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BEHAVIOUR: A New Baby

First of all, congratulations! If you are expecting a baby this is a very exciting time for you and your family. You may be anxious about how your Bulldog will react to your new family member when he / she arrives. Here are a few tips from us :) 

Bulldogs generally love routine so anything drastic that needs to change should be done well before your little one arrives. 
First things first, get him out of your bed and used to sleeping downstairs if he isn't doing so already so he doesn't feel put out by suddenly being not allowed where he once was. 
The next thing to do is to get all the baby related items into the house well before the baby arrives, again to get him used to these changes super early. You may be superstitious about the cot coming into the house but if not, do get it in position and let him have a thoroughly good sniff. Getting your nappy bags, baby bath, creams and lotions, nappies, changing mat, Moses basket, baby swing etc all into position will really help him adjust to new items in his home and how they smell. 
The next tip is to find a lifesize baby doll and carry her around with you as you would a baby, all the time!  Carry your "baby" in your arms, on your hip, pass to family members, even lay her down on the changing mat and change her nappy - let your Bulldog sniff the doll if they want to.  Answer the front door (you might want to warn the postman in case, as was in my case, he thinks you've lost the plot!) do everything with the "baby" so your Bulldog gets used to this as an everyday occurrence. 
The next thing is to desensitise your Bulldog to the sounds a newborn will make. We love "Sounds Soothing" by Dogs Trust - a recording of all these noises including gurgling, laughing, crying and reaaaaaaally crying (!) in sound bites that your Bulldog can hear, often for the first time. https://soundcloud.com/dogstrust/sounds-soothing-baby-crying
The earlier you start to expose your Bulldog to these changes, new smells and noises the best chance you have of him accepting your new family member into his family's life. 
Some Bulldog's want to be involved so let them have a sniff or a lick under strict supervision of course, and remain with you in the living room watching what's going on if they want to. Try not to let it all come at once, be a big shock and then find he is shut away in the kitchen. Try not to let any of his routines change and if they absolutely have to, ensure these changes are in place well in advance of the new arrival. Equally if your Bulldog wants to take himself off for quiet time do let him. 
If he or you find yourself struggling in any way, do contact us for further advice and never leave babies or young children unattended around any dog. 
Remember not all Bulldogs enjoy the company of little people but most soon learn that young children are a source of food, so they have every chance of being besties! 
Good luck ! x
 
 
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