Irish Setter: Introducing Your New Baby To Your Dog

  • 18/10/2016

Whether you own an Irish Setter or any breed of dog, introducing your newborn child to the household is a tricky period. This is especially true if this is your first child because until then your setter will have seen the pack as you, your partner, and them.

Preparing for Your Baby’s Homecoming

You should start preparing before your baby is even born, here’s some tips on how to prepare your home and dog for a baby:

* Design a new routine for your dog, which takes into account how it will be when the baby is home.

* Create a no-go zone for the dog where you will have the crib/nursery and other areas for the baby. Train the dog not to go there without permission.

* Ensure your dog is submissive - correct any small training and misbehaviour issues.

* Consult a dog behaviour specialist for advice.

* After the birth, while the baby is in hospital, bring a baby cloth home. Train the dog to come to you to sniff it.

* Get your dog used to children and babies socially though manage all interactions closely.

Managing the First Interaction

It’s important to establish dominance and leadership over your dog before the big day. On the day, you should aim for this routine:

1. Take your dog for a longer than normal walk to tire them out.

2. Meanwhile, the baby and mother come home and set up.

3. Pause on the doorstep before going inside, ensure the dog is submissive.

4. Whoever holds the baby should be calm and relaxed too.

5. Encourage the dog to slowly sniff and come closer to the baby - control the situation and make sure the dog is calm.

Put Your Child First

More than anything, your child’s safety comes first. As your child grows, they will explore the world more and this means interacting with your dog(s). This can range from touching to tail pulling to trying to play. This should always be supervised. However, before you get to this point, you will know if your dog is ok in this situation. If they are showing signs of jealousy, then carefully consider whether it is time to give them away. It’s heart breaking, but it’s safer for your baby this way. Hopefully, that being said, it does not come to that.

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