Is your little bundle of joy on its way, but you still don’t know how to introduce the new baby to your beloved Golden retriever dog? Don’t worry, we have a few great tips on how to introduce your baby to your dog in the best and safest way possible. Besides this, we’re going to separate a few myths in introducing your newborn baby to your dog from the legitimate facts.
Golden retriever dog meets baby for the first time
Before you attack me saying that your dog is well behaved and that there won’t be any issues, hear me out. I understand where you’re coming from, I do. But the thing is, it doesn’t matter how well behaved your dog is. It just doesn’t.
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I really do believe you when you say your dog is very well behaved and trained, but that is just not enough! The reality of things is that even the most well-trained Golden retriever dog will freak out when faced with such a big change in its environment. This is why it’s important to teach your dog a few helpful new commands and set some boundaries.
What to do before the baby comes
Introducing your new baby to your dog begins even before the baby is born! You need to first introduce baby items to your dog. This means letting your dog explore potentially scary items like the stroller, high chair, the car seat, the diapers, the jumper. Your dog should get the opportunity to explore as many items as possible to help them address any fears they might have before the baby arrives.
You will see that setting boundaries are a must. Even though it pains you to forbid your dog something, it needs to be done. The first boundary should be that the nursery is off-limits. Make sure your Golden retriever dog gets accustomed to not going in that room even before the baby’s arrival. Tech them also that they can’t come in until you give them permission. This will help you a lot once the baby is home.
One myth many dog owners believe is that giving your dog extra attention before the baby comes will help in some way, shape, or form. However, that’s not how it works. Your dog knows his routine. So if you give your dog an hour-long walk each day or if you shower him/her with attention you can’t just expect him/her to be fine if that stops when you bring a baby home. Your dog will feel sad and won’t understand why all the cuddles and walks have become so rare. He will also have a negative association with your baby.
This is why it’s so important to make sure your dog gets used to how things will be when the baby comes, even before the baby comes. If you think you will have only half an hour for walks, then try to adjust to that now so it won’t be such a shock. In this way, there’s no negative association with the child.
The first meeting
People believe that bringing a baby blanket home beforehand in order to get your dog used to the scent of the baby is how it should be done. Generally speaking, this is not such a bad idea, however, there are better things you can do.
Also read: Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking?
Greet your dog when you get home with the baby
Your dog is probably usually very excited when you get home. This won’t be any different when you get home with your new baby. So, to make sure your baby is safe and you don’t get overwhelmed. I’ll give you a general idea of how the first meeting should go. First, the dad comes in and greets the dog or dogs while the mom stays with the baby outside. Then, mom comes in and greets the dog or dogs while dad waits outside with the baby. After this, the mother comes in with the baby. This way your dog or dogs already had the chance to greet you both and there is no risk of anyone, especially the baby, getting hurt.
Keep the dog on a leash for the introduction
Even if you’re not a big fan of keeping your dog on a leash, this is a situation where you should do exactly that. It is the first meeting of your Golden retriever dog and the baby, anything can happen. So it is just a precaution in case something happens.
When introducing your dog and your baby take it slow. Start small. First let your dog sniff your baby’s feet and make small progressions, avoiding initial face-to-face contact. This way the first meeting won’t be such a shock for your dog.
Mutual respect between the baby and the dog is key. As you teach your dog to respect your baby, you also have to teach your baby to respect your dog. As your child is growing up teach them that there should be no pulling tails, no following the dog into the crate, no riding them like a pony!
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Introducing your dog to your newborn baby won’t be an easy task. If you want the first meeting and the days ahead to go as planned and be as safe as possible for everyone you will need to take some precautions. This means you will have to start introducing them before the baby even arrives! There will have to be boundaries and rules. This doesn’t only go for your Golden retriever dog, but for your new child as well. Just as you teach your dog to respect the baby, as your baby is growing up he or she will have to learn to respect your dog as well.