Dachshunds deserve an award for their expert snuggling abilities, and those loving, affectionate personalities make them awesome big brothers or sisters to younger, human siblings. But like any older sibling, doxies can get jealous of a newborn who steals attention from them. So to make the introduction of your dachshund and new baby easier, here are some great ways to prepare your pup for the arrival of the next addition to your family:
Introduce them to other kiddos
Bringing home your new baby can go much more smoothly if your dachshund isn’t caught totally off guard. If your pup hasn’t spent time with any children before, introducing them to a few kids ahead of time is a great start so that they feel confident around little ones. Just make sure that you’re supervising the interaction, and that the child is petting your pup gently — petting their body rather than their head is preferable in new situations, and ensuring that kiddos aren’t squeezing your doxie or tugging on their tail is important for a smooth introduction, too.
Teach them the command “gentle”
Gentle behavior around your newborn will be ideal, and while you’re anticipating their arrival, you can work on teaching your doxie to be gentle, too. Work with the command “gentle” or “gently” when you’re giving them treats or toys and reward them for taking them gently from your hand — it’ll come in handy when they’re playing with the baby down the line and are accustomed to being a little more mellow.
Familiarize them with baby noises
You may have introduced your dachshund to new sounds when you were socializing them, and the same technique can come in handy when you’re preparing your pup for a new baby. Starting with a low volume, introduce them to the sounds of crying and laughter, and increase the volume over time. When there’s a real baby in the house, your doxie won’t be caught off guard by the new noises!
Introduce them to your baby’s scent
Once your baby is born (congratulations, ps!), you can get your dachshund used to their smells before you bring your new addition to the family home. Bring your pup one of your baby’s used blankets or hats from the hospital and let them smell it (or snuggle with it). Recognizing their smell will make the in-person intro feel a little more familiar.
Freshen up their space
Just as you’re putting some attention into your baby’s room, you may want to spruce up your dachshund’s space in the house, too. Having a space of their own with cozy blankets or an especially comfy bed to retreat to will be all the more valuable when they’re adapting to a new addition to the family.
Be patient with introductions
When the time comes to introduce your newborn to your dachshund, start small. Sit on the floor with your baby and let your doxie sniff him or her or on their own time. If they prefer to just hang out nearby with one of their favorite toys, that’s a perfectly good start too — allowing them to take their time getting to know the baby will make for a more natural interaction. And if your dachshund growls at the baby, be patient, and don’t punish them. Let them go back to their own space, and try again later at another introduction. A growl is a good warning sign that they’re not feeling secure, and allows you to de-escalate the situation so that your dachshund can calm down a bit before they spend more time with the baby.
Carve out special time with your doxie
The most important thing to convey to ward off problematic jealousy? Your doxie is still a beloved member of the family. Make sure to continue to show them lots of affection and attention so that they know that the arrival of your newborn doesn’t trump their place in the family. Carving out time for sufficient exercise and one-on-one play will help them feel confident that you still adore them even with the baby around.
Once your dachshund gets used to its new sibling, they can start to understand that this new human is just another person to shower them with love and attention (and, treats)!