Collies are good natured and make great family dogs, however they are prone to separation anxiety and can be jealous of new arrivals to your family.
Welcoming a new baby in to your family will be stressful enough for you, but it doesn’t have to be stressful for your collie.
In this article, we’ll look at the best way to introduce your collie to a new baby to ensure they accept them as part of the family, and to minimize stress for you, your collie, and your baby.
Do collies get on with babies?
Collies are great with babies. Collies are very loyal and gentle dogs, and once they accept your new baby as part of their pack, they will love them for life.
Although your collie may occasionally feel a little jealous of the attention you give your new baby, they are emotionally intelligent dogs, and they understand that the baby is precious and needs to be protected.
If you have a female collie, they may be overly protective of your newborn, displaying behaviors such as sitting by the cot or licking them as they would their own pups.
Although collies are generally great with babies, it’s important to prepare them for the new arrival and to introduce them carefully and calmly so that your dog understands the baby is part of the family and doesn’t feel abandoned or jealous of the new arrival.
You can make the process as stress free as possible for your collie by introducing your pup to the baby calmly, giving them a piece of the baby’s clothing to get them used to the smell, and by continuing to give your collie lots of attention to make sure they don’t feel abandoned.
Preparing your collie for a new baby
The first few days of parenthood are going to be stressful for you no matter what, but there are some things you can do to ease the anxiety of your collie.
Here are some tips for how to introduce your collie to a new baby:
1: Leave your collie with a relative when the baby arrives
One of the best ways to manage the stress of a new baby for your collie is to leave your dog with a friend or relative for a few days while you settle in.
This will spare your dog from stress while you figure out your new routine.
2: Introduce them by scent before they meet
If possible, introduce your collie by scent first, rather than by sight. Give your collie a blanket or piece of clothing that your baby has worn, so that they get used to the smell of them before they see them.
This will make the initial introduction easier, since your collie will recognize the scent.
3: Prevent your collie from entering the baby’s room beforehand
Before you introduce your collie to a new baby, you should prevent your collie from being in any places they won’t be allowed after the baby arrives.
If the baby has their own room, don’t let your collie in there beforehand, so that they don’t feel like the baby is taking away any of their space.
How to introduce your collie to a new baby
Here are some tips for introducing your collie to the newest member of your family. The goal is to ensure your collie accepts your new baby as part of the family, and to minimize stress or feelings of jealousy in the dog.
1: Introduce them by smell and sound
If you didn’t already give your collie a piece of the baby’s clothing to get them used to the smell, now is the time to do that. Give your collie the chance to get used to the smells and sounds in their own time.
2: Stay calm
Don’t speak with an excited voice around the baby, collies are emotionally intelligent and can pick up on the way you act.
If you’re calm, they are calm. If you’re excited, they will be excited too.
It’s important to stay calm, so that your collie understands the new baby is delicate and not a plaything.
3: Keep baby toys away from your collie
Your baby will probably have lots of toys and trinkets. To avoid any tug of war—and to keep your collie safe—keep your baby’s toys out of reach and sight of your collie.
Collies LOVE toys and won’t understand at first that the baby has their own toys.
Although most baby toys will be fine for your dog, there is also a safety concern as baby toys are not as robust as dog toys and your collie may chew them apart.
How to ensure your collie accepts your new baby
Collies are sometimes prone to jealousy, and are known for being anxious and skittish around new people or new situations.
Although collies may take some time to learn that your new baby is part of the family, once they do they will be a loyal companion for your new addition.
Here are some tips to help your collie accept your new baby in to the family:
1: Let your collie get used to the baby gradually
Collies are sometimes nervous in new situations, or with new people or pets.
Don’t try to rush your collie, let them get used to the baby in their own time.
2: Stay calm when around or holding the baby
Collies have so much energy, they will play with anything and everything.
Collies are emotionally intelligent and can pick up on how you’re acting and mimic it. If you’re calm around the baby, they will be calm too.
This helps reinforce to your collie that the baby is delicate and not a play thing.
3: Don’t stop your collie from seeing the baby
You might be tempted to keep your collie away from your baby completely, however this is not a good idea.
Collies can take some time to fully accept a new family member or pet, so it’s important to let them spend time with the baby so they get used to them.
4: Don’t ignore your collie
This is probably the most important tip for introducing a new baby to your collie.
You don’t want your collie to feel jealous, so try to make some time for them. Your collie still loves you and needs some time alone with you to exercise and play.
If you end up spending all your time with your new baby, your collie might feel like a second class citizen and it could hurt their self esteem.
Are baby toys safe for collies?
Baby toys are designed to be safe for babies, even if they chew on them. There are usually no small parts or sharp bits, however this doesn’t mean that baby toys are safe for your collie.
Although baby toys are safe for babies, many of them are not robust enough to withstand a collie’s destructive power. Even the most durable baby toy may come undone in the grip of a determined collie’s jaw.
For this reason, it’s better to avoid letting your collie play with any baby toys, and instead get a toy specifically made for dogs, which usually has no harmful stuffing so it doesn’t present a hazard even when your collie rips it to bits.