How Did You Introduce Pit Bull to Baby?

June 28, 2013  

Answers to our Community Question of the Week

Earlier this week, we ran an interview about how Jennifer and Chase Utley successfully introduced their pit bull Jack to their new baby Ben, so we asked our Facebook friends, “What are some of the things you’ve done to safely introduce your dog to your new bundle of joy?”

Bringing home blankets from the hospital, a gradual introduction when baby comes home for the first time, and including your dogs in activities so that they don’t feel neglected are some of the ways that you make sure all of your children become best friends! Thanks everyone for sharing.

We are expecting our first in six weeks. Great question! Looking forward to what fellow pit bull guardians have to say. ~ Erika Molnar

We have 7 children, two pit bulls; my husband brought home my youngest son’s blanket from the hospital the night before we came home so the dogs would know his scent! They knew immediately who he was and we all lived happily ever after! ~ Bridget Reinert

Same here…ours weren’t pit bulls, but a greyhound and a collie. We also made sure to include them in activities, not exclude. Stroller walks daily encouraged “pack” mentality. ~ Nancy Hayes

We just welcomed our first son (with two legs) on May 17th. We got him used to hearing crying sounds ahead of time and my husband brought home blankets with the baby’s scent. We make sure that Vlad (our son with four legs) still has his same routine and one on one time with us. It was an adjustment at first but now he won’t let his baby brother out of his sight! ~ Jen Woleslagle-Stone

We don’t have pit bulls, but we brought stuff home with our baby’s scent on it, and once she was home, we never associated anything bad with the baby. We never yelled at them if they sniffed or licked her, and we let them go in her room and hang out with us. We made it a positive thing for them! Sixteen months later, and they are all buddies! We’ve had a little growl here and there, but how else are they supposed to say, “Hey, get off me.” ~ Jessica Stuart

My children and grandkids are now grown. Never did anything special to introduce dogs and babies. Never had a problem, never a bite to them. I did have my dog bite once when a little girl wanted to stay overnight. ~ Diana Winters

When we brought our baby home our pit bull knew right away who she was and he hasn’t left her side since, all we did was hold the baby and allowed him to come over he smelled her looked at us then laid down in front of us. She is 10 months and mobile she will go and play next to him pull his tail he just lays there and allow her to do it! ~ Sheena Palmer

I would love to hear more about what others have done. I’m about to bring twin preemies home in the next few weeks and really want a smooth transition for my fur children. ~ Michelle L Perry

I don’t have a pit bull, but have a Rottweiler (when our daughter was born we had two). We brought our daughter’s blanket home for them to sleep with two days before. When we brought her home we sat in a chair with her and invited Jewel and Dino to come to her. They were both so respectful of her. ~ Ellen Bonham Murphy

This is what pits were bred to do!!! They are truly nanny dogs at heart! ~ Joe Cordes

I had Rottweilers…I let them smell the baby’s feet…worked…but then Rottweilers are exceptional with children….no two ways about it! ~ Katherine Grass

Bring blankets home from the hospital as soon as you can to allow the dog to get used to the smell and always associate good things with baby. When you walk in with the baby, and sit with the dog, give the dog something out of the ordinary – like cheese or hot dogs – and lots of love. Yelling or banishing the dog from the room when the baby is there will make him think that this little bundle is a bad thing for him. Playing tapes of babies crying every now and then is a good thing too. The main thing – if you think your dog is acting weird, or shows aggression, keep the baby safe and call a behaviorist right away. He/she will tell you what you can do, or whether it’s not a feasible situation. Every now and then it’s not – but not often. ~ Lori Beston

Slow and gradual. I allowed my Rottweiler to smell Easton’s belongs and then slowly introduced him to her establishing clear boundaries. She has taken to the baby as if she is the mommy… ~ Tiffany McCue

Allow the dog to smell the baby thoroughly; do not force the dog to the baby, allow the baby to touch not poke or pull. Also a kiss or two won’t kill your baby. ~ Aimee Johnson-Reading

I am the “pack leader” at our house so I had my husband hold our daughter and I came inside with her stuff, let them investigate it, then he brought her in and gave her to me. She was instantly included in our pack- Labrador/Border collie mix and a Chow Chow/husky/pit bull. The pit bull mix actually showed up on our porch about a month before she was born. He never left my side until she was born and used to curl up touching my belly. Now he is her best buddy and never leaves her side. ~ Amanda Jones

You are spot-on about how to enter the house when you return from the hospital. When I had my daughter, my husband went and got our dogs from the kennel before he brought us home. I wanted them to be settled and comfortable in their normal environment. When we got back to the house, I went in the house first, and alone, so that my boys could have their joyful reunion with me without restraint. After they were settled down, I went outside, and got the baby, and my husband brought in our bags. The boys were a little interested in her, but not overwhelmingly so. I let them sniff her bundled little self while I held her, which they did for a minute or so. After that, they were at the door, looking at us expectantly, so my husband took them for a long walk, and life went on. My daughter is now 4, and she and my boys are inseparable. ~ Mary Malinowski Neidich

Remember, too, that you’ve been gone at the hospital for several days so they will be excited to see you. Going in first and calming the excitement will make a big impact on the situation. ~ Amanda Jones

No bundle of joy but other pets and absolutely no problems. It’s the way you do it. It’s not the pet animals, it’s the human animals! ~ Trenna Stephens

Our three dogs have loved every baby they’ve ever tasted. We always introduced the babies to the dogs by letting the babies take the lead. Our dogs greeted them with licks and tail wagging. The girl licking him loves all babies instantly and can’t wait to lick them. The babies love it. ~ Colleen S Moore

Got them used to asking for permission to get on furniture (beds, couches, etc.) and set up baby’s area before hand to get used to the new stuff. Brought home several blankets that smelled like baby before actually bringing her home and let each have one for their bed. When she came home we left her in her car seat and let each one have their turn at sniffing and licking (we only made mouth and eyes off limits). ~ Melissa de la Haye

You don’t see them dumping their beloved dog (family member) because they added a baby! They are all family! ~ Rose Mitman

I came in with my newborn and made it no big deal. We went about our business and no big exciting introduction. The dogs are allowed to approach only after they had calmed down and lost some interest. It took about 3 hours. My dogs love kids and babies, but I still never leave them unattended around the baby! ~ Andrea Sparzo Blomquist

Had Kona butt-sniff the new animals and kids through her kennel first then, took her outside of the house to meet them, then brought them into the house together to play. ~ Michelle T. Mabatid

Always thought they knew I was pregnant. The one would sit next to me and stare at me. ~ Jeanette DeLorme

Always introduce them slowly to each other. Never leave them alone, period! The baby does not know what your dog does not know! This goes for all breeds no matter what. Not even for a second. Supervise. This goes for all different breeds, don’t judge ! Common sense! Even when it comes to new dogs and cats, any animal. Take the baby with if you plan to leave the room! Let the animal know they’re still part of the family. Make sure the baby does not take anything from the animal. Never give up on the animal or animals. Don’t make the animal jealous. ~ Mercedes Frank

I have to say, I disagree with never allowing your baby to take from your dogs. You should teach your dogs to accept you taking things from them and incorporate your toddler when you’re able to. My daughter is 19 months and can put her hand in my dog’s bowls while they’re eating with no issues. I caution all young people who have dogs to raise them as if you will have children later. I’ve had my Labrador since I was 15. I raised him to be a dog for my future kids- he is now 8 and my daughter and he get along wonderfully. ~ Amanda Jones

Both my children, although eight years apart, were introduced first to a baby doll. Then I had my other half bring home the blanket they first wrapped my child in and put it in with the dogs bed to sleep a couple days prior to coming home. Make boundaries but don’t yell at them for being curious! They need to be a part of the most special thing ever. Also make sure they have a place to rest too. Away from the crying. Especially when baby starts crawling! ~ Penelope Kay Braselton

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