My dog, the first “child”, and the baby.

When I was pregnant I knew I had a challenge on hand and it wasn’t raising a child. It was raising a child around my first “baby” AKA my dog. My dog wasn’t always a kid-friendly pup. She had a bad experience when she was a puppy with kids not being so nice to her and since then she’s always barked and chased after them. She’s also a herding breed, so it’s in her nature to herd children.

So the first thing I did was go on the internet to find out resources to help teach both my baby and my fur-baby to coexist. I stumbled upon the Instagram account @dogmeets_baby and learned different ways to introduce my baby to my dog as well as keeping the peace between them as my baby grew into a toddler. I also watched a few youtube videos on introducing dog to babies, getting them used to me holding a baby, baby cries, etc. We worked on the training as I cooked my baby. I felt a little bit prepared on our final weeks before having the baby.

But what I wasn’t prepared for was her actually being okay around this new human. Yes, at first she was very inquisitive and then she started just accepting this new crying machine. They both ignored each other pretty much the whole first year, so I wasn’t really stressed about having my dog around him. But, now that we’re heading into the mobile stage, she’s starting to be more interested and vice versa.

My baby is more active and more vocal… and more physical. How do you teach a 13 month old to not hit, pinch, and grab (and how do you teach a 5-year-old dog not to react to the pinch, pull, and hits)? I’ve been struggling with my baby being more physical to myself and for the most part I do my best to curb it with a little bit of discipline. The dog version of “discipline” isn’t very baby friendly.

So, lately, I’ve been trying to my hardest to make them give each other space. She wants a buddy to rough play with, he just wants to touch the dog (but does not know how to do it gently), and it just creates a massive anxiety bubble inside of me waiting to pop. So I of course take it out on the one who will listen to me more — my dog.

I do feel terrible making her lie on the couch or go to another room, because all she wants to do is be near us (especially when he’s eating). I just need to teach her human brother to not be so physical and teach her to stop being so rough before they can play together. That’s all. Sounds simple right?

We’re slowly getting better on the baby side. On the dog side, she’s got a lot to learn. Dogs and babies can coexist, it just takes a little time and patience. Who am I kidding it takes a LOT of patience.

If you have any tips for me or other readers feel free to let us know in the comments.

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Emi Sano

Emi Sano

Emi Sano is a self-published author of “Voices: a short story collection” and YA novella “We Don’t Talk About That.” She freelances as a writer/blogger.