Someday soon, sooner than we all think, your brand new baby will be on her feet and running. When that happens, her newfound mobility will add an exciting dimension to your relationship. It’ll also quickly change the dynamic between your little one and the family dog.
Some tips to make the adjustment fun and safe:
• Try a baby gate between the two until your toddler has had time to learn the ABC’s of gentle touching. She’ll be dazzled by that wagging tail, so start by teaching her the best way to pet the dog. Let the dog sniff your hand, then do the same for her. Pet the dog gently, then have your toddler pet the dog in a similar manner. Praise both for a job well done! If your toddler grabs a fistful of fur, explain that rough hands can hurt doggie.
• Practice smart dog handling. Prepare him for occasional roughness by softly tugging on his tail. If he has a calm response, praise him. Even if you’re confident with your dog, know that all dogs can bite if provoked.
• Instruct your little one to respect the dog’s belongings and area. Doggie should be left alone if he’s having a nap!