Preparing Your Dog For a New Baby
Congratulations! You're having your first baby. Make sure you teach your other first-born a few new behaviours to keep the transition smooth.
Try these easy steps with your dog before the baby comes:
Mom-to-be: Use an infant-sized doll to place on your lap and in your arms, in order to begin training your dog not to jump there when you're holding the baby.
You can "show" your dog all of the new (and very strange!) activities you'll soon be practicing: standing at the change table, cooing and changing diapers; sitting in the comfy rocker, singing for hours at a time; feeding baby in her highchair when the time comes; singing baby to sleep in the automatic swing.
It's during this pre-baby role-playing that you have the opportunity to teach your dog how to behave--by way of reward and positive reinforcement--so that when the time comes, he'll sit quietly to wait when you need to change baby or lie down patiently on the floor next to the rocking chair when you're nursing baby.
Daddy-to-be should also be involved in all of the role-playing activities, as he will be changing baby and bottle-feeding as well, and should have the dog used to it beforehand.
Some people play recordings of baby sounds to get their pup used to the sounds of a baby crying and cooing.
Dad-to-be, if you remember in all the excitement, bring home a used baby blanket or outfit from the hospital after the birth with your new baby's scent. This way your dog can get used to her smell in a calm setting.
You can do it all, you know.