A newborn in the house not only changes your life but your pet dog as well. The routine will change, attention will be shared, and the walkies your Shiba loves so much will be shorter.
As parents of a baby, adjustment is expected but you, as responsible dog owners, also need to understand that your Shiba Inu needs to be guided through this adjustment period too!
While you’re still pregnant, it is best to introduce these changes to your Shiba so that when you welcome the new life, your dog welcomes it with you.
Are Shiba Inu child-friendly dogs?
Temperament-wise, the Shiba Inu is not an ideal pet for children.
They are territorial, moody, and will not tolerate a child’s play. They are not extremely dangerous to the point they’ll attack a kid on sight, however, they hate being treated like a toy. This means tail-pulling, pinches, invading their personal space and all tactics that children usually do to pet dogs can lead your Shiba to snap or bite.
However, this doesn’t mean that Shiba and children in one house are completely off the picture. It is still possible.
With training and a proper introduction, the Shiba Inu could make great family pets.
But, two achieve this, there are two crucial steps:
- Expose your Shiba Inu to many positive experiences with small children
- Teach your children to be non-aggressive with your Shiba Inu
What’s important is to cultivate peace between them.
If a Shiba Inu and children have always been the plan from the start, you need to introduce children and their tactics to your dog as early as the puppy stage. One, you can bring your Shiba to places where there are children, and encourage the kids to pet and feed it treats.
Similarly, you also need to introduce your child to your Shiba. It’s hard to fight the curiosity of a toddler with no sense of danger in him and this is why your dog should be introduced to children’s environment. But a kid should also be trrained to be non-aggressive with pet dogs, this means no tail-pulling or any provocative actions.
Make sure to only expose both the Shiba and the kid to positive experiences only. Include your baby in routines and once they are old enough to properly give commands, involved them in Shiba’s training.
And importantly, no matter how well-trained and behaved your Shiba might be, don’t ever leave them and your young children alone and unsupervised.
How to introduce a Shiba Inu to Children
Expose your Shiba to children
If your Shiba hasn’t been around children before, it is best to start exposing them to these little humans the moment you found out you are expecting.
You can bring your pooch to the park and let it watch kids from a distance and see how they react to children’s unpredictable movements.
Furthermore, if your dog is not properly trained, it might be best to enroll it in obedience classes. You wouldn’t want your Shiba jumping on you when you are heavily pregnant at seven months, would you?
Establish new routines
Dogs thrived with routines. They are creatures of habit and unpredictable days might cause them anxiety. They are aware of their walks, feeding schedules, potty breaks, playtime, and even bedtime.
But a baby is unpredictable and the new life in the household can suddenly break all these routines you’ve built with your Shiba.
So to avoid confusion on your Shiba’s end, start building new habits and new routines during your pregnancy. If you think you’ll be taking your baby out in a stroller at a different time than the usual walkies with your dog, get your dog used to this new schedule.
The next thing to establish is that attention has to be shared. If your Shiba has been an ‘only child’ for quite a time, they might be used to getting the whole of your attention. So during your pregnancy, start weaning off attention.
We don’t want your Shiba Inu to associate the new baby as its rival to mommy and daddy’s love.
Let your Shiba explore its surroundings
A new baby at home means new things and new smells for your Shiba. And as you slowly start to build your baby nest, allow your Shiba to get used to the new items like strollers and baby toys.
This is because the stroller, the high chair, diapers, car seats, and all the new things in sight can cause your Shiba anxiety. Allow him to sniff things from a safe distance and introduce them to those noisy baby toys and to the scent of baby lotions and powders.
Let them explore at their own pace with lots of positive reinforcement.
Give your Shiba Inu attention
Having a baby means being busy 24/7. But don’t forget to give your pet dog some love and attention too.
Your Shiba still needs exercise, playtime, and attention, and even with a new baby at home, it’s important that you don’t forget about your dog’s routine. It might be overwhelming, especially when your hands are full of new life, but keeping up with your dog’s routine helps them stay stable.
Teach your children to respect your Shiba
Teach your dog to respect your baby and also teach your baby to respect your dog.
Socialization in children is a fundamental foundation they need to learn early on. Not only with other kids and family members, but also with pets.
Teach your toddler to never pull on your Shiba’s tail and ears, don’t allow them to climb, cling, and invade your Shiba’s personal space or allow them to follow your dog to its crate.
Don’t leave your kid and your dog alone and unsupervised. And if you notice signs of stress when your kid is playing with your Shiba, like panting or lip-licking, it’s time for playtime to stop.
Start teaching your kids to respect family pets as early as you can. This is one of the most important things you can do to establish lifelong respect between them.