New Baby and Your Labrador
I have a 6 year Black Labrador who has decided to start acting out since I’ve become pregnant. I’m due any day now and she continues to take things (dirty clothes, blankets, dog beds) and pees on them.
We have ruled out all medical issues. She is my little shadow and is of course very sensitive. I really want her involved with the baby and think she will make a great big sister. She is great with all children and babies she has been around. Has this happened to anyone else and will it end when she sees that I am no longer pregnant and back to normal.
Tips for Bringing a Baby Home
Start Taking Action. Nine months is plenty of time to work through most issues with your Labrador. Smooth out any small problems you may be having. If necessary, hire a professional to work with you. You will appreciate the work you put in now when you bring your newborn home to a calm, well-behaved Labrador.
Watch Your Emotions: You may feel excited, anxious, or worried and those emotions can be copied by your Labrador.
The baby’s scent: Bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth, from the hospital before bringing home the baby.
Establish clear boundaries: Teach your Labrador to understand that there is an invisible barrier that she may not cross without your permission. Eventually, you can allow your Lab to explore and sniff certain things in the room—with your supervision. Then you decide when she needs to leave. Repeat a few times before the baby arrives. This will let your dog know that this room belongs to her new sibling.
The introduction. Start by taking your Labrador on a long walk to drain all of your Lab’s energy. Before returning, wait at the door step; make sure your Labrador is calm before inviting her in. Upon entering, your Lab will instantly know there is a new scent in the house. Since you have already introduced the scent, it will be somewhat familiar. Make sure you are calm too. Your Labrador should be allowed to sniff the baby, but not too close during this first meeting. Eventually, your Lab can be allowed to get closer and closer to the baby.
Don’t forget about your Labrador: Just simply maintain the routine, providing daily walks and consistent leadership. This will help your Lab feel secure and allow her to relax about the new addition to the family.