Another common misconception about Pitbulls is that they are unable to get along with children. This misconception has brought many dedicated Pitbull owners to get rid of their dogs when a new baby arrives home out of fear that their dog will harm the infant. On the other hand, there are many Pitbull owners who excitedly bring their baby home without a single drop of worry about the infant’s safety around their dog. Neither response is accurate or reliable. Although it is a fact that dogs can hurt babies, it is also true that they protect babies. How you introduce your baby to your Pitbull makes a huge difference on how well the dog will act around your baby.
Generally speaking, Pit bulls have always had a special connection with children. They seem to enjoy being around kids and feel very protective of them. In fact, the Pitbull’s close relative, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is nicknamed “the nanny dog” in England because it has been known to act as a babysitter for the family children. Many Pitbulls have been known to save a child’s life. Unfortunately, many Pit bulls have also been known to harm a child. Some Pit Bulls may be suspicious of children. This is because he may not understand what kids are or because they have had bad experiences with them. When you introduce dogs and children, do it very carefully. Advise your child to be gentle and offer your dog a treat. Never allow young children to sit on the dog, pull his ears, hair, or tail. Tell them not to run from the dog, scream sharply around him, stare at him, or hurt him. Never allow your kids to pick on your Pit Bull. Here are other things that you should keep in mind before you bring a baby and a Pitbull together:
1. Before you introduce the baby to the Pitbull, the dog should already be fully trained on how to “stay,” “sit,” and “lie down” on command.
2. Make sure that the Pitbull is secured on his leash the first time that you introduce him to the baby. You can muzzle the dog if you are still uncomfortable with the leash. The problem with this is that you do not want him to associate muzzling with the baby. The dog should already be familiar with the having the muzzle on before meeting the baby.
3. Keep the dog away from the baby during the baby’s first few days at home. Let the dog get familiar with the smell and sound of the baby. You need to be very careful during this time because some dogs may not comprehend that you have a new small human in the house and not a “prey animal”.
4. Have the dog sit and stay before you bring the baby to the room and then reward the dog for staying. Move the baby closer to the dog while rewarding him for his good behavior. Once you are secure about the dog’s comfort level, allow him to sniff the baby. But remember, you should never leave the dog and baby alone together during the baby’s first few weeks at home.
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