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Basic Commands To Help Your Dog Adapt to Your New Baby

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Basic Commands To Help Your Dog Adapt to Your     New Baby
by Mary-Jane Gallagher

South Africa is without a doubt a canine-loving nation with even celebs like J-Something and Pearl Thusi being self-proclaimed pooch lovers. While the humble dog has not been hailed man’s best friend without a very good reason there are some situations that can render even the most loving and confident dog a bit insecure. One of these instances revolves around bringing a new baby home.  Although some dog breeds are naturally better with children than others, all dogs can be taught to behave appropriately around a baby. By simply teaching your dog a number of basic commands you will be able to introduce it to the new baby in the family without too much upheaval.

A new baby calls for big adjustments

Having a baby is a big adjustment for the entire family  Becoming a first-time dad or mom could be somewhat overwhelming despite all the excitement.  Dad might find himself with limited time to watch the rugby or go fishing while mom will undoubtedly have a lot less free time on her hands as well. One way to cushion your dog against these changes is to establish strong verbal control over it which will make it significantly easier to juggle both your pooch and your new baby’s needs.  Teaching your dog basic manners will also prove to be extremely beneficial to your entire family long after it has become used to the newest addition to the family. These manners include responding to commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’ as well as ‘stay’, ‘wait’, and ‘settle’. Teaching a dog to leave things or drop them will come in very useful when it comes to your dog leaving your baby’s toys, clothes, and bottles alone. Teach your dog to greet people in a polite manner that does not involve jumping as this can be both irritating and even downright dangerous, especially while you are holding your baby.

Some skills are a bit more technical

Once your dog has nailed basic manners you can go on to teach it a range of special skills that can make lie even easier once your new baby arrives. Teaching hand targeting is particularly valuable when you have a dog that is very nervous by nature. If your dog targets your hand with its nose while in the vicinity of your baby it may help it feel not only more confident but more relaxed as well which is exactly what you want from any family pet.  As much as you love your dog and want it near you, teaching it to ‘go away’ is very important when getting ready to bring a baby home. This skill will enable you to control your dog’s movements and proximity while you are busy tending to your family.

It’s hard not being the center of attention

Chances are good that your dog was the center of attention up until the time your new baby arrived. This means that it will be quite a big adjustment for it to now play second fiddle to the youngest member of the family. Teach your dog to sit every time you enter the room with your baby to help everyone adjust to a new routine swifter. Remember to reward your dog with a small treat every time he complies with your instruction so that he remains eager to do so. As pooch and baby become more comfortable around each other you may want to consider allowing them to spend more time together. Just remember that you should never, under any circumstances, leave your dog and any small children together unattended.

Preparing for a new baby is without a doubt both an exciting and somewhat stressful time. Thankfully you can make introducing your dog to the new family addition fairly easy by making the effort to teach your dog certain commands well in advance.