Family 411 - Introducing dog to baby
SIOUXLAND NEWS —
Dogs are known to be loyal and loving to their owners.
A new addition to the family may be confusing, especially when the animals may no longer be the center of attention.
Reporter Tara Morgan shows some steps on how to introduce your dog to your newborn, in this edition of the “Family 411.”
"We got Gino when he was about 10 weeks old,” said Jenny Prendeville, a mother of 3.
“Gino” is a chocolate lab who is big in size and personality.
The dog was the “first addition” to Jenny and her husband's family.
At the time, their world revolved around “Gino.”
"He was our love of our life,” said Jenny.
In 2014, though, their family started to grow when Jenny became pregnant with "James."
"Gino was just so big, he would pull me when I was walking him,” said Jenny.
A trainer guided the couple as they closed in on having their first child.
The idea was to prepare "Gino" for a significant change in the family dynamic.
"We were definitely worried that we wouldn't, we wouldn't have enough time or attention,” said Jenny.
Trainer Lori Morrell says it's a big concern for many couples about to start a family.
"A lot of times this is their baby, they've had the dog in the house forever, and they're worried about bringing in this little thing that cries and makes noises,” said Lori Morrell, with the “Buckeye K9” group.
Morrell recommends the transition period begin a month or two before delivery.
"You can go out and get, like, a baby doll that makes noises, that cries, that you carry around,” said Lori.
You can also get your dog used to the baby's scent.
"We did bring some baby blankets home, we brought the little hats they gave us in the hospital,” said Jenny.
Morrell says families should be consistent with their dog training, which can be tough once the focus shifts.
"Don't give your dog a command if you're not going to make them do it,” said Lori.
The focus, for the Prendevilles, anyway, took a new turn with "twins."
"We kind of joked that Gino was moving down the totem pole," said Jenny.
Morrell says dogs need to feel like they're a part of the family to avoid becoming jealous.
"Hey, dog, let's go to the nursery,” said Lori. “Let's change the diaper.”
Jenny says "Gino" is a gentle giant.
“I worry more about the two-year-old bouncing them out of their chairs than I do about Gino bothering any of the kids,” said Jenny.
The bond between kid and dog is a special one, that is really developing early on.
Morrell says to never leave a dog and baby alone unsupervised.
Also, don't hide the baby from the dog or it may jump up out of curiosity.