Q: I am five months pregnant. How can we get our 4-year-old spayed female schnauzer, who has been the center of our family, used to the baby?--D.O. A: Several weeks before the baby arrives, start changing your pet’s habits (she may have been allowed on the furniture and to share your bed), rewarding desired behavior with food. A new bed in another room will provide not only a new sleeping area but a place to put the dog when your attention can’t be divided.
At first, the dog should be exposed only to the baby’s sounds. She will naturally be interested and seek the source. The noises will soon become familiar to her and not provoke much response. Never leave the two of them alone together, especially once the baby begins to crawl and walk. If the dog shows any signs of aggression, it must be placed in a new home.