My husband and I have had our dog for five years and we welcomed our first baby a few months ago. When we introduced the baby to the dog, our dog seemed disinterested. I thought maybe there would be more bonding but it has been months and the dog doesn’t seem to even care about the presence of the baby. How can I encourage his interest in the baby so they can have a strong bond?
Fretting For Fido
Dear Fretting For Fido,
I want to restate your concerns for anyone in the reading audience who may be feeling a bit befuddled. You are upset that your canine is not smothering your newborn in love and adoration. A human being who is not only extremely small, but also capable of doing nothing more than eating, pooping, and emitting shrill noises at all hours of the day.
Count yourself lucky that Fido doesn’t think you’ve brought home a new squeaky toy!
While it would be heartwarming to see your canine fawn over the extremely fragile Miniature Human you brought home without warning, that is not the case for many families. Your canine has had five years of pampering and snuggles and is now contending with a poop machine who has seemingly displaced him – while doing all of the things you instructed him to not do. Fido cannot poop in the house, the Miniature Human can. Fido cannot bark for hours, the Miniature Human can. Fido cannot interrupt meal times in order to go for a walk, yet the Miniature Human gets walked all over the house whenever she demands.
In short, the Miniature Human is now living the good life while Fido shivers in the cold.
Embrace the fact that your canine is so comfortable with his position in the family, he didn’t get defensive over the new – and unasked for – addition to the pack. Short of slathering your Miniature Human in peanut butter for Fido to lick clean, this bond between the two will need to develop on its own – rather than through forced interactions. Bonding will likely occur shortly after your Miniature Human begins to do something other than stare at the ceiling fan all day. By the time your Miniature Human begins to toddle around the house, Fido will be ready to create mayhem alongside her.
If that doesn’t work, you can always give Fido another newborn to squeak.
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