How to help your poodle still feel like part of the family after a new addition
The introduction of a new family member can be upending to a poodle’s normal routine and happy life. A breed that is commonly reserved with strangers, the poodle may not seem to enjoy the company of a new house mate. There are many ways to prepare your poodle for an addition to the household and continue to make him or her feel like part of the family after the new arrival.
The transition process for your dog can begin before the new addition arrives. The first step is to have your dog attend basic obedience classes if you have not already done so. Not only will obedience lessons help your dog learn important skills that will keep you and the new baby safe (i.e. “stay,” “leave it,” and “drop it), but will also help you form a stronger bond with your pup before his or her life changes.
The second step is to socialize your dog around children and toddlers while providing plenty of positive praise. For your dog to truly feel like part of the family after a new addition, your pup should feel as if nothing is new or scary. Invite friends with children over to your house and practice doting upon dog and child individually. Another method is to purchase a baby doll before the baby arrives and let your dog get used to the idea of another individual receiving attention.
After the arrival of the new family member, your dog may feel left out as all the attention is placed on the baby. Until the child is old enough for the two to become play mates, your dog may feel lonely. Try to keep your dog’s routine as normal as possible during this period while also incorporating the baby. For instance, if your dog typically receives a 30 minute walk in the afternoon, enlist the help of a family member or friend so that you can take the baby for a walk in the stroller while also including your dog. In the evenings, when the family is together, be sure to invite your dog to join you on the couch for television and cuddle time. Making a conscious effort to include your dog in family activities will help your dog to understand that he or she is not being excluded.
Every once in a while it is also important to treat your dog to special one-on-one activities to remind of the important role he or she still has in your life. This could be as simple as taking your dog along to quickly run errands, such as to the bank or hardware store, or even going on special walks together at a nearby park. If alone time isn’t feasible, try to spend 10 – 15 minutes every day giving your poodle some extra attention, such as by giving a quick massage or a special treat. Ultimately, your dog will adjust to his or her new life, but with a little extra effort every day, your poodle will still feel like an important part of the family.