Introducing my pit bull to my newborn

by Loren
(Hamilton ohio)

I have a two year old female pit bull and she is sweet as can be. Never has shown any aggression toward ppl or other animals. Despite her past of being abused by previous owners. We have had her for over a year :)


My only concern is she is very needy and calls for alot of attention. How can i help her to adjust to my newborn? I'm due in a couple of weeks. and would like to make the transition easy for everyone in the family.

Gale's Reply:

Hi Loren

Congrats on your new arrival!

I think the biggest thing to think about is if you anticipate changing your pit bull's schedule (walks, feedings, playtime, etc.), is to start making those changes now so that she has time to adjust. And then try to stick to that schedule as closely as possible.

When you bring your baby home, a lot of people recommend that you let someone else carry the baby when you walk in the door--especially if your dog is likely to run up to greet you or jump on you. That way you can give her the same greeting you normally would. You don't want her first encounter with the baby to be associated with being scolded. Once she's settled down, you can introduce her to the baby.

If you intend to make the nursery off-limits, you may want to put up a gate or barrier that keeps her out. That way, you won't need to scold her for transgressing.

Of course, if your pit already has solid obedience skills, you may not need to do these things. But, if her response to commands like "down stay" is sketchy, it's better to dog-proof the environment. It will save wear on everyone's nerves for now. But, do work on her obedience skills as you have time.

Of course, it goes without saying, (but I'll say it just to be thorough) always supervise your dog's interactions with your child.

Best wishes to you and your family. Feel free to post back here if you have other questions.

For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for Introducing my pit bull to my newborn

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Dec 15, 2014
who is most important here??? NEW
by: new grandma

While I will admit that I am more of a cat than dog person, I am apalled that you advise that the dog must be accommodated over the newborn in order to acclimate appropriately! Any large dog whose weight and size could threaten the welfare of a new baby in the house should NOT be living with new babies. I understand the "family" bond that we have with our pets, but is the risk of death or permanent physical or emotional damage to your child worth it? There are many stories of successful and endearing relationships that develop between children and pit bulls. But I also have seen and heard stories of faces ripped off in seconds, resulting in permanent disfigurement and sometimes death. I think the responsibility of ensuring the safety of a child should rank higher than the "adjustment" tactics used to assuage the natural instincts of a dog!

Mar 23, 2015
wow NEW
by: Anonymous

I am currently pregnant and own a pit bull who is the softest animal I have ever encountered and is amazing with kids. I will NOT be getting rid of my pet he is a family member. Would you get rid of a child because there was another one the way? I promised to love and protect my pit bull forever. So him leaving our home is out of the question. That's why asking for advice and tips and techniques is the most responsible thing to do. And obviously the most important thing is the safety of my child so he will never be unsupervised but it is wrong to banish my dog without giving him a chance. I have absolutely no worries about this.

Mar 23, 2015
wow NEW
by: Anonymous

I am currently pregnant and own a pit bull who is the softest animal I have ever encountered and is amazing with kids. I will NOT be getting rid of my pet he is a family member. Would you get rid of a child because there was another one the way? I promised to love and protect my pit bull forever. So him leaving our home is out of the question. That's why asking for advice and tips and techniques is the most responsible thing to do. And obviously the most important thing is the safety of my child so he will never be unsupervised but it is wrong to banish my dog without giving him a chance. I have absolutely no worries about this.

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