Penny met my grandaughter for the first time last night and she was very freaked out...especially when the baby was crying.  She wanted to be in my lap when I was holding the baby...which I tried but it was pretty tough...and got all riled up everytime I moved around with her.  When the baby left and she could sit with me she sat in the corner and pouted.  Does anyone have any tips on how to cause poor Penny the list amount of stress when the baby is with me?  I want both my babies to be happy!

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Ask her for quiet, calm behaviour. Handling an infant is a very delicate scenario that can turn awry whenever a dog, particularly one who is misbehaving and hogging space, is involved. If Penny is crate-trained, ask her to stay in her crate while you are moving around with the baby to avoid her bolting towards you and possibly tripping you up. When you are sitting still with the baby in your arms or lap, ask Penny to lie at your feet but no closer. If she starts to act up and jump up on you, give her one chance to settle back into a down. If she doesn't, then it's back to the crate with a treat. Remember, you're not punishing her for acting out - she's just meant to quiet down while in her crate, away from you. It's for everyone's benefit!

Keep a blanket or something that the baby has worn that has her scent on it and put it where Penny can sniff it. She sees the baby as an intruder into your pack. She needs to get familiar with baby's scent and sound. Video tape the baby crying, cooing, etc. so Penny can get used to those sounds, too. Have her sit/lay with a special treat where she can see you while you are holding the baby. Be sure you pay her some attention too while the baby is around and your son/daughter is caring for her. This worked well with my little great-nephew. As he got older and moved around more, we taught Sophie to come and sit next to me if she had enough of him petting her. We also taught my nephew to leave her alone when she did that. Never a problem, but of course, I would NEVER leave ANY dog alone with a little kid --- both are just too unpredictable.

I wouldn't let her on your lap while you're holding the baby. Tell her "off" or whatever your command is, and if she's too riled up I'd put her in her crate or an xpen. She needs to understand that the baby is a step above her on the totem pole, so to speak. You don't want her to see the baby as someone she needs to compete with, but rather respect.

Thanks for your insight guys!  Last night went a little better.  Penny wasn't allowed to sit with me or pester me while I was holding the baby.  I told her no/down and she was pretty good about just sitting at my feet or curling up someplace else.   I gave her lots of pets/good girls/treats when Violet was in her chair or swing and she seemed to understand that it wasn't her time until I didn't have the baby in my arms.  She still gets very concerned when the baby cries and I know that will take time for her to get used to.

That is awesome! I am glad she's coming around. The sound of a baby crying is pretty distressing for dogs (and humans alike!) so yes, just give her time to adapt. And if she needs a quiet area to get away from the noise, make sure it's available to her at all times. :-) Keep at it!


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