If you're a new parent, there's a good chance you're wondering how to introduce your newborn to your German Shepherd dog. It's a common question, and for good reason - after all, you want to make sure that everyone in the family is safe and comfortable. Here are four tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
German Shepherds are very loyal to their families. In fact, they are known as one of the most loyal dog breeds. They will protect their families and homes fiercely and are often considered to be great guard dogs.
This means that introducing your newborn to a German Shepherd will be much easier than introducing your newborn to other dog breeds.
New routine and new life
The moment your family gets a new member will be probably one of the best moments in your life. In order for everyone to enjoy, it is necessary to prepare in advance for such things.
If you have a daily routine with your German Shepherd, you'll need to create a new one. If you can keep the previous daily routine, then great, don't change anything!
Unfortunately, most families must adapt to the new routine because of newborns.
If you are not sure what to do, don't worry! We prepared everything that you need to know about this topic! So let's waste no more time, and dive in!
When you find out you're 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 making sudden movements, shrieking, and getting 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.
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 German Shepherd get used to the child's behavior.
Three months before your scheduled deadline
Actively prep your German Shepherd 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 breed and they learn new tricks all their lives.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your perfect relationship with your dog. Establishing routines takes time for both of you to get used to, but it's well worth the effort.
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."
Make sure that you have someone who will take care of your German Shepherd while you are getting ready to give birth.
Two weeks before your scheduled deadline
Unless you've scheduled a cesarean section or induction, you'll 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're in the hospital
After giving birth and resting a little from the birth, some family members 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 German Shepherd 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 German Shepherd release excess energy. He may curl up for a nap as soon as he comes home!
Frequently asked questions about newborns and German Shepherds
If you want to learn more about this topic, we prepared for you an answer to the most frequently asked questions!
Are German Shepherds dogs good with newborn babies?
Yes, German Shepherds are great with newborn babies. In fact, they can be protective of them and make sure that they are safe. German Shepherds are gentle by nature and have a lot of patience, which makes them perfect for families with small children. However, as with any dog, it is important to introduce the baby to the German Shepherd slowly and carefully to make sure that everyone is comfortable with each other.
Related blog post: Are German Shepherds good with kids?
Can a newborn be around a German Shepherd?
Yes, as long as your German Shepherd is gentle and has been introduced to the baby slowly and carefully, there is no reason why they can't be near each other. Remember to always keep an eye on them, just in case.
Is it okay for my German Shepherd to lick my newborn?
There's no right or wrong answer, as long as you're comfortable with it. people are okay with their dog licking their newborn baby, while others are not. It really depends on your comfort level and what you think is best for your child. Always keep an eye on them when they are together to make sure that everything is going smoothly.
Do German Shepherds get jealous of new babies?
Many people believe that German Shepherds can get jealous of new babies, but there is actually no concrete evidence to support this claim. Some people say that dogs may feel left out after the baby comes home, but this is mainly due to a lack of attention from their owners. The best way to avoid any issues between your dog and a new baby is to make sure that you continue to give your German Shepherd plenty of attention and love.
Make sure that you also introduce the baby to your dog slowly and carefully so that they can get used to each other.
Related blog post: Are German Shepherds jealous dogs?
Are male or female German Shepherds dogs better with babies?
There is no right or wrong answer, as both male and female German Shepherds can be great with babies. Some people believe that male dogs may be better because they are often more protective of children, while others believe that female dogs are better because they are often more patient.
However, it is important to remember that every dog is different, so it is important to carefully introduce the baby to your dog to see how they get along.
What do I do if my German Shepherd doesn’t like my baby?
If your German Shepherd doesn't seem to like your baby, it's important to take things slowly and carefully. Make sure that you introduce them to each other slowly, and always keep an eye on them when they are together. If your dog seems to be aggressive towards your baby, it's best to consult with a veterinarian or dog trainer to make sure that both your baby and dog are safe.
According to the HG.org:
"In the United States, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, most of whom are children. In Chicago alone, almost 2,000 people are bitten by dogs every year. Young children are the most common victim of dog bites, followed by the elderly. About half of all children will be bitten by a dog before they graduate high school. Children ages 5-9 are most at risk for dog bites."
Please, don't ignore aggressive behavior and ask professionals for help as soon as possible.
Being a German Shepherd owner and parent at the same time can be difficult and a little tricky, but with the daily routine and plan, having a German Shepherd while your baby is growing up can be beneficial to your kid.
German Shepherds are not only excellent protectors, but they can also help children to learn social skills. They have been known to assist with impulse control and self-esteem. Not to mention, they make great friends!
Some of the most important benefits of having a dog when you have a little kid are:
- The immune system of your baby will be much stronger
- Your baby can learn much faster to speak
- The baby will faster learn simple responsibilities
- They will learn to love something unconditionally
- Your baby will have more interactions and exercise
- The baby will spend more time outside
- Your baby will have a constant companion
Make sure that you invest some time in training your dog, and later, teaching your baby how to behave nicely towards the dog, and they will become best friends!