“How come dogs can feel that newborns are safe if they can detect people?”
A large number of toddlers are harmed, some by their family dog.
1/15/12 Posted by Lady E
One of the Many Possibilities
Please don’t assume I’m fully accurate since this is an interpretation of my limited personal experiences as well as material I’ve read about dog behavior and “psychology.”
To begin with, I feel that toddlers and newborns are two separate entities. In addition, I think that dogs experience feelings that are comparable to those experienced by humans. First, let’s talk about infants.
Do You Consider Your Family?
Dogs and Babies
I believe that most “regular” (non-rescue or mistreated) dogs can detect that youngsters are harmless when they are introduced carefully. They may be fearful, so introduce them cautiously and avoid putting them in the same room as the dog or the infant.
This isn’t to say that the dog won’t leave the youngster alone. For example, the dog may gently urge the baby to turn over, or even mouth the infant’s arms to do the same, or even pull the blankets down when the baby is too hot. The dog may also kiss the baby’s face, as well as pacifiers and other toys, in order to remove food off it or to check the child’s health, such as temperature.
The majority of dogs lick the baby’s cheeks after looking at the baby’s mouth and rear end. They’re probably just checking on the baby’s health. This is what dogs do with their own pups, and it should be considered similarly innocuous for human infants: almost none of the illnesses can be given from a dog to a person, and the ones that may are only passed if the dog isn’t properly cared for.
The dog’s behavior may be affected by the circumstances, such as if someone yells or yells and then gets joyful or upset and runs towards the pet and infant, while the dog mouths the baby’s arm to bring it into an optimal position. It’s possible that things don’t go as intended, and the mouthing turns into a bite, or that a bite is seen by the dog as a “attack” on the newborn. However, the “attack” was really precipitated by the angry/hysterical parent’s unintended interference. By attempting to pull the infant away (and the youngster is likely wailing, which raises the dog’s anxiety level and reactivity), the dog may sense that it was attempting to defend itself and the baby from danger (the furious, hysterical parent).
If You Have a Dog and a Child…
Toddlers and Dogs
Toddlers, on the other hand, are not dog-friendly. They’re very mobile, but also insecure and unpredictable. They scream and generate a lot of noise (most likely in very high frequencies that dogs can hear but humans can’t). They also like playing with dog toys.
Furthermore, the youngster may not be shielded by the “puppy innocence” clause that dogs attach to their puppies in the same manner that they connect to their own puppies: that “get out of jail free” card may have expired for certain dog-child combinations but not for others. Children who are protected by the “innocence clause” may get away with poking their eyes, tugging their tails and ears, grasping their fur, and so on, all of which an adult dog is used to and can let go of since their innocence is still intact. The length of time before this clause expires is determined on the breed and temperament of the dog.
Other factors, such as parents and their families who devote all of their time and attention to the kid while giving the dog very little (playtime, cuddling time, walks, dog parks), might make the dog feel as insecure as an adult child. If a child is particularly disrespectful or harmful to the dog, they may inadvertently breach its “puppy innocence” rule and end up fighting with it. The dog will very certainly “win.”
It’s possible that I’m mistaken, but the most important aspect of these incidents that I see as obvious is that you shouldn’t leave your child or dog alone until they’ve become friends in a hurry and your child is strong and tall enough to stand up for itself, as well as knowing when to cause trouble with the dog or play with their toys, water dish, or food.
The ideal option is always rigorous separation or monitoring, which every competent dog owner and parent owner should practice. Also, make sure your dog has a “getaway”–somewhere it can go that isn’t near the kid, baby, or toddler. This will assist to relieve stress and anxiety, allowing it to sleep peacefully.