German Shepherd and newborn baby dressed in the cop uniform

How to introduce your newborn to your German Shepherd dog?

In order for your baby and your German Shepherd to get along great, you need to have a plan to get to know each other in the best possible way. If you are expecting a baby, congratulations, and know that it is great to be a mother! In this guide, you will find some tips on how to introduce your newborn to your German Shepherd.

For you, your baby is the first child, but the dog does not see you that way. Your dog knows that he is the first to get all your attention. Your German Shepherd will continue to be precious to you, but your routines in daily life will change drastically when your son or daughter comes on the scene. This can be very confusing to your German Shepherd, and that is why it is important to prepare in advance.

Like babies, dogs thrive on predictability, and "a newborn dramatically changes not only your life but your dog's as well," says Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and host of Animal Planet's, It's Me or the Dog. 

German Shepherd and newborn baby with mother in the park


You will soon have to turn your attention to newborns, and your dog may not understand why you are playing with him less and less and why his walks are shorter than before.

It is important to prepare your German Shepherd. "While you're pregnant, initiate changes to get him used to a new schedule," Stilwell says.

When you find out you are going to have a baby

If your German Shepherd hasn't been to a basic obedience class, it's time to sign him up. Behavior that seems innocuous now—like jumping up to greet you at the door— can become a problem. We all know how strong German Shepherds are, and that they belong to the breed of large dogs. As your belly gets bigger during pregnancy, you need to calm your German Shepherd down and let him know that he needs to be calmer. An instructor can help you with that. 

Most dogs have never been close to small children. As you know, it’s hard to predict a baby’s next move, like make sudden movements, shriek, and get in dogs' faces. To give your pet exposure to tots, take him to the park to see how he reacts to babies from a distance, Stilwell suggests. If any of your friends have children and plan to go for a walk, ask them to join in the walk with your dog. This will help your dog get used to the child's behavior.


Three months before your scheduled deadline

Actively prep your pup for his future "sibling." It may sound weird, but a doll can help you a lot with preparing a dog for newborns. Buy a doll and act like your baby is in front of your German Shepherd. 

"You want the dog to become familiar with these items now, not when your baby is in them," says Betsy Saul, co-founder of PetFinder.com. Let your German Shepherd investigate everything the way he does best—by sniffing. It would be desirable if you can prepare it for new scents, scents that will be felt later when the newborn arrives (baby shampoo, baby powder…). 

If you can, practice walking with your German Shepherd while you're pushing your future baby's wheels. People may be confused when they see this, but anyone who has been through something like this will understand. It is very important that you have control over your dog while walking with the baby stroller. 

Be sure not to loop the leash onto the stroller handle. If your furry friend happens to see a squirrel, cat, or another dog, he might jerk the leash—dangerous when there's a baby tucked in the stroller! Forget the adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." German Shepherd is a very smart dog and they learn new tricks all their lives. 

Consistency is key. It’s not impossible, it just takes a little while for you and your dog to get used to the new routines.

German shepherd and newborn baby lying together

 

One month before your scheduled deadline

When you head to the hospital to deliver, you'll be gone for a couple of days. Do you know who will be feeding your dog and walking him? "Line up sitters or close friends your pet knows and likes," Saul says. "Enlist someone you can count on if you have to call at 3 a.m. to ask her to take your dog out later." 


Two weeks before your scheduled deadline

Unless you've scheduled a cesarean section or induction, you will not know the exact date of birth. Divide the food of your German Shepherd into individual servings, jot down pertinent phone numbers (such as the vet's) for the sitter, and keep the leash in a visible place. This way you will help your dog's caregiver cope if you suddenly have to go to the hospital.

As the days go by, you will start to feel a thousand emotions at the same time. This may confuse your GSD, so try to stay calm, sit down and pet your dog. No doubt it will be easier for both you and him. 


While you are in the hospital

After giving birth and resting a little from the birth, some family member should take home one of the baby's first bodysuits or blankets. Let your German Shepherd smell and get used to the smell. He will probably be a little confused but also excited because he knows that a new family member has arrived. :)

When you enter the house for the first time after giving birth

This is certainly the most exciting part, the first meeting! "Let your husband hold the baby when you walk into your house," Stilwell says. Greet the dog first, he is probably excited because he has not seen you for a long time, and then sit down with your baby lightly and let your dog sniff him to get acquainted. 

In the beginning, when you are breastfeeding your baby, give your dog a treat at the same time, so that he knows that he is equally important.

In addition to all the responsibilities you have around your newborn, remember that your dog also needs a little attention. Have your partner (or a visitor) take your dog for a long walk each day. This will help your dog release excess energy. He may curl up for a nap as soon as he comes home! 

And it's really important to always start with the small steps! You can learn more HERE about how to introduce a newborn to your German Shepherd Dog on the right way!

Girl hugging German Shepherd in the yard

 

If you are worried that your dog and newborn will get along well, the short answer is: yes, they will get along great! German Shepherd is known to be protective, so your newborns will get a great guard, and despite everything, they adore small children!

We will soon write a blog on how to build a relationship between your dog and the newborn. We hope you found this blog useful!

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR FUN! :)

Having a German shepherd dog and a newborn at the same time it's not only the stress but there is also a little bit of fun! We hope that you will enjoy these videos that we had prepared for you!

German Shepherd Dog Reaction on Baby Crying:

German Shepherds Dogs Protects a Newborns:

Two German Shepherds Meet a Newborn:

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