Four Tips to Use When Introducing Your Fur Baby to Your New Little Human Baby
Inspired by the true life experience of Danielle and her husband, her daughter Tegan, and a very happy black lab.
Danielle and Zach had a some anxiety about introducing their black lab to their newborn daughter. So much so that their lab was kept at Danielle's mothers' home for the first week they were home with Tegan. This gave them a good transition time before Zoe (the black lab) came hoe to meet the new member of the family. Funny thing is: Zoe was totes cool about the new baby. She actually slowed down and acted more gentle around Tegan as if she new she was a super delicate new thing her parents cared for very much. And while their transition was awesome with dog and new baby, there were a few things the Whaleys did to prepare for this epic meeting.
1. Observe Your Dog Around Other Kiddos- Zach and Dani always knew they wanted kids but they wanted the dog first. And with Danielle's background in training larger dogs in obedience she knew repetition was key for Zoe to get the idea of children. Labs are awesome companions to families with kids. But since they hadn't started working on the kids just yet, Zach and Danielle took Zoe everywhere to meet everyone. At a young age Zoe met little kids, big kids, elderly people, other dogs, and cats (though cats didn't appreciate her friendly manner or curiosity). Zoe also got plenty of kid time at her human cousin house. Four littles kiddos under the age of 6 was a great place to start for Zoe.
2. Consistent Training and Attention Outside of Kid-Time- Zach and Dani worked hard with Zoe to make sure is well trained outside of just in relation to kids. She had/has strict expectations for behavior and boundaries. She doesn't leave the front yard, she knows one word commands, and gets exercise while running with Dani around the neighborhood.
3. Have a Baby Item for Them to Sniff- Zach and Dani sent grandma home from the hospital with one of Tegan's newborn hats with her scent. Grandma then let Zoe sniff and check it out all the way home to meet the new baby. When Zoe came in the door it wasn't a shock because, in a way, she already met Tegan via scent :) She said hello with a sniff and lick, and then proceeded to nuzzle into her owners hands. Typical Zoe.
4. Involve Them in Care-Taking of the Baby- this is almost like introducing your first born to your baby. You don't want them to feel neglected and left out. So having Zoe "check on Tegan" was a great way to keep her involved. In the early months Dani would ask Zoe to come with her to "check on Tegan." This was when Tegan would wake up from a nap and be crying. Zoe would lean to go to where Tegan was crying and whine and Danielle would lower Tegan to Zoe's nose level so she could sniff her and maybe give her a few light kisses.
How About You?
How did the first meeting go for your fur-baby? Share your dog and new baby stories with us!