My husband and I have some very exciting news to share: we are expecting our first child this September! We could not be happier about this news, I just don’t know how Bailey is going to take it. For seven years, Bailey has been an only child, and happily so. Bailey has had all of our attention, all of our affection, and lots of treats, so needless to say, I don’t know if Bailey is going to be thrilled about our new little bundle of joy.
“How is Bailey going to handle the baby?” “Will she be healthy enough to meet our child?” “Will she feel neglected?” I have calmed down a little, but I still worry about how she will take to the new addition. So, I have started working with her by doing some training.
The main things I am working on right now are commands like “leave it” and “go to bed,” as well as getting her used to not being on the couch all the time. I think that last one is harder for me than it is for her.
A lot of that stuff is going to look like dog toys, so a good “leave it” is very important. Also, babies are food dispensing machines and Bailey is a food hog, so I have my work cut out for me on getting her to leave food on the floor. I know she can do it, I have just slacked a little the past few years, so I just need to be more strict with her.
I am very lucky in the fact that Bailey loves her crate. This is going to come in very handy for those days that I need a bit of a break and when she needs a bit of a break. I want Bailey to have a place that she can go to where she knows she can get away from it all, and that is her crate. Baby is going to spend some time on the floor and I don’t want to worry about Bailey being all over him or her, so it is nice to have a command that I can send Bailey to a place and have her hang out. So “kennel time” and “go to bed” are things I have been reinforcing often.
Bailey likes to be right on our laps when we are hanging out on the couch. I love this, but when I am holding the baby, I won’t have room for both her and baby. Plus, I want to avoid any chance for resource guarding of me and Bailey can be a bit of a resource guarder. I plan on teaching her that when baby is on the couch, Bailey is in her bed, on the floor, in her crate, etc. Again, I think this is harder for me than it is for her.
I have a lot more that I want to work on with Bailey, but this is a good start. Overall, I think Bailey will do just fine with our new addition. It will be a transition at first, but it will be a transition for all of us. A very exciting transition!
Our trainers discussed this topic in our latest Google+ Hangout. It’s full of great information, so check it out!