Bringing a baby home is a joy for everyone in the family. Except for maybe the dog. For many pets, having a brand new tiny human wiggling and crawling around may be much more jarring than expected. Babies are capable of some erratic movements, loud noises, and odd smells. It’s no wonder that a small dog especially might be thrown off with the new body in the home.
While babies and dogs should always be supervised around each other no matter what, some people prefer that the dog give the baby space whenever possible. Maintaining space between baby and your dog may provide a much safer environment for both of them, preventing your best canine friend from harming your baby and vice versa.
Keeping your small dog from invading your baby’s space may prove to be tricky at first, but there are quite a few ways to keep both of your precious family members in each other’s good graces, while also being able to maintain their safety.
This type of training should start as soon as you bring baby home and should persist throughout your dog’s life in order to maintain the manners he learns. The rest of the family in the home should be on board with whichever method of training you choose, as consistency is important for both your baby’s safety and for your dog’s comfort. If necessary, hold a family meeting to clarify expectations and the method you’ve chosen to help your dog maintain a safe distance from your baby when necessary.
Take note of the areas in your home that are set aside for your baby and areas that you can separate for your dog. Both need their own safe areas to reside during quiet times and both will need areas where they can eat or drink in peace.
Once you determine these rooms or areas in your home, get some treats or fun toys together in order to motivate your pup to respond well to your training. Smaller dogs may be mildly stubborn, and if yours has had time to develop habits, it may be more difficult to adapt to new circumstances. Be ready to provide plenty of affection for your dog during this transition period and practice patience when it comes to training.