You've done everything you can to prep your pup for that major life event on the horizon. Now all that's left is to play your role as mediator during the crucial first meeting of your beloved canine child and your newborn. A baby who's just a few days old is unlikely to have any reaction to his new four-legged sibling, but the dog? That's another story. To ensure that the first introduction goes as smoothly as possible, follow these easy guidelines from the one and only dog whisperer, Cesar Millan.
- Get Rid of Excess Energy: Take your dog on a long walk to use up energy before bringing him or her in to meet the new baby. Before returning to the house, wait at the doorstep for a minute, and make sure the dog's mood is calm and submissive.
- Scent-sational: Give your pup a minute to sniff around. He'll instantly recognize the new scent in the house, and if you've introduced an item of the baby's beforehand, then the dog will already be accustomed to it.
- It's Go Time: When the actual introduction occurs, Mom or Dad should be holding the baby. It's important that the parents' state be calm yet assertive. Allow the dog to sniff the baby, becoming familiar with him or her from a distance.
- Earn Their Trust: During the first meeting, keeping a respectful distance between the dog and newborn is important. Gradually, however, the dog can be allowed closer and closer to the baby. Using this method establishes the baby as another "pack leader" to your pup.
- Then What? As the baby becomes more active and interested in his or her surroundings, it's crucial that all interactions be supervised by a parent. Just as the dog needs to maintain a respectful distance from the baby, it's equally imperative that the baby know not to bother the dog, pull on its tail, poke its eyes, and the like. But do your best to make sure that your dog still receives plenty of attention and affection. Try to maintain the daily routine of walks, praise, and regular feeding times. This will ensure that your dog feels secure as part of the newly expanded family.
Source: Hanna Mac