Telling your kids that another baby is on the way can be exciting and difficult all at once. But telling your puppy? That’s a whole different story.
After all, it’s hard enough to explain the idea to children that there’s a “baby in Mommy’s tummy,” but trying to explain the process to an animal? It’s sure to be lost in translation— or lead to hysterical high jinks!
That’s not stopping Stephania Sayler, however. She’s determined that her puppy, Junie, will good friends with her baby-sister-to-be, and she’s starting the introductory process early!
Junie might not really understand what Stephania is trying to tell her, but her reaction to the news is still too adorable. Check it out in the video below; it really has to be seen to be believed!
While the practicality of announcing your pregnancy to your dog might still be up for debate, cute as Junie’s reaction is, it is true that introducing your pup to your newborn once she enters the world is a delicate and important process. Here are our best tips and step-by-step process for making sure it goes well!
- When it’s the day to bring the new baby home, have Mom enter the house by herself first and enthusiastically greet your pup.
- Once Mom and the family dog have had their joyful reunion, prepare your canine companion for the entrance of Dad and the baby by commanding him to sit and/or lie down.
- Have Dad enter with the baby. Making sure your dog is “staying” in the sitting or lying down position, then have Dad slowly and carefully bring your newborn down to the dog’s level to allow your pup to get a good introductory sniff.
- Repeat the kneel-and-allow-a-sniff step a few times, depending on your dog’s reaction and/or level of excitement! Be sure to praise your pup for staying in his sitting/lying position, and for being gentle with his sniffs.
- Continue to praise and reassure your dog until he’s adopted a submissive pose, thereby demonstrating that he’s accepted the new baby!
Maintaining your leadership of your family “pack” while also reassuring your dog that he’s still loved and wanted is key. As dog-training expert Cesar Millan points out, your pup will likely know that something’s up, even if he doesn’t entirely understand it:
Our dogs are very in tune with us, so with an event as monumental as a pregnancy, your dog has already sensed that something is up. But just because she has picked up on the new feelings hanging in the air, doesn’t mean that she understands what they mean [. . .] A dog does not need toys or special attention to feel important; you simply need to maintain the routine, providing daily walks and consistent leadership. This will help your dog feel secure and allow her to relax about the new addition to the family.
So there we go! It looks like Stephania and Junie are off to a pretty good start, even if Junie’s still pretty much a baby herself! To watch their adorable interaction, check out the video clip below.
How do you think Junie will handle the family addition once Stephania gives birth? Did you have any challenges introducing your newborn to your family pets? Share any additional tips and tricks you know with your fellow readers!