Your family has introduced a new member- a baby. Your pup will indeed be intrigued by the situation. Unfortunately, your pup’s barking is upsetting the baby, and can be quite upsetting to the rest of the family. Preparing your pup for the arrival of a baby can affect how your pup will react to this new arrangement.
Pay attention to me
The new lack of attention can cause your pup to bark- sometimes without rest because they feel that you have forgotten about them. It can be difficult to adjust a pup to the attention deprivation, but if you slowly wean them over time, it can help your pup’s anxiety. When the baby does come home, continue your pups routine as scheduled so that they don’t associate the arrival of the baby with neglect. Give your pup toys to play with and treats for being calm. This will help your pup understand that everything is just peachy.
Sometimes your pup may be barking because they are unsure of what is happening. The new scents and smells can cause confusion if they aren’t aware of the situation. Allowing your pup to smell something that has the baby’s scent can help them to adjust. Don’t let them play with the item or interact with it any other way- pawing or licking. Letting the pup see the baby to associate the scent with the child will also help reduce their anxiety and prevent barking.
Refrain from creating an association between your baby and punishment
If your pup does start barking at the baby or barking in general, try distracting them from the situation with a favorite chew toy. Don’t stop them in a negative way, as it will only cause them to associate the punishment with the presence of the baby. Positively altering their attention will prevent them from barking for the time, but you will need to design a plan to prevent them from barking to begin with.
Positive reinforcement goes a long way. When your pup is being quiet, give them a treat and tell them that they are being good. This will help them associate a “calm” attitude with treats and kindness. Teaching your pup to be calm will reduce the likelihood of them barking randomly. If you try to force them to stop or punish them for barking, it may only make the situation worse and increase the likelihood of them barking.
If you cannot stop your dog from barking, calmly and patiently move them to another location- perhaps outside so that they will understand that barking is not allowed around the baby. Don’t associate the place in any other negative way other than they will not be allowed around you or the baby if they continue to bark.
It can also be a good idea to allow your pup routine interaction when you handle the baby. Keeping your pup in the same room while you change the baby’s diaper can help them understand that the baby is part of your family. If you are bathing the baby, and your pup enters the room, don’t chase them out or punish them for doing so. This can cause them to relate the new child as a threat, and can lead to barking.
Organizing a plan to help adjust your pup to the baby’s arrival will greatly reduce the likelihood of barking. Positive reinforcement can help your pup accept the new member to the family, and keep everyone happy.