I hear clients say all the time their dog is their child or their “Fur Baby.”
While on the surface this seems very innocent, it could in fact (and often does) create a subtle behavior pattern with the way you treat your dog.
I feel bad for the dog because asking them to fill the shoes of a completely different species. That is not only unrealistic, but it can also be hazardous for your human baby.
1. Being your “baby” does not bring a purpose to the dog that they would understand to have a healthy existence in your family.
I’ve seen too many dogs that have taken over households. Having that role makes the dog insecure and anxious all because owners did not display proper leadership and rules for their dogs.
Dogs need jobs; they understand!
Research your dog and their breed and treat them accordingly.
Don’t create stress in your dog by reinforcing anxious behaviors and enabling the dog by projecting human emotions onto them.
Be influential, confident leaders that your dog can follow and rely on so that they can fit properly into the family.
A happy and fulfilled dog has a purpose that they understand.
2. When your newborn arrives, the love that you have for that baby will be radically different than the love you feel for your dog.
I’m not saying you won’t love your dog anymore, but your main concern now becomes the safety of your baby.
You have to treat your dog accordingly.
We love our dogs by having clear rules and boundaries, a proper leadership position, and understanding their genetic needs and desires.
3. You don’t want your dog’s status to be equal to the baby.
It will help the dog to respect you and the baby’s time together by giving the dog clear jobs to do while you are attending to the baby.
Don’t allow the dog in the baby’s nursery or on the furniture with the baby. Sharing this space presents the picture that your dog and baby are equal.
You never want the dog challenging the baby over a spot on the furniture. Many nips to the face occur in that scenario.
Dogs want to follow your leadership and can organically create a healthy relationship with your child when set up for success.