Introducing the Dogs to Wee Babies


Introducing the Dogs to Wee Babies

When we were bringing Bean home for the first time, I was a little worried about introducing him to our dogs. We have a big black lab named Big Molly who I didn’t worry about for a second. I was pretty sure that sweet Molly would let any baby climb all over her, pull her tail, or dress her up like a pony without ever batting an eye. Over the years, I have been proven right countless times. Big Molly loves babies. Even before Bean was born, Molly camped out in the nursery for weeks leading up to his birth. She just laid next to the crib, waiting for a baby to arrive. IMG_1375

When Bean Man finally came home from the hospital, Molly was never far behind. She laid at his feet where ever he might be. She wuved him.


Lucy was a different story. We knew from the start that Lucy was going to be tricky. Lucy is a dachshund/chihuahua mix who was six years old at the time Bean was born. I have had Lucy since college, and I love that dog. But Lucy is a mean little thing. She snips and snaps and is a bit unpredictable. We really had no idea how she’d be around a baby.


We prepped Lucy for baby by setting out all the baby equipment about a week or two before Bean was due. This gave the dogs a chance to get used to the baby stuff before having to get used to the actual baby.

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When Bean finally came home, we did like everyone suggested and Chris brought home one of the baby blankets from the hospital a couple days before we arrived home so they could get used to the smell. I don’t know that that did much, but we checked the box like we were supposed to. The biggest adjustment was, naturally, when Bean arrived at the house. They immediately crowded around the baby carrier to sniff and smell the new arrival. And then, they just kind of walked away. No big deal. It’s just a baby.


Gradually, over the next few days, each dog took their time getting to know Bean. They came around for a minute when he was sleeping, just to see if he was still there. If he started crying, Lucy left the room, but Big Molly would sit next to wherever the crying baby was and just glare at me. I could see her thinking, “WHY ARE YOU HURTING THAT SMALL, BALD PUPPY????” She did not like the crying baby game.


As time has gone by, both our dogs have built their own unique relationship with both our kids. Molly is always close by, but doesn’t really romp with them. It’s almost like she knows she’s bigger than they are. She hangs out near them and lays there when they crawl all over her or poke at her. She still wuvs them.


Lucy doesn’t have much to do with the kids. She always hangs out just out of their reach, not really wanting to be bothered by them. As they’ve gotten bigger, we’ve taught them that they can’t sneak up on Gracie or mess with her or anything. So far, the kids relationship with Lucy is pretty reciprocal. She leaves them alone; they leave her alone.

I think the most important part of bringing a baby into your home with dogs is to know your dogs and how to interact with them so that they are comfortable. We had to work with Lucy and Molly in very different ways with our babies because they are very different dogs. Adapting to the needs of your dog is really important, and I think it makes a world of difference as to how accepting they are of your newest bald puppy.

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9 thoughts on “Introducing the Dogs to Wee Babies

  1. Cindy

    I love this post but it comes at a very appropriate time in my life this week. My dear coworker has a son who is just under 2 years old and a couple of months ago their golden retriever bite him on the face which required stitches. They kept the dog out of the house for a little while but then they decided to have the dog back in the household but just to keep the both of them away from each other. On Monday night her husband was holding onto the dog and letting their son pet him when the dog attacked him for the second time. It ripped through his lip and cheek and he had to have emergency surgery Monday night. Then Tuesday night he was moved to the ICU with respiratory difficulty. Tonight he was moved back to a regular room. He is going to have to have extensive plastic surgery to repair his precious little face. I just want to make people aware of what can happen. My coworker and her family are beyond devastated.

  2. Thanks for sharing this – I’m 33 weeks with our first child, and my beloved dog can be a little skittish around kids. Actually – she gets along great with older kids but seems to be nervous around toddlers. I’ve definitely been worried about how she’ll interact with our kid, and eventually, our kid’s friends.

  3. Dessi

    We worried a bit about how our dog, Sonic would handle our first baby. He is a chihuahua/pomaranian mix and a HUGE mama’s boy. We thought he might get super jealous! At times he does seem to be begging for attention but he is amazing with my now 9 month old son! My son climbs on him, gets in his face (even by his food bowl) and Sonic just stand there and takes it (and kissing him most of the time). My son adores him and I love watching them play together! I do agree, every dog is different though! So do what you can to help you four legged babies adjust 🙂

  4. Meredith

    Oh your dogs! We haven’t heard much about them for a while (besides locking Lucy in the garage, I think). I hope they are still doing well! And thanks for the throwback photos, they are awesome.

  5. Bec

    I think it’s important to remember that dogs are animals, not humans. And I love, love, love dogs, we have 4 of them. And two little kids. BUT it is never ever far from our minds the power of a dog. We never leave them alone together in the same room and don’t really allow much interaction between our small children and the dogs.

  6. El

    I love this. We intorduced our 2 furry boys (black labs) to our firstborn almost 4 years ago now. Ruger was kind of like Lucy in being standoffish. He never once snapped or growled, he just got up and went somewhere else if our eldest was bothering him (ie getting too close). Pyro our other sweet lab, is more like Molly – he lets our boys climb all over him. We unfortunately lost Ruger this summer due to an illness, so we will not get to see how his sinteractions with our boys would have changed, but he was much better with babies/toddlers once ou second son came along. I can see that Pyro will be our boys’ buddy for as long as he lives (he is now 7.)

    PS It almost made me cry the other day when my older son asked where Ruger was. I reminded him that Ruger had gone to doggy heaven and wasn’t sick anymore. Then we went out and visited him where we buried him.

  7. Chloe

    What happened to Mollys’ tail???! 🙁

  8. Mae

    We had a Toy Fox Terrier – she was my 4 legged baby and did everything we were supposed to before bringing our “real” babies home: setting out all the baby equipment, bringing home used baby blankets from the hospital, etc. Bailey was curious and sniffed the babies when they first came home, but mostly ignored them. However, as the kids got more mobile, they started to want to play with her. We tried teaching the kids to be nice and gentle, but Bailey would start snapping and growling if the kids even walked near her. She even snapped at me once thinking I was one of the kids. She drew blood once – nothing big – a tiny cut on my 1 year old’s hand. It was enough for me. She’s staying with my cousin for now and I’m hoping she works out for them so we can at least see her sometimes!

  9. Joke

    So glad to hear about Molly and Lucy 🙂 You have lovely dogs!

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