Baby Safety Around Dogs

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Arrival of a newborn can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for parents, while for their dogs this transition may be particularly trying. Here are some helpful suggestions to ensure both families and dogs adjust smoothly to each other.

Teach your children how to treat animals gently, rather than tease, frighten or surprise them – this will allow them to play safely with friends’ pets or the neighborhood dog.

Don’t Let the Dog Smell Your Baby

Your dog has become used to having you all to themselves and the sudden change from you being their sole focus to sharing attention with a baby can be quite jarring for both parties involved. One way you can ease his transition is to reassign feeding, playtime, and walking duties before the new addition arrives – this will also allow him or her to release some energy before meeting its new counterpart!

Before bringing home your newborn, introduce your dog to his environment by having it sniff a blanket or hat that was wrapped around him at the hospital. Many experts also suggest giving him or her a bath with baby shampoo, lotion or powder so he or she becomes familiar with his smells and associates them with positive rewards like treats. You might consider inviting a friend or family member from outside your house with these items so he or she can see that these new scents are safe.

Acclimatizing your dog to the sounds and movements of a new baby can also be helpful. Play recordings of crying, gurgling and screaming babies for short periods throughout the day; gradually increase volume gradually as your pup adjusts. Playing these sounds may help your pup understand that when their child cries or kicks it isn’t an invitation for play or sign of aggression from its mommy!

When it’s time to introduce your pup and baby, make sure that both parties are safe from harm by placing the infant in a playpen or highchair and the animals behind a fence or gate. Use obedience training techniques with leashed dogs so they remain calm around children if on leash; have someone such as your family veterinarian present who could intervene if necessary (i.e. professional trainer or your local vet) as this will give both parties time to develop positive relationships without stress or misunderstandings. This way will give them both chances to form positive bonds allowing both parties.

Don’t Let Your Child Pet the Dog

Children can be unpredictable, rude and frightening to dogs. If the dog is not your family pet, it may be best to keep your toddler at a safe distance and refrain from petting it. Even well-trained docile breeds can become overwhelmed when faced with curious toddlers who are just learning how to use their hands and explore.

Petting dogs should generally be avoided; if necessary, however, it must be conducted quickly and gently and followed up with rewards for calm behavior from your child. Rough petting (hard pats on the back or chest) can cause additional stress to both pet and owner, with dogs possibly responding negatively by growling or licking at face.

Teaching your child that when approached by an unfamiliar or aggressive dog, they should remain still and avoid eye contact by “becoming a tree.” This involves placing their head down, clasping hands together, and remaining quiet – much like trees in nature would. If the dog jumps on them and knocks them over, curl up into a ball covering their face and neck using arms and hands as protection – something which may deter future attacks from that dog.

If your toddler persists in wanting to pet the dog and it exhibits any sign of aggression or arousal, professional assistance from a dog trainer may be beneficial. A trainer will teach your child how to pet in such a way as not to provoke the animal while helping them learn respecting boundaries and safe zones.

Never leave a young child unsupervised with a small dog; this is common sense to ensure both species’ safety. If allowing your toddler to interact with a dog for play purposes, always closely supervise him/her so they do not mount it or engage in other risky behavior that puts both species at risk.

Don’t Let Your Child Approach an Aggressive Dog

Even domesticated dogs retain predatory instincts that may threaten babies or toddlers, with any noises, movements or unpredictable behavior of an infant or toddler being enough for a dog to become aggressive if threatened by it. Even just one nip can be traumatizing for young children. No matter how trained a puppy may be. Never leave small children alone with any dog (even one that belongs to your family). Have a safe area in the house set aside where your pet can escape when necessary; otherwise a gate may provide safe separation.

As your child ages, they need to understand and respect a dog’s boundaries even when not aggressive. Rough petting, face or tail grabbing and other unwanted behavior must be immediately stopped before becoming an issue.

People tend to react instinctively when confronted by an aggressive dog by running away, which can be very risky since the dog will likely chase after you. Instead, instruct your children to remain very still and look down; this will enable the animal to judge whether they pose any threat and may help calm it down.

If your pup seems aggressive towards your newborn, seek professional assistance immediately. A qualified trainer can teach both of you how to interact safely while creating a loving bond between species that benefits both parties involved.

Dee S. is the proud mom of a 6-month-old baby girl whom her labrador guards fiercely; however, Dee’s concerned that the dog has begun behaving aggressively toward. Dee wants to know if this behavior is normal and how she can teach it new rules around baby safety.

Don’t Let Your Child Play Tug-of-War or Wrestling

Dogs that play tug of war with their owners often bite those who cannot control the game, especially those unable to keep pace. Tug of war may also encourage aggression or resource guarding in certain dogs who already display these traits. To ensure maximum safety for both you and your pup, only allow adults and older children to engage in this game; teach your children it should only be done with your pet and never other people’s pets!

Tug of War can quickly escalate a dog’s arousal levels, making it hard to identify and respond to signs of aggression. Therefore, it is crucial that frequent breaks from play are taken to allow your pup time to relax; this provides the ideal opportunity for training basic obedience commands like ‘Sit” and “Down”.

While wrestling games and tug of war might appear like an excellent way to bond with your pup, these activities could actually be indulging the natural instincts that dogs possess – which could result in aggressive behavior, bites, or injuries if left unsupervised and managed properly.

As soon as a newborn arrives into your home, be aware that your dog will take time to adjust. Expect some fear or aggression from them which should not be seen as threats by your infant. For more assistance when dealing with pet reactions related to newborn arrivals consult a professional trainer and behaviorist.