Introducing Your Pet Dog to a New Family Member

Your pet dog may need a special introduction to a new family member, whether it’s a baby or another pet.

A new family member is a big deal, whether it’s a newborn baby, or just a new pet. You may be thinking about all the adjustments you’ll have to make. A new addition to the family can be stressful on you, but don’t forget that it is also a big change for your pet dog. Dogs will notice that your household is one individual greater, and you need to make sure the transition is easy on him. Here are some dog training tips to keep your canine cordial during the acclimation process.

Gradual Changes: Since adding a new family member can be quite a shock to your dog, be sure to ease the transition. When you know you’re expecting a baby or planning to get a new pet, gradually spend less and less time with your dog, so the decreased attention that comes with a new addition is less of a shock.

Spaying and Neutering: When you’re introducing a new child or pet to your household, it’s important that your dog is as calm as possible. For this reason, dog spaying or neutering is a recommended procedure, as dogs that have had these operations are calmer than those that have not.

Dog Training: It’s important that you assess any dog behavioral problems before introducing this new member to your family. Dog training or behavior classes are recommended to correct whatever issues your dog might have.

Familiarization: If you have friends that have small children, encourage them to come by the house, so that your pet dog will be used to having infants around. If you’re getting a new pet, bring over a pet of the same species beforehand, if possible. It has been suggested that buying baby powder or oil to put on your skin so that your dog will be familiar with the smells of a small child will help the transition.

First Meeting: When your pet dog is meeting a new family member, especially a new dog that may be seen as a threat to his territory, you should introduce them in a manner that reduces aggression. This meeting should take place in a neutral location, such as an unfamiliar park. Use positive reinforcement for both pets, and beware of aggression.

Supervision: When introducing new members to the family, supervision is key to making sure that your dog and baby or new pet get along. Look for signs that your dog is aggressive or frustrated with his new neighbor, and try to defuse the situation.

Following these tips can help you successfully introduce a new pet or child into your family with as little stress as possible.