When we talk about pets and dogs in particular, then the owners of these animals always treat them like their children.
But what happens when the owner has a baby in the house and wants to strike a balance between both?
For this to happen effectively, the pet owner has to train the dog with skills that teach the dog how to behave around children.
Although it has been seen that many dogs have a natural liking for young children, especially babies still there is some amount of socialization that has to be taught to the dog that can help in making matters easier when you have a dog and a baby both living in the same house.
Naturally, many dogs do not get along well with children.
There have been instances when dogs are afraid of any interaction and physical contact with children.
It is in these circumstances that the dogs often attack children, which can be a major threat to the child itself.
Therefore, keeping the interests of both the baby and the dog in mind, you should make it a point that you can train your dog on how to behave with children and around babies in particular.
In this article, let us take a look at all the strategies that you can adopt that can help in training your dog to live peacefully and have a loving relationship with your baby.
1. Introduce the Dog To Children Early
Socialization has to take place at the right time in the lives of both humans as well as animals so that it becomes a part of their life.
As per the same logic, you should promote the interaction of your dog with all kinds of people very early in its life.
You should introduce the dog to children in a positive way and make the presence of contact between them fairly normal and acceptable.
The basic premise of doing this is that if very early in life, the dog has a good experience with children, then the dog will always be gentle towards them and would like their company.
2. Acquaint Some Gestures
Young children are often very inquisitive and rather fidgety.
In these cases, it is very common that children tend to touch the dog in a rather unfriendly manner that can provoke a harsh reaction from the dog.
The children often tend to pull the dog’s tail or sit on the dog itself, although in a playful mood.
Therefore, you should first train your dog for making all these gestures normal with it.
You can play with the dog by pulling the tail, pulling its ears, etc. and giving it rewards such as cookies so that the dog does not consider these gestures as a provocation to attack.
3. Use Pictures
Visuals and aesthetics have a great impression on the minds of both humans as well as dogs.
You should exploit the same theory and should use it to create an acceptance of the presence of a child in the house in the mind of your dog.
You can do so by hanging a portrait picture in the house where your baby and your dog are seen together.
The dog will repeatedly see the picture on the walls of the house and will feel that the baby is someone familiar and someone it has met earlier.
Similarly, having dog portraits in the house will familiarize the baby with the dog. In this way, both the baby and the dog will be comfortable with each other, and a relationship will be established between them, such that there will be social acceptance between them as well.
4. Introduce the Dog To Toys
Another playful way in which you can train your dog to be gentle with kids is to introduce your dog with the toys that are used by the child to play.
When the dog becomes familiar with these toys and enjoys playing around with them as well, then the child and the dog, both can bond over this single thing such that they do not harm each other in any way.
Good interaction and social relations get established between them by these toys, and your problem is solved.
5. Make a Dog Crate
You should also accept the fact that not all dogs can be friendly with children in a manner that you may want them to be.
For dogs that are unable to develop these skills of behaving in a friendly manner with your child, you should plan and build a crate for the dog.
In this way, the dog will always know that whenever a child is present in the house, then there is a place for him to go and escape, which is the crate itself.
For the child, you can set a limit and teach him or her so that they do not enter the dog’s crate at any point in time. In this way, segregation can be made, and both of them can live peacefully.
The crate will serve as a safe place from where your dog can interact with your child and will also be a great option for the dog to put up eventually.
6. Teach Your Child
It is not just about the dog, and it’s training to be friendly with the child.
You should also focus on teaching your child how to pet a dog gently and how to behave around it.
This training needs to be done from a young age itself so that the child learns to treat the pet as a family member.
Dogs are among the friendliest animals living in the world. Dogs have been great and loyal friends to man for ages all together.
But when you have a pet dog and a baby at the same time, then you need to plan and train the dog so that the dog does not become a problem for the baby and you.
By following the above-mentioned strategies, you can gradually cultivate a good social relationship between the dog and the baby so that eventually, the entire family leads a peaceful life with the pet.