Dogs can feel jealous in front of any person or animal that can steal the prominence with their owners. They show an emotional response to the feeling of possible loss of the desired subject or object. They show jealousy in certain situations, but for reasons other than people, such as the struggle to perpetuate their genes. And, in this sense, people and dogs are more similar than we think.
The origin of canine jealousy often lies in a change of roles, says psychologist and ethologist Helena Bat, who explains that "for a dog, which works very hierarchically, it is hard to understand that unexpected changing roles"when he stops having the attention prior to the arrival of the new family member.
Several types of jealousy can be distinguished:
Sexual. Dogs are not supposed to be jealous for love, as happens to people, but there are disputes about getting sex with the female. This is due to an ancestral instinct to perpetuate genes, as a way to leave their mark.
Jealousy for attention: It is a way to get the attention of the dogs in front of the arrival of a stranger at home or when there is a new member in the family. They claim the attention of their owners in the face of the new situation. They perceive that they spend less time and feel insecure.
Jealousy with the baby
If the newcomer is a baby, let the dog satisfy his curiosity with him. Can you smell and lick, as a means to help you accept this new member. For the dog, the baby occupies the last place in the family hierarchical scale, but is ahead of the animal.
In case it is an animal who comes home, if the dog is well socialized, it can assimilate better than another steal prominence
The right socialization It is very important for the dog to know how to relate and share space with people and other animals. However, the relationship between child and dog must always be supervised by an adult.
The dog must be aware of its owners and not vice versa. Dogs know how to capture the attention of their owners, but you have to teach them that they do not have what they demand when they want, but when their owners consider it to be the right time. The dog has to adapt to the new changes and needs of the baby, but the owners should try to balance the care of the baby and the dog, which will need its three daily walks, veterinary care, affection and games.
Jealousy and correct hierarchy
If it is an animal that comes home, if the dog is well socialized, it can assimilate better than another steal prominence. To make it happen, he has had to learn from puppy to play with other congeners, go outside and share toys, such as the ball. If you are used to other dogs coming to visit your home, lie on your bed, drink from your plate and interact with their owners, there will be a long way to go to achieve a good acceptance of the new dog.
Helena Bat explains that "when a new animal comes home you have to let them organize among themselves and establish the hierarchy that is most appropriate for them." He adds that sometimes we try to fix or organize the situation among dogs, but we spoil it.
The jealousy of the dog can become extreme and create problems of coexistence of difficult solution
The feeling of jealousy in dogs closely resembles that of people. its social behavior It looks like ours in many ways. Around jealousy can be detected conflicting behaviors because the reactions of some dogs due to jealousy are unpredictable. The dog can suffer a loss of contact with reality and is out of control. When the jealousy episode ends, it shows normal and even affectionate behavior, as if nothing had happened. A jealous attack can take months or years to repeat.
Signs of jealousy
However, there may be certain signs that warn us that the animal suffers because of jealousy. Some of them can be:
- Irritability, especially when the person or animal that awakens jealousy is present.
- Mood changes You can show your teeth and growl and, soon after, normalize your attitude.
- Be very possessive of the person or animal you want to monopolize. That is, he is "obsessed" and persecutes them.
- It may be the case that it destroys objects in the house to get attention and discharge its tension.
Jealousy can become extreme and create problems of coexistence of difficult solution. Some specialists in canine behavior rate the pathological jealousy of double personality and they call it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome. In these extreme and very problematic cases, therapy does not guarantee full recovery.
Tips to alleviate the dog's jealousy
Do not treat the animal as if it were a child.
Mark defined guidelines and standards.
Do not let him do what he wants and put limits on his behavior.
Establish a clear and adequate hierarchical order, where the dog occupies the last ranking.
When an attack of jealousy occurs, the reprimand must come from the person that the animal considers of its possession.
Problems with jealousy can become engulfed and complicate living together. Before this happens, it is better to consult the veterinarian.
Teach your dog new orders
Have a good verbal control Based on positive reinforcement can be of great help when your baby has arrived at home, the following orders can be particularly useful:
- Sitting and lying down, come here: these are basic orders that your dog should know to be obedient and have a basis to teach him other orders.
- Still: It can be especially useful to help your dog control its drives.
- Let it go: so that your dog lets go and leaves your baby's objects
- Greet people calmly: A dog that jumps everywhere to welcome you home may seem funny but once you have a baby it can become problematic and very dangerous, also during pregnancy the future mother does not want her dog to hit her belly.
- Relax in your bed: If your dog has a bed or a room where he knows he is safe, he can take refuge there when there is a lot of stress in the home and it is important for you to also know that if you can not watch your dog you send him to his bed and he can be there calm and relaxed.
Plan and practice changes in your routine
You can think about how your daily schedules will change when your baby arrives, start a slow transition Towards these new schedules now: if you plan on taking a nap in the afternoon when your baby sleeps, start napping occasionally. If you plan to walk your dog at another time of day, progressively change to the new routine weeks or even months before your baby arrives.
Living with a baby at home can be unpredictable and it might be a good idea to get your dog used to changing rhythms: try vary schedules of your dog's food, feeding him one or two hours before or after his usual random schedule so that he adapts to the routine changes. Also if you usually walk your dog at the same time you can vary the schedules a bit. Of course, try to maintain some stability in all these changes. A lack of control of the situation can confuse and scare your dog.
You can even practice getting up in the middle of the night as it will happen when you have your baby and cry. Teaching your dog not to be scared and stay calm in the place where you are going to take care of the newborn is a good idea.
Modify the attention you give to your dog before your baby arrives
When you have to take care of your baby, the time you can devote to your dog will decrease. To fix this problem follow three important tips:
- Start to get used to your dog to be home alone, to receive less attention or to get used to another family member. If you do not start with these small details soon before your arrival, your dog will associate the decrease of attention with the baby. Your dog may be jealous and this could be an important source of problems.
- Progressively give less attention to your dog and organize shorter sessions of play and pampering at changing times of the day so that the arrival of your baby does not mark a drastic change in the amount of time you spend with your dog but that it has already been accustomed to your absence. Remember that adaptation will be complicated.
- Encourage other members of your family to spend time with him and even consider hiring a dog walker to help your pet get distracted and have fun.
Make the new rules of your house now
If you let your dog do things that you no longer plan to allow when your baby is at home, make those changes now: For example, if you sleep with your dog at night but you don't want it to continue like this when the baby arrives, start to habituate your dog to these changes now. Try to think about all the changes that will happen when you have your baby at home and apply them now so that your dog does not associate your baby with the unpleasant experience and the stress of the changes.
Prepare your dog for new experiences
For dogs that have not spent much time with them, babies may seem strange creatures and may even scare them: babies do indeed make squeaky sounds, have different smells, look very different from adult humans and move in other ways. Because of this it is a good idea to introduce your dog as many sounds, baby smells as possible and accustom them to the sight and movements of babies so that your dog could have become familiar to the fullest with these new sensations upon arrival of the baby home.
See new objects
You can start now put the material in the house for the baby like his toys, car seats, swings presenting them to your dog one by one to get used to these new objects. You can also place smaller objects on the floor when you are at home so that your dog gets used to the presence of toys on the floor and learn that you should not take them: you can investigate them but if you take one immediately you must redirect your attention towards their own dog toys.
Start using a little of the creams, gels, baby shampoos on you so that your dog associates these smells with something familiar and familiar. If you can: present your dog with clothes, blankets or other baby's fabrics impregnated with baby smells so that your dog becomes familiar with these new smells too.
If your dog is sensitive to strange noises, he may become agitated or scared when he hears the baby scream or cry. To help your dog adapt, you can get baby recordings They cry or scream or make noises when they play and every time you make the recordings listen to the dog give it a lot of attention and rewards to positively associate these new noises. If your dog is scared, start with the very low volume and you can gradually increase the volume of the recordings.
Practice with a doll
Some canine behavior specialists recommend practicing with a doll that looks like a baby weeks or months before your baby arrives: you can simulate the classic baby care activities in front of your dog, you can teach your dog to give soft kisses to the doll. If your dog tries to bite the doll, say “no” firmly and redirect his attention to his toys and reward him when he focuses on his toys.
Obviously your dog will quickly realize that the doll is an object and not a living being but its first reactions will allow you to see what aspects you will have to emphasize when you present your true baby to your dog.
Walk your dog in parks where children and babies play
You can walk your dog in children's areas, always very carefully and asking for the permission of the parents to approach your dog, it is mainly for your dog to get used to watching the children move and run.
Now you know everything to prepare your dog on the arrival of your baby so that this tremendous change in the life of the home goes the best possible, if you have doubts or concerns do not hesitate to consult a canine behavior specialist.
If you want to read more articles similar to Prepare my dog for the arrival of the babyWe recommend that you enter our Advanced Education section.
A new routine
Be aware of the changes that the arrival of the baby will entail in the usual routine. These changes, in the day to day can be introduced months before birth so that the animal gets used. Do not do it abruptly. There is time to do it gradually. Analyze your day to day with the animal and now think how it will be when the baby is at home, make a quadrant of schedules and gradually introduce new routines. We do not talk about eliminating behaviors such as games or physical activities, we talk about altering them as much as possible to make the time you spend with the baby and the time you spend with the dog compatible.
Abrupt changes in your behavior towards the dog are not convenient.
You have to get used to the animal at a certain level of independence, introducing activities that do not require your participation or that are carried out away from you, such as being in your bed alone without the need for you to be in the same room. Use interactive toys and let him play in another room. Do not forget that this type of activity should be introduced gradually.
If you consider that initially the physical activity of the dog will be drastically reduced, it would be convenient for you to consider hiring the services of a dog walker. Especially in the first days
A dog walker may be the ideal option to maintain the optimal level of activity in the dog
Surely there are some behaviors that worry you and that you want to change. Now is the perfect time to adapt to the new standards. If, for example, you want to ban him from the sofa, look for a good bed and reward him every time he lay there. We will always try to reinforce behaviors in a positive way. Look for quality information, let yourself be advised by canine educators or go to courses where they will teach you to educate the dog through prizes and rewards.
Skills to live with the baby
Adapting to the new routine and the new rules is not everything. Basic exercises such as sitting, lying down, staying still, walking next to you during the walk or going to the call will be essential to make living together easier.
It is also convenient for the dog to learn to greet without jumping, play without biting, drop the objects in his mouth and differentiate between his toys and those of the baby. In addition, if the dog had a behavioral problem or showed aggressive behavior in some situations (shows teeth, growls or tries to bite) you should contact a veterinarian specialized in animal behavior as soon as possible. Better to solve any problem before the baby arrives.
Never use baby toys to play with the dog.
The children's World
It may happen that the dog has had contact with children and babies since puppy and is already accustomed to its smell or its sounds, however if not, the animal can find many of the stimuli related to the baby really surprising and therefore you We recommend following these steps:
- Acoustic stimuli: You can find a recording of a child's cry and put it at low volume while playing with the dog or giving him bits of tasty food. When you get used to the sound, you can increase the volume.
- Visual stimuli: Introduce the new baby-related objects such as the cart as soon as possible, and let the dog explore them calmly and progressively. Above all, pay attention to those who move and make noises.
- Olfactory stimuli: You can start using baby care products that you will use later, so you will get used to some new smells. In addition, once the baby is born, you can bring your used clothes from the hospital and let the dog smell it while giving prizes, so your dog will make a positive association with the baby's smell.
We hope these tips are useful and that your dog is comfortable when the baby arrives at home. Ah! By the way, don't forget to take photos and videos of the moment.
It is necessary to prepare our pet for the arrival of a new member to the family
Luciana was two when Rayo, the new dog, arrived and it was difficult at first. Little by little they met. Now she is the boss. Although the dog is not listed as a dangerous breed, If a baby is going to come home, you have to prepare it. You have to prepare the dog, teach him limits and teach him that he will stop being the center of attention.
Y If we are going to change routines to our animal, it is best to do it during pregnancy. Do not enter the child's room, bring a doll so that the dog becomes familiar. When you enter the house for the first time, the main thing is to introduce them. And even if it's yours and even if you trust him, It is essential to never leave children alone with a dog.
Educate your dog
It is very important that the dog has learned some basic orders (sit, still, paw, back, down) before the baby comes home. Further, It is convenient to be a quiet hairy, who likes to be with other people to avoid problems.
Anyway, if your dog is nervous by nature, or if he has not had it easy, you should know that with the help of a canine ethologist who works positively you can make it a much quieter and happier animal. The arrival of a baby home is not an excuse to abandon the dog.
Accustom it to the baby
Give some clothes that the baby has already taken to get used to the smell. Put baby sounds crying from time to time and, most importantly if possible: do not have it separated from the baby. Dogs are animals that live in social groups, and when the family increases what they want is to be with the newcomer.
If you want me to accept it, you'll have to let him smell it and be with him, yes, always under surveillance since human babies can not want to hurt the hairy and, as a consequence, he could attack.
Don't yell at him or mistreat him
So you will only get me to be afraid of you and not want to know anything about the baby. If you do something wrong, teach him to do it right. No one is born knowing. Only with patience, perseverance and respect can you have a dog and a human baby living under the same roof being happy.
Also, you will have to continue giving him much love, both in the presence of the baby and when he is only with you, walking for example.
Before the baby arrives you must prepare your dog
It is very important that to avoid unforeseen events we have everything under control beforehand. For this we need to prepare our dog before the dog-baby presentation takes place.
The basic and fundamental thing is to focus on two pillars: education or discipline and the correct association. The first will give us security in our dog by know what obeys us and heed our orders or guidelines in any circumstance and place, the second will teach the dog everything good in baby's arrival. But we cannot change a dog's chip overnight, so it is important that everything be done as far in advance as possible. Let's see these two pillars more closely.
Discover how to prepare your dog for the arrival of the baby in our complete article full of indications and very useful tips for you the process is carried out gradually and appropriate for your dog.
Prepare a positive partnership
Just as we try to associate car rides, veterinary visits or dog grooming with positive things, with the little baby we must also associate your presence with pleasant factors for our dog So, before the child arrives we will prepare the room with his things: diapers, creams, lotions, clothes. In addition, you must follow these tips that will help you a lot to understand the new situation that you will have to live:
- Whenever you enter the baby's room let him sniff: sniffing relaxes and helps them to know and relate stimuli, it is a positive attitude. Reward him whenever he does it with snacks or with kind and affectionate words.
- Have him practice training orders in the baby's room to relate the place to obedience and positive reinforcement. Never punish him or make him leave the place with bad words.
- Do not have an altered attitude, try to convey calm>
A calm and positive presentation
The first days will be completely understandable that you do not allow direct contact between the dog and the baby, however it is very important make him share in the situation either allowing me to accompany you and observe all the time.
You must make sure there is no hostility related to the baby so don't scold him at any time. Ask your partner to help you whenever necessary but using positive reinforcement.
You must introduce the baby and the dog at a time of tranquility and total calm. Try not to have other stimuli in the middle, just the baby, the dog and your smile. At first it will be ideal to leave sniff your tiny feet a little, never anything too direct. Ask your partner to accompany you at all times to make the situation even more special and tender.
He thinks that the dog may not have seen other babies and does not know what this little animal is. However, it is common for dogs to understand and empathize. If you give your dog confidence and security, he will understand and respect the newcomer.
Little by little you will observe how your dog's reaction is and to what extent you can allow them to approach each other. Of course, if you suspect that your dog may be jealous of your baby you should go to an ethologist or canine educator as soon as possible.
Try to always improve the relationship as we have explained, through positive reinforcement the joy and the appropriate measurement of the limits that you must put between them. You are the person who best knows the two family members so little by little you will discover how to act and work with them.
Now you have a great job ahead: keep enjoying a happy family.
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