Baby Emma with puppy - How to prepare your dog for baby

Puppy in Training – Preparing Your Dog for Baby

Colby Morita is the blogger behind Puppy in Training, where he shares his experiences raising and training service dog puppies. Colby and his wife welcomed a new daughter, Emma, to their pack last year.

As we were preparing to expand our own little pack, I reached out to Colby to ask him how he prepared his dogs for Emma.

For all my posts in my series on introducing your dog to your baby, click here.

That Mutt: When you thought about your dogs with your baby, were there particular training areas you wanted to focus on?

Colby: I had good intentions of making a great introduction between my dogs and baby, but Emma arrived 3 weeks early and things didn’t go as planned.

I got a book about introducing your dog to your baby and I was planning on reading through it in the days leading up to Emma’s due date. Unfortunately, I hadn’t even opened the book and all of sudden, surprise!

TM: Speaking of surprises, was there anything that surprised you or reactions you didn’t expect from your dogs once Emma arrived?

Colby: Linus (an Australian Shepherd mix rescue) and Stetson (a career-changed guide dog black lab) pretty much acted as expected. Stetson ignored Emma, and Linus was very curious and protective of Emma.

Raven (a Golden Retriever breeder/foster) surprised me. She’s a great mama to her puppies. While she is watchful of Emma, Raven doesn’t seem as interested in her as Linus was.

TM: What are your top tips for pet parents who are expecting a human addition?

Colby: I really don’t have tips because we did not properly prepare our dogs. I wasn’t too concerned about our dogs because I know their temperament, so I’d advise other pet parents to know the temperament of your dog and act accordingly.

I had good intentions going into baby/dog introductions, training, etc., but because Emma arrived early I was unprepared. So my best advice would be to start preparing for your dog/baby introductions months rather than weeks before the due date because you never know if your baby will be premature.

TM: Thanks so much, Colby, for sharing your experience.

Emma’s arrival is a good reminder that babies don’t always operate on a fixed schedule … and we need to be flexible!

You can follow Colby and the rest of his pack at puppyintraining.com and read about Emma’s early arrival here.

Julia Thomson is a blogger at Home on 129 Acres where she writes about her adventures of country living and DIY renovating. She and her husband live on a 129-acre farm in Ontario, Canada. Follow Julia on Twitter here and Instagram here.

8 thoughts on “Puppy in Training – Preparing Your Dog for Baby”

  1. Thanks for sharing! We were lucky that our dogs and Emma did so well together. Emma is just over 1 years old and her interactions with the dogs hasn’t changed too much. We had a litter of puppies a few months ago and Emma definitely liked the big dogs more than the puppies. If she ever wants a puppy I’ll have to remind her that she doesn’t like puppies 🙂

    Unfortunately, Linus, who always watched over her passed away a couple weeks ago. Even though she won’t remember him I feel blessed that he was part of the first year of her life.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Colby. Emma is indeed blessed to have had Linus in her life. I appreciate you sharing your experience with Emma and your dogs. Her reaction with the puppies sounds so funny. Good ammo for later!

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m glad you have all those memories and pictures of Linus with Emma. Such a special dog.

      My parents had a black Lab named Jessie who was a senior when I was born. While I don’t remember her, they said I really liked Jessie and there are pictures of us together that are special to me. I like to think Jessie helped me become such a dog lover.

    1. Thanks Barbara. Emma doesn’t know how lucky she is to be around the puppies. Maybe she’ll appreciate them more if/when we have a litter next year.

  2. Useful information that you have shared. It’s very important to make the dog-friendly with babies and with family as well. I agreed with you on to deal and understand the TEMPERAMENT of the dogs rather than focus on this.

  3. Great interview!

    I completely agree, we have to be prepared for unforseen circumstances, but knowing our dogs well and having confidence in them goes a long way in such situations.

    1. I think knowing my dog’s temperaments before Emma arrived was probably the reason why I didn’t rush into preparing them for her arrival. Although it probably had to do with procrastination and laziness as well. 🙂

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