So, you’ve just brought home your new baby or perhaps your new puppy and it looks like your pooch does not like your infant. What the heck is wrong? While it is certainly worrying when your dog is growling at your baby, does that mean that you will need to find your doggy a new home? Not necessarily. In this article we are going to discuss reasons why the dog growls at your baby as well as what you can do to try and make sure that both of your family members can get along peacefully. Let’s discuss!
My dog keeps growling at my baby!
Has your dog ever been around children before? When a dog is aggressive towards the presence of a baby it can mean that your dog is simply not used to children. This is especially true if the dog was not socialized properly, which can often occur if they were weaned to early(say, before 10 weeks of age). There are a few things that you can do in order to either prepare your dog if the baby has not arrived yet or to train your dog if your baby is already there. Let’s discuss preparation first.
How do I prepare my doggy for the arrival of the baby?
There are a few things that you can do in preparation of the baby’s arrival. First, basic training is good and will help to make sure that you have more control over your dog before the baby arrives. Go over basic commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, for instance. You should also practice doggy time-outs. To do this, you can utilize a dog crate which you place your doggie in when it misbehaves. Be sure they know what you are mad about by issuing a command such as ‘Enough!’ or ‘Time out!’ before putting them in time out and try to limit sessions to 3-5 minutes at a time.
Associate baby smells with good things
A few months before the baby arrives you might want to start getting the doggy used to some new scents and sights around the house. Baby furniture, and baby powder smell are some good examples. Feed the doggy treats with the introductions of the new scents Some other skills you should train your doggy in or refresh are as follows:
- Drop it – This will help to ensure that your doggy drops baby toys until they learn to leave them alone.
- Hanging out in the crate – Encourage hanging out in the crate sometimes with a filled kong treat to distract them (frozen is best as it takes longer for them to finish it!).
- Socialization – Allow more people around the dog. Cautiously, at first, of course. You want to get the dog as used to other people as possible. If your dog was weaned to early and doesn’t seem to like anyone but you then it could mean the dog has become codependent. This is not good and your dog will need to learn to socialize so that there are no problems with your baby..
My dog snapped at my baby! What do I do?
If your puppy and baby are already in the same house then we will need to do things a little differently. The first thing we need to know is ‘how did this happen?’. In many cases when a dog has snapped at a baby it is because they are afraid and the child is trying to grab them. While it is cute to watch kiddos playing with dogs, some dogs don’t like to be grabbed and they react the same way that they would if a person grabbed them. They growl and they snap. If this is what is happening then you will need to watch the baby to make sure that they leave the dog alone. Your child can still touch the dog but you will want to supervise all contact and show your child how to be gentle.
Other things you can do to make sure that baby and doggy are friends
Make sure that all contact with the dog is supervised and that the baby is not grabbing, poking, or waking up the dog. As your baby might forget not to grab if they get excited, you can prepare your puppy by grabbing a little yourself and giving them treats so that they get a little more used to being touched in this fashion. You can also let baby feed
” Just make sure that until this happens that all visits are supervised.”
your dog treats as long as you are supervising. This will help the dog to associate your baby as friendly and not some little ‘intruder’ chasing them around the house.
What if my dog tries to bite my baby?
If it seems that your dog is genuinely trying to bite your baby, there may be other factors at play to consider. Give your dog a visit to the vet for a checkup. You will want to make sure that the dog is not in any sort of pain. Sore joints, ticks, and other issues could mean that when the child touches the dog they are hurting it and it is lashing back out in return. If this is not the case, you may need to rely on the dog training and the crate time outs for a space and slowly reintroduce the dog and the baby. Your dogs reaction to the baby could settle down on its own once your doggy is used to your baby being around. Just make sure that until this happens that all visits are supervised.
While it may take a little patience, your dog and your baby should be getting along like gangbusters in no time at all. Encourage this behavior by making sure that there are a lot of treats and a lot of love for both baby and puppy. Over time your doggy will realize that the baby is part of the family and who knows? It could be the beginning of a beautiful and loyal friendship!