Preparing your dog(s) for a baby and or Foster child
One of the common questions we get or emergency requests for appointments are when a baby is due imminently.
But we need to begin preparing the dog immediately.
Social services and Foster and adoption agencies request immediately helping the dog to adjust and prepare for the presence of the child at the start of the process and to have a Trainer or Behaviourist on board.
So we also need to do this for expectant babies too.
Allowing the dog to become used to the new furniture and items in the home such as cots, toys, blankets, clothes, moses baskets, dmys, bottles, sterilisers, changing platforms or even a room if there is a room being prepared for the baby.
Letting the dog interact with these items by being around them and becoming used to their presence as well as playing baby sounds on YouTube on a low volume and slowly increasing the sound over time. Here is an example but with fireworks and thunder https://youtu.be/MTw9M94J2_g
Working on the Calm Protocol by Dr. Karen Overall can be very beneficial https://journeydogtraining.com/karen-overalls-relaxation-protocol/ in preparation.
Working out how life will change and managing dog walks, the boundaries if any for the dog for example not having unsupervised access to nurseries or rooms when you aren't present.
So beginning working on boundaries prior to the new addition can help to desensitise them and help them to transition to the new way of living without being flooded by the new addition and then the sudden changes.
We have to be mindful that when there is a new addition in some respects the dogs world is going to become smaller with boundaries and not being able to have your full attention as well as disturbed nights sleep.
Another great resource is the Do No Harm Manual by Linda Michaels MA which can help you with various protocols and any changes in behaviours you may experience. https://gumroad.com/a/1016960115/LAVuz
Another great resource which is also international is KAD - Kids Around Dogs. Not only does KAD have approved and Vetted Trainers but also helpful handouts and courses as well as a book and resource recommendation list. https://kidsarounddogs.co.uk/