Jack Russell + Newborn baby

by Ashley
(VA)

Hi! We have a wonderful three year old JRT that we adopted when he was one year old. I am currently eight months pregnant and am trying to prepare Tubbie for the new addition to our household. He is a fun loving dog who gets along well with people and children who are toddler age and up. He has never been exposed to a baby. I am concerned he may have jealousy issues and try to attack the baby. A family friend recommended getting a baby doll and carrying it with me at all times to teach him that my attention will not always be on him. Is this the best approach? I want to set him up for a smooth transition. I do not want to fail him by inadequately preparing him. I think he will be okay once he gets used to the fact the baby will be here all of the time. The only time he has ever shown jealousy or been aggressive towards a child is with my niece. I am worried he may do the same with the baby if he can't have my undivided attention. Any advice is appreciated.

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Dec 28, 2011
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Baby makes 4
by: Anonymous

Congratulations! There are some great sites for information on making this transition. Victoria Stilwell has a publication on babies/dogs. One recommendation that makes a lot of sense to me is to make sure that good things happen when the baby is around. If you only play with Tubbie when the baby is sleeping, Tubbie is sure to make the connection that baby is competition. So, play with Tubbie and interact with him/her when baby is around and try to be low-key when baby is not around. This probably won't be that easy in the beginning but with help from spouse and others, you could set the foundation for a very positive association. Good luck!

Dec 27, 2011
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New baby
by: Dana

Congrats on your upcoming arrival, how exciting! Before the baby comes, make sure your Jack is up to date on his training. Enroll him in a class or work daily on basic commands. After delivering and you are recovering in the hospital I would have someone bring home a blanket that they baby has slept in and have your Jack get used to the baby's scent. When you first get back from the hospital, have someone take the baby while you greet the dog and give him some treats. When you are ready, hold the baby and you can have your Jack sniff a little bit. Again, give him so treats for good behavior especially so that he makes positive associations with the baby. In general, make sure his routine is not changed too much and that he is still getting walks around the same time and for the same length. Also make sure you are taking enough time out to pet him and play with him. Gradually they will spend more time together as the baby gets older, but I would continue to supervise (especially at the toddler tail pulling stage!) until you feel comfortable.

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