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Preparing your Reactive Dog for a new Baby

While there are some aspects of baby prep that I apply to all of my families, when your dog struggles with reactivity, I want to make sure you are confident and prepared to manage this when also dealing with a new tiny human!

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My focus for families in this situation is to make sure they can manage their dog safely, enjoy their dog and incorporate them into their routine with baby in a way that allows for everyone’s needs to be met.

Here are some tips

to help make the transition a bit easier.

Scope out quiet, stroller friendly locations.

Odds are, there will be times when you need to take your dog and baby out together. Finding spots where your dog is unlikely to be triggered, or where it’s easy to avoid triggers, will be key to your success.

Work with a trainer before baby comes, if possible.

A trainer who is certified to work with babies and dogs is ideal (find one here), but any trainer with experience in reactivity can likely help.

Focus on safety

Now isn’t the time for intensive reactivity training. Now is the time to focus on how to safely exercise and manage your dog and to make sure you feel confident by the time your baby comes. You can always work more on training later on.

Have a Plan B for Difficult Days

There will inevitably be days where your baby’s needs take priority over your dog’s. Plan for how you can provide exercise and mental enrichment at home or in the backyard when driving somewhere for walks isn’t in the cards.

Address Safety at Home

If your dog is reactive toward children, sudden movements, sounds, passersby or anything else happening at home, work on a plan to prevent these things from happening when baby arrives. Set up gates, crates or pens and train your dog to be comfortable there beforehand.


I can help you prepare your dog for baby’s arrival! Book a Free Discovery Call to learn more.

Tess Morgan is a multicertified dog trainer and behaviour consultant specializing in reactivity. She offers in-home dog training in London, Ontario and virtual training worldwide.

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