Keeping dogs away from baby, Sydney (NSW)
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We have a three month old baby and two mini daschunds. We currently keep our dogs away from the baby by the use of a baby gate but are about to move to an open plan house and will not be able to do this anymore. I would like our baby and dogs to co- exist in the house without putting the baby in a playpen or having to keep the dogs outside all the time. I try to let the dogs near the baby at least once a day under my supervision to try to get them used to the baby's smell etc but am worried as one of our dogs has tried to nip our baby. How can I train the dogs to stay away and ignore the baby? It would break my heart if we had to give the dog away but my baby is obviously more important.
ANSWER: Keeping dogs away from baby, Sydney (NSW)
By the sounds of it they were there before the baby and therefore they believe to have the first born rights. NEVER leave a baby / child unsupervised with ANY dog! as they are a dog, not a little human and look at the baby as an intruder, rather than something joyful. You need to make quality time for the dogs and include them as much as possible. A good doggy pen would be of great help - the dogs in the pen when the baby is out. Baby gate should be at the entry of the baby room. Dog can be taught not to go into certain areas, and create an invisible barrier, but that takes time, patience and consistency. Start with a door way or though fair, eg from bedroom area to lounge or similar. When that is OK and they stay in the doorway start moving further and further away, small steps at the time.