There are many factors as to why your dog may be obsessed with your newborn baby. Bringing home a newborn baby can be a wonderful feeling, but sometimes it can create tension between for your pup.
Is Your Dog Obsessed with Your Newborn?
It’s normal for some dogs to be naturally protective, and yes, even over newborn babies, but some dogs can also be utterly demanding and aggressive with your child. It is wise for you to distinguish why your dog is so obsessive with your newborn baby so that he or she can be safe.
A baby and a dog have a lot in common. A couple of common characteristics are their desire for a companion and for someone to give them undivided attention at any and all hours of the day. Because dogs are naturally playful mates, the relationship that will develop between your dog and baby can have physical and psychological benefits for their development. One of the most significant benefits is that dogs make babies happy. There are notably recognised benefits for dogs and babies living together.
- Babies that are raised with dogs in their household tend to have more vital immune systems.
- Babies and dogs have common ground that leads to filling each other’s need for companionship, playtime, and attention.
- When babies interact with dogs, it is known that these interactions raise the serotonin and dopamine levels in infants.
Have you ever wondered why your dog is so obsessive with newborn babies? This article is going to go in-depth about what is really going on behind this adorable newborn-dog affection?
4 Big Reasons Your Dog is Obsessed with Your Newborn Baby
These four reasons and an in-depth look at dogs’ history may explain this unusual dog behaviour or why your dog is so obsessed with your baby.
Reason 1: Dogs Have The Ability To Make Us Humans Feel Positive and Happy
It’s wildly been proven that interacting with dogs increases serotonin and dopamine levels in our brains. Serotonin is a chemical that releases positive feelings in our brains. When we interact with dogs, our oxytocin levels also increase. This hormone is primarily responsible for social bonding and is known as a “love injection” that heightens our happiness. And dogs can sense this. They are just so much fun to be around!
Reason 2: Dogs Have A Heightened and Powerful Sense
Many dogs who haven’t spent time around children find infants confusing, intimidating and sometimes scary. Since dogs are acute to their olfactory glands, the dog’s sense of smell is astonishing. Dogs have the ability to detect the most littlest scent. If you suddenly bring home a newborn baby, your dog will detect a unique, perhaps unwelcomed scent in their home. If your dog has not been slowly introduced, any differences in your dog’s environment can cause them anxiety. It’s understandable for them to curious, but if you notice any aggression, remove the dog from the baby immediately.
Any responsible owner should teach their dog to be gentle around their baby. If you show your dog a display of calmness, composure, and patience from the beginning, then your dog can learn these verbal cues and body language with the infant. Thus, your dog will start acting to be sensitive and cautious around them. No matter how sweet or gentle your dog may be, never leave them alone with your baby.
Dogs can also naturally sense that a baby is innocent. Female dogs can enact a behaviour they usually would do for their own pups, which would be them sniffing or licking a baby’s face or possibly their bum. You do not need to be worried if your dog does this, as it won’t harm your child. It is actually just how dogs that domesticated or wild check on babies’ health.
Reason 3: Dogs Have An Instinctual Behavior To Protect Their Pack (Your Family)
Since dogs are descendants of wolves, they carry an instinctive behaviour such as protecting their family or pack. Their entire lives and survival depended on the agreement of a social hierarchy in their wild lives. For the alpha wolf to protect its pack, it is the more powerful dogs’ responsibility to look after and protect the weaker ones.
For dogs, their natural instinct when a newborn baby is introduced into its pack is to think of it as a more vulnerable member of their family. Thus, needing protecting. Often you can see this behaviour reflected when a stranger comes into the house that your dog isn’t familiar with and starts to bark at them. Because dogs are inherently pack animals, your pup might instantly be attracted to your newborn baby and develop a particular significance of inclination for it while protecting it.
Reason 4: Dogs Can Become Jealous of This New Pack Member
Dogs do understand what babies are, and in general, they also have a surprisingly high emotional IQ compared to other animals. Even though most dogs understand that babies are innocent and harmless, other dogs get a feeling that they should act in the sense of jealousy.
Dogs could quickly become jealous of all the attention you give to the latest member of their pack. Over time, a dog with jealous tendencies can resent the child or you if its negative actions do not get addressed. The following three ideas will help you if you need to manage and restrict jealousy behaviours with your dog:
- If you notice your dog guarding its things, don’t try to take whatever ‘it’ is away or punish him or her. Instead, let them feel they have control over their own property.
- Immediately take action if your dog becomes aggressive towards your newborn baby. There is no call for that type of behaviour.
- Smother your dog with lots of love and attention away from your child. This way, your dog can still feel connected to you and understand that they can cuddle or play with you only when you are not around your newborn child.
Tips On How to Manage Your Dogs Obsessive Behavior
It is imperative that you understand that bringing a new baby home can implement an anxious environment for your dog. I have listed below some handy tips to follow when introducing the two.
- Even if you have a sweet and gentle dog, you must understand that you can not ever leave your dog alone with your baby. You want to be sure you keep your baby and your fur baby safe.
- A hyperactive dog can unintentionally harm a baby, so it is wise to have treats on hand to keep them busy and away from the child. You can also try to get your dog to sit while it sniffs the baby, and then be sure to teach it a command to go to their bed. Before the baby is mobile, it is an excellent time to get this situation under control and for your dog to learn a “go away” type of command.
- When taking out your dog for a walk or in general, allow your baby and the stroller to exit the house first instead of your dog. By doing so, you will establish a leadership role for your baby in the eyes of your dog.
- If your newborn baby is crying, you can remove your dog from the environment. Doing so will reduce your dog’s opportunity to start whining or barking in response to the baby. You certainly do not want your dog to take the sound of your baby crying as an aggressive advance.
- It is going to be natural that your baby will want to pull or poke at your dog. Try to discourage this behaviour so that your dog does not get annoyed and accidentally bite them or worse.
Types of Breeds That Can Be Protective But Otherwise Great for Children
Particular dogs can be extremely protective because of their natural instincts. A few types of breeds are the following.
- Bernese Mountains
- French Bulldogs
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepards
- Cocker Spaniel
These dog breeds have naturally protective instincts, and when they sense there is a weaker member in the pack, they will guard that member. More than likely, if you are a dog owner to any of the breeds mentioned above, then you know your pup will protect your baby at all costs.
So Why is Your Dog so Obsessed With Your Newborn Baby?
It all lies with how your dog was raised, what their natural instincts are like, and as a responsible dog owner, it’s your duty to teach your dog these behaviours mentioned above, earlier the better. As we have discussed above, dogs are naturally protecting animals, and some dogs can really amp up their instincts when a newborn comes into the mix. Specific dogs who are bred with particular protective qualities are commonly known to go all out protecting.
However, it is good for you to always keep in mind this is just your dog’s nature. Make sure to have patience when teaching him not to be so obsessive. As your child grows up, they will significantly benefit from growing up with a dog. Of course, it is perpetually better to keep them apart in the beginning and if your dog starts displaying any aggressive behaviours.