• Richard Chan

Baby introduction

Cooper and Tobi will be going back home tomorrow. They have really unique personality and characters. I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to work with them. They will go back home to a newborn baby girl they have never met before. Many owners make the mistake of trying to get their baby and their dogs to be best buddies on day one. Many babies ended up being bitten and many dogs ended up being surrendered. When introducing a baby to a dog, my recommendation is to take lots of time and patience and do not let emotion and excitement cloud our judgement. Less is more. A baby does not need to grow up with a dog by hugging and cuddling with the dog since day one. It is better to teach the dog how to view this new addition to their pack as an off limit being and teach the dog to get used to being around the baby without any physical interaction so the dog will eventually get used to existing with the baby with an indifferent attitude. It is much better to have a dog who ignores the baby completely rather than a dog who always tries to sniff, paw, or even bite or bark at the baby. When the dog no longer feels anything special upon seeing the baby, it means the dog has accepted the baby and that is what we really want in the beginning. In my opinion, it is best to see the dog seeking attention only from the owners but not from the baby. It is best for the dog to just view the baby as something that has nothing to do with him so he will just leave the baby alone. (I.e. baby is off limit to the dog, and the baby will not bother the dog). After the dog no longer shows any interest in the baby, it is much less likely for the dog to become really excited, anxious, agitated, aroused...etc when we actually introduce them together. When a dog is calm and feels relaxed around the baby, the introduction will have a much higher chance of success. First impression is really important. A bad first impression can take a long time to undo. It is so much easier to bring the dog and baby close to each other when the dog no longer views the baby as a novelty. So, please be patient. Please do not try to force them into best buddies, teach the dog to ignore and be ignored by the baby, let them learn how to exist peacefully and comfortably with each other before bringing them closer. There is no need to rush it. 


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