Welcoming a newborn baby into the family is an exciting time for everyone, even your furry friends. But what happens when your dog becomes obsessed with the newest addition? After all, you got a new family member, and they got a new member of the pack.
This fascinating behavior might leave you wondering why our canine companions are so captivated by babies and how to handle their sudden fixation.
By exploring the genetic connection between dogs and humans, as well as their protective instincts, it becomes clear that this obsession can be both endearing and concerning at times.
Join us to learn the signs of possessive behavior in dogs around newborns and offer helpful tips to ensure a safe and happy environment for all members of your growing family.
Understanding Why Dogs Get Obsessed With Newborns
Dogs are genetically bonded with humans and have a protective instinct to defend their pack, which includes newborn babies.
Genetic Bond With Humans
The genetic bond between dogs and humans has been a fascinating subject of research for scientists, who try to understand why our canine companions are so in tune with us.
One study found that even very young dogs with minimal human contact can comprehend pointing gestures, suggesting a strong genetic basis behind this skill.
Oxytocin plays a significant role in the human-dog bond; it is often referred to as the “love hormone” because it fosters feelings of attachment and trust between individuals.
Emotional distress experienced by dogs when separated from their owners is comparable to what infants feel when they cannot find their parents – this further strengthens the theory that dogs have an inherent connection to humans.
Dogs are known for their exceptional loyalty and strong sense of duty towards their human companions. One such display of this bond is the canine’s innate protective instinct, particularly when it comes to vulnerable members of the family, such as newborn babies.
The protective instinct can manifest itself in various ways, from a dog’s calm and gentle interactions with infants to more assertive behaviors like guarding or herding. For example, some breeds may showcase a heightened sensitivity around babies, acting cautiously so as not to disturb.
In other cases, dogs have been observed standing guard over sleeping infants or attempting to shield newborns from strangers by placing themselves between the baby and potential threats.
Signs Of Obsession And How To Handle It
If a dog is following and whining excessively around the baby, standing between you and the crib, or showing jealousy and aggression when you interact with the baby, it may be a sign of obsession.
Don’t worry – there are ways to handle this behavior, including positive reinforcement training and supervised interaction between the dog and baby.
Following And Whining
Dogs exhibiting obsessive behavior towards newborn babies often display persistent following and whining. This can be concerning for parents as it may disrupt the baby’s sleep and daily routine.
To handle this situation effectively, assertive verbal commands should be used to maintain control over your pet while juggling their needs with caring for your newborn. For example, if your dog keeps incessantly barking or whining when near the baby, firmly instruct them to “quiet” or “settle.”
You can also provide distractions with toys that fulfill their prey drive to help redirect their energy away from obsessing over the infant.
Jealousy And Aggression
Jealousy and possessiveness are common signs of a dog’s obsession with a newborn baby. Dogs can become territorial towards their owners or show aggression when they perceive a threat to their position in the family hierarchy.
This behavior can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
One way to manage this behavior is through obedience training. Teaching your dog basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it” can help establish boundaries and reinforce positive behaviors around the baby.
It is also essential to give your dog attention and affection separately from the baby so that they do not feel neglected or left out.
Protective Instincts Are at Play
If you find your dog obsessed with newborn babies, that is their protective instinct kicking in. This is a natural instinct and partly due to your puppy’s genetic bond with humans. Signs of obsession can include following and whining, jealousy, and aggression.
It is essential to handle this behavior appropriately to ensure the safety of both the baby and the dog. With proper training, dogs can learn not only to be gentle with babies but also to form a positive relationship that benefits everyone in the household.