Any expecting parent who owns a dog asks themselves these questions at some point:

“Is my dog ready for a newborn?”

“How do I prepare my dog for a new baby?”

“Will my dog like my baby?”

The answers to these questions are just as critical as to the safety of your infant car seat, bedding for your baby’s crib, and the correct temperature of the bathwater. It’s a safety concern that requires a sound answer compiled from facts and statistics, not emotion.

I was on the phone with a couple last week, and the expecting mother said there was no way her dog would ever hurt a baby. She then proceeded to tell me that the dog resource guards water bowls and toys. Also, the dog has been in numerous dog fights with the other dogs in the house. What thought process did she use to come to such a bold statement when she also mentioned her dog has never been around babies?  Like many I meet, this mother is projecting the relationship she has with her dog onto her newborn. Nobody ever wants to think the pet we love is capable of anything but unconditional love. That thinking is called anthropomorphism, which is “ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things.” Answers based on what we project and hope for is not bringing your newborn into a safe environment. You also set yourself up for major disappointment if the relationship between your dog and baby doesn’t play out the way you envision. This way of thinking is an example of using emotions rather than facts. As a new parent, you constantly are making the best decisions for your baby.  If you’re taking time to read manuals on how to install the infant car seat, cautions of crib bedding, and researching temperature gauges for the ideal bathwater. Wouldn’t it be just as critical as preparing your dog for the upcoming changes that involve bringing home a precious infant?  

I have created a preparation checklist for expecting families based on facts and statistics. Using this as a guide will help ease some worries and educate you about babies and dogs. Don’t wonder how your dog will respond to a new baby. Use data from an experienced dog trainer and mom who has walked hundreds of families and their dogs through the preparation and meeting of a newborn.

Enjoy the process of preparing for parenthood with your man’s best friend alongside you.  Training and understanding your dog is the best preparation you can do to ensure harmony in your home.  To start this process stream Dogs to Diapers now.   


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