And Baby Makes Four

Rivalry can develop when your Shih Tzu and the new baby meet for the first time. Without preparation, both are in danger of injury. 

Before the baby is born:


Allow your dog to sniff items the baby will be using so the dog's scent will be on the items. This is sanitary because dogs can pick up scents even after clothing has been laundered.


Handle a doll like a baby and introduce your dog to it using the word "baby." Have the dog sit or lie down whenever he is near the baby.


Train your Shih Tzu, if your dog has not been trained yet. The dog needs to learn to sit and heel.


Introduce your dog to toddlers away from his territory, then on his property, and finally in the house.


Get the dog accustomed to a baby's cry. You can do this by tape recording babies at the hospital. Let him investigate but with all four feet on the floor.
When the baby comes home, have the mother enter first with the baby. Then introduce the dog to the baby's items and then the baby. Do not let the baby interfere with the dog's regular times with you (i.e. feeding, walks, play time). Never leave your dog alone with the baby and do not let the dog sleep in the baby's room.


Remember children can hurt dogs. Don't get a dog for the baby--the baby is too young to learn about it. It is not a good idea for tem to "grow up together" because you'll be too busy to attend to the needs of both. Teach your child that a dog needs quiet when sleeping and eating. The child should pet the dog gently and use a calm voice.


For more information on this and other related articles
go to the AKC website.