Baby Crying Phobia
Just as the cries of a new baby may make a new parent anxious, they often have the same effect on dogs. This can cause anxiety-related behaviors such as chewing, toileting accidents, and sometimes aggressive behavior. There are things you can do, however, to minimize the stress your dog feels when your baby cries.
How to Help Your Dog Overcome Fear of Crying Babies
- If your dog is sensitive to strange noises, she might become agitated or frightened when she hears your baby cry. Give her space and a room or area of your home that she can freely escape to if she becomes overwhelmed.
- To help your dog get used to a crying baby in advance, purchase a recording of realistic baby noises and play it frequently. Even though it will not be the unique cries of your baby it will help your dog get used to the sounds a baby makes.
- Vary the times when you play the recording so that your teaching pattern is not on a schedule.
- Whenever you play the recording, give your dog plenty of gentle attention and things she likes such as toys, food, praise and petting.
- Only play the recording in short increments so that you do not overwhelm your dog.
- If your dog is afraid of the recorded baby noises, start with the volume very low and gradually raise it if your dog is comfortable. Your dog’s comfort level will dictate the speed you go.
- Purchase a baby sized doll, wrap it in a blanket and carry it around with you like you will do when your real baby arrives. This will get your dog used to the sight of you carrying something in your arms.
- Seat yourself in front of your music player and play calming music to your dog to help her relax around the bundle you are holding.
- If you download the baby cries onto your phone you can put the phone into the blanket and carry around a ‘crying baby” for short periods of time.
- When your baby arrives, try not to get anxious when s/he cries. Your dog will pick up on your anxiety which will exacerbate her own.
- Never leave your infant, baby or young child with your dog at any time, even for a few seconds, no matter how friendly your dog is.
By following the above techniques, your dog will learn that all good things happen to him now when baby cries, so instead of feeling fear or being overwhelmed by the noise, crying sounds will now predict food and attention – pleasurable things that will make your dog feel good.
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