Your cart

Your cart is empty

Check out these collections.

Introducing your dog to your baby/toddler

Introducing your dog to your baby/toddler

Welcoming a German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) puppy into our family in 2019 marked the beginning of a unique journey. Dexter, a large and high-energy dog capable of covering substantial distances daily, quickly became an integral part of our lives. As we eagerly anticipated the expansion of our family with our first child due in February 2022, the question from family members repeated: How would we manage a boisterous dog around a newborn?

Fast forward to February 2022 when our eldest daughter made her grand entrance into the world, and Dexter, despite his evident curiosity, displayed visible signs of anxiety. Maintaining a watchful distance, he assumed a protector role, barking at unfamiliar noises and even reprimanding family members deemed too enthusiastic with the newborn. Yet, in his attempts to show affection, he unintentionally highlighted the stark size difference, trying to snuggle next to her or offering his paw as a gesture of love.

To navigate these dynamics, we implemented several strategies. Stair gates were installed, undesirable habits like sitting on the sofa were broken, and tug games, once a favourite, were approached with caution. Additionally, we made a conscious effort to shower Dexter with attention when little one was asleep, ensuring he never felt neglected.

As our daughter progressed through developmental milestones like walking and talking, we encountered new challenges. Her fascination with Dexter intensified, and she sought to interact with him regularly. However, Dexter found the added attention overwhelming, especially when she discovered his aversion to having his ears touched – a mischievous delight for the curious toddler. The situation escalated when she started encroaching on his bed, leading Dexter to actively avoid her and even leave the room when she entered.

In response, a structured training approach became imperative. Involving our toddler in Dexter's daily routine proved to be a turning point. From using a mini tennis racket during walks to pouring his biscuits, her participation helped Dexter feel more comfortable around her. Allowing Dexter to join her bedtime routine and signalling when his water bowl needed attention established a sense of responsibility for our toddler.

Remarkably, Dexter started reciprocating with affection, occasionally offering gentle "nosed" touches that we celebrated as "Dexy kisses." Maintaining a safe distance, we gradually allowed supervised interactions, teaching our eldest the art of patting without pulling on Dexter's ears.

While this ongoing process is far from perfect, the positive trajectory is evident. Playtime sometimes borders on exuberance, but our vigilance prevents any untoward incidents. Witnessing the blossoming relationship between our four-legged companion and our small child has been a source of immense joy.

In conclusion, the journey of integrating a dog into a family with a small baby is undoubtedly challenging, but the perseverance pays off. Dexter's transformation from a jittery observer to a loyal companion illustrates the potential for harmonious relationships between children and their canine counterparts. As we navigate this intricate dance, the moments of laughter, affection, and understanding make it abundantly clear – the effort is worthwhile when you witness the bond between your furry friend and your child evolve into a heart-warming friendship.