The Havanese Dog and the Newborn Family Member: How to Deal with a Jealous Dog?

Dog owner question

"We recently had a baby. Our six-year-old Havanese dog, named Bence, doesn't know how to react to this change. We are worried because our puppy, who used to be the master of his family's favourite comfy sofa, is now stressed and tense, visibly jealous. All this while he was already showing signs of being sad and confused about the arrival of the baby when I was pregnant."

Dog psychologist's reply

"Firstly, I would like to reassure you that Bence's behaviour is completely normal. Dogs are routine-loving animals and any big change, such as the arrival of a new family member, can upset them.

The point is that your puppy needs time to understand and accept the change!

First, try to set aside time just for Benji every day, even if it's just a few minutes.

Walks, playing or petting will help him feel that he is still an important part of the family!

Secondly, create a dedicated area in the house for your dog to retreat to when he needs some quiet time.

This could be a comfortable bed in the corner of the living room, or even a small space in the bedroom.

Third, try to give your doggie positive experiences with the baby.

For example, if the baby is sleeping peacefully, let the doggy sit close to him, always supervised of course. This can help him learn that the baby is not a threat to him!

It is important to remember that patience is key. With Bencie, as with all dogs, it takes time to adapt to change.

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If the tension persists, it is worth seeking the help of a professional who can offer more specific advice on how to deal with the situation.

I hope that with this advice, you will find a way to help your new family member settle in smoothly.

Change is always challenging, but with the right support and attitude, there is no insurmountable obstacle!"