As our little family has grown, I’ve loved watching Baxter with Ellie. I’m so proud of how relaxed he is with her.
As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I started thinking about how I wanted Baxter to act around our baby and what behaviours we needed to work on. We consulted with our trainer and at the beginning of this year (about two months before our due date) we started working in earnest to prepare Baxter for his new role as big brother to Ellie.
As regular readers know, I’m a contributor to ThatMutt.com, where I write about dog training and behaviour. I’ve been sharing all of the details of our baby prep strategies for Baxter through a series of posts on ThatMutt, and this weekend the final entry was posted. I’m really proud of this series, so I wanted to mention it here.
Baxter and Ellie are both really, really important parts of our family. While Ellie isn’t super aware of her big brother yet, Baxter has been doing very well with Ellie. For the most part he ignores her—which is fine with us—but he also chooses to lay as close as possible to her stroller when we’re working outside and waits beside the car until I unload her when we come home from an outing. He seems to recognize her as part of the family.
Here are the links to the individual posts in my series on how we prepared Baxter for our new baby:
- How to prepare your dog for baby – The kick-off post where I shared some of my goals, my concerns and my philosophy for dogs and babies.
- Who will care for your dog on delivery day?
- How to change your dog’s routine in advance of a new baby
- Preparing your dog for the sights, sounds and smells of a baby
- The birth announcement! (And an update on how Baxter and Ellie were doing so far)
- Creating safe spaces for dog and baby
- How to introduce your dog to a new baby
- How to stop your dog from stealing baby toys
- How to teach your dog to walk with a stroller
- How to keep a dog and baby safe on car rides
- Q&A with Oh My Dog Blog
- Q&A with Yellow Brick Home
- Q&A with Puppy In Training
- Wrap-up post – The results of our training, some of the resources I consulted and our biggest lessons learned.
As Ellie grows we’re going to have to teach her how to behave in many situations–and especially how to behave around Baxter and other dogs. Likewise, he’s going to have to keep on adjusting to her. We’re very focused on working with them both to make sure everyone lives happily and safely together.
I hope you’ll check out some of the posts and leave a comment if you have any advice or questions. I also hope that this series becomes a resource for other parents and dog owners out there. Thanks to Lindsay at ThatMutt.com for allowing me to document this important time in our family.