Babies, Kids and Dogs

Starting a new family is a busy, exciting, joyful, and sometimes stressful time. Better that it not be further complicated by a dog who is having trouble adjusting to the change.

Why Dogs & Kids Don’t Always Get Along

The arrival of a baby and the moment a baby becomes mobile are challenging reality shifts for most dogs, particularly if they’ve not had previous experience with small humans. Everything changes—smells, sounds, routines, the amount of attention and exercise they get. Babies can be startling, what with the sudden wailing and flailing they do. And toddlers even more so—they move unpredictably, throw things for no apparent reason, and love to grab everything in those surprisingly strong little hands, including tails and ears and handfuls of fur. Yikes.

A dog who hasn’t grown up as a puppy around babies and toddlers can have a very rough time adjusting to all this new reality. This stress can lead to unwanted defensive behavior like growling, snarling, and snapping.

Imagine Your Dog:

  • Learning to sit to say hi to mommy and baby

  • Lying down calmly while you feed and change baby

  • Walking nicely next to your stroller

  • Leaving the (ahem) “treats” in the hamper alone

  • Sleeping through your baby’s crying

  • Ignoring your toddler’s tantrums

  • Happily enjoying the presence of your toddler or child

Imagine Your Toddler or Young Child:

  • Learning polite, safe ways to say hi to your dog

  • Playing safe, appropriate games with your dog

  • Feeling safe around your dog

  • Participating in your dog’s training