are the things we learned:

Consider the Dog’s Background

If your dog has a history of prior aggression you will have to take more radical training and safety measures. If your dog on the other hand has a demonstrated track record of kindness and loyalty the approach will be totally different.

Obedience Training

Prior to the arrival of your baby it is important to do a refresher. Voice commands will be indispensable once your arms are busy with a little one.

Off-Limits Areas

From the beginning of the pregnancy make the nursery an off-limits area to the dog. This will give you peace of mind and enhanced safety during sleeping hours.

Flea & Parasite Preventative Care

Make sure you are on top of these two things. A healthy baby is a happy baby. Fleas and parasites can negatively impact the well being of your little one.

Doll Training

Find a human-sized plastic doll and perfume the doll with the talc or lotion you plan to use with your baby. Teach your dog to be gentle to the doll and not touch or grab.

Blanket Training

Once the baby is born have someone bring a blanket infused with the baby natural scent to your dog in order to begin the familiarization process. Use the blanket to cover the plastic baby and continue to encourage and reward gentle behavior.

Dogs and babies have done quite well for many generations. Most likely your dog will accept and protect the new member of the pack. Once he does reward him lavishly for his love and loyalty.

This article was provided by the invisible dog fence professionals at a team of specialists giving you the right tools and knowledge to save money and hassles when installing a dog containment system.

Thank you so much to the invisible dog fence professionals for providing this insightful blog post! Do you have any ideas that worked to introduce your new baby to the "furry" one?

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