Great Danes And Babies: Tips On How To Introduce Them To Each Other

“This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.”

Last Updated on July 12, 2024

There’s just something so special about babies and dogs growing up together – Aside from the beautiful memories created, you get to witness an unbreakable bond forming in front of your eyes.

However, a harmonious life with dogs, especially with one that is as big as a Great Dane, and babies doesn’t just magically happen overnight.

Both Great Danes and babies must be properly introduced with each other. So, if you’re expecting a new addition to your family, there are a lot of things you can do to properly prepare your pooch for the arrival of your tiny hooman.

And with the proper introduction with each other, dogs can live together with babies in harmony, and with love.

Continue reading to discover tips that will make the introduction of Great Danes and babies to each other a lot easier.

Bay Dane

Dogs are sensitive animals and can sense emotions and energies far more than humans can. Similarly, your Great Dane dog can sense the heralds but unable to interpret the situation properly. Therefore, it is high time for you to take the lead and acquaint the Great Dane dog with the eminent changes.

The Danes can become aggressive, depressed, uneasy, jealous, over-protective if not trained efficaciously. You have to cater to all these probable changes in your Great Dane’s temperament. While preparing it for the arrival of a baby.

Preparing Your Great Dane Ahead Of The Baby’s Birth

Introducing a Great Dane to a baby can happen even before the baby is born. As a matter of fact, preparing your dog ahead of time is a lot better. This way, the actual introduction will be smooth sailing.

Dogs are sensitive animals. They can sense emotions and energy better than humans can. So, your Great Dane will be quick to sense changes. However, they will be unable to interpret the situation properly.

So, here’s how you can prepare your Great Dane ahead of your baby’s birth.

1. Training

Basic Command Training

Basic command training is vital to the growth of a Great Dane. And you will find that it also comes in handy when introducing Great Danes and babies with each other.

As a responsible Great Dane owner, you must know how important this kind of training is. Given the sheer size and strength of Great Danes, teaching them basic commands become indispensable.

So, we’d like to assume that by now, your Great Dane has learned to follow basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “down”.

Now, with the arrival of your baby, you will have to revisit your Dane’s basic command training and teach them new commands.

Here are two other basic commands that will come in handy when your baby is born:

“Leave” And “Let Go” Commands

These basic commands will prove to be important during interactions between Great Danes and babies. The Great Dane must be taught to withdraw from any situation involving the baby when need be.

How to teach ‘leave’ command:

At times, Great Danes are unaware of how strong they can be. So, by teaching them this command, they will learn to back off from any situation that you think might harm them baby without hurting them.

  • Put a treat on your hand, and utter the “leave” command.
  • When you see your dog not taking the treat and backing off, immediately praise your dog and/or offer them a treat from your other hand.
  • Continue doing this until your dog associates the word “leave” with backing off.
  • Practice this regularly until your dog gets used to it.
How to teach ‘let go’ command:

It is natural for dogs to be curious about new things at home. And having a baby means buying new items that they will need. Naturally, you will find your Great Dane sniffing around the baby’s things. So, in such situations, the ‘let go’ command will come in handy.

  • Calmly call out to your Great Dane.
  • Say the ‘let go’ command.
  • The moment it start to leave things alone, reward it with a treat or give it’s favorite toy to play with instead.

This might take sometime but practice is the key to discipline your Great Dane dog.

Obedience Training

If you observe reluctance in your Great Dane when following commands, this can be a real problem and must be solved before the baby’s arrival.

Just imagine, your Great Dane not willing to listen to you when you tell it to leave the baby alone or to let go of the baby’s bottle – it would be a total disaster!

This is why obedience training is also important and goes hand in hand with basic command training. Your dog must learn how to obey you when you give them commands, especially when the baby is around.

Furthermore, proper training will help curb a Great Dane’s aggression and behavioral problems.

You can start or restart obedience training with these simple tips:

  • Sit on a couch with a lot of treats beside you.
  • Call your dog’s name and say the command “come”
  • When the dog acts on the command, simply give it a treat and praise it.
  • Repeat this until the dog learns to associate the word “come” with approaching you.
  • You can start to advance with the training by doing the same things, but with a different command. For example, you can do it with “sit” this time.
  • Once it sits down after hearing the command, give the dog a treat and praise it again.
  • Practice this regularly until your dog learns how to associate commands with your desired action.

2. Setting Up Boundaries

The second most basic yet important preparation when introducing Great Danes and babies to each other is setting up or establishing boundaries.

Before the baby is even born, make sure to provide your Great Dane with a cozy, peaceful, and secure space at home that he can call his own.

The easiest way to establish your Great Dane’s boundaries is by providing them with a crate big enough to accommodate their size and needs. Also, make sure that the crate is furnished with a comfortable bed, and some of your dog’s favorite toys.

Setting boundaries for your Great Dane goes beyond not allowing them near your baby. But it helps mold their good behaviors and teaches them what they can do and cannot do. So, when they meet new people, in this case, your baby, they will learn how to remain calm.

The crate will serve as your Great Dane’s safe space where you can ask them to retreat to when necessary.

The same goes to the baby. As it grows up, it needs to respect your Great Dane’s space and not be allowed to disturb your dog when it is in it’s own space.

Don’t forget that your Great Dane will not automatically love it’s own space. You have to do crate training with them to make this a success!

3. Gradually Update Your Dog’s Routine

Not all dogs love and appreciate a change in their routine. When their routine is abruptly changed, they almost always struggle to adjust to it, and end up becoming stressed or anxious.

With a baby on the way, updating your Great Dane’s routine will be necessary. As long as you change or update it gradually, then it will eventually work out.

In saying this, the gradual change in your Great Dane’s routine must happen months before your baby is even born. You should NOT change it only when the baby is born – that will stress them out and will lead to more problems.

The goal of these changes in your dog’s routine is to prevent your dog from feeling jealousy. While a baby will need your attention at all times, you still need to make sure your dog doesn’t feel any sort of jealousy towards your baby.

You want your dog to love your baby as much as you do. So, you have to ensure that your dog is well-prepared for the change and understands that you are not neglecting them with the arrival of the baby.

In saying that, here are a few things you should gradually update on your dog’s routine in preparation of the arrival of your baby:

Sleeping Space

When the baby arrives, your Great Dane would not be able to sleep in your bed anymore. So, it is better to change this and start establishing their own space, with a crate and their own bed.

Feeding

This one might be tricky since most dogs remember their feeding schedule. However, with a baby’s arrival, feeding your dog right on schedule can be difficult.

You can gradually adjust their feeding them each day. So, for example if you feed them at exactly 12:00 PM for lunch, try to be five minutes early or late. Slowly adjust the time for when they eat in a way that they won’t immediately notice it.

Exercise

Of course, it goes without saying that walking your Great Dane according to their schedule would be near impossible with a baby.

You can either slowly introduce a new walk routine according to your expected schedule when the baby arrives, or you can always choose to hire a dog walker for your Great Dane.

Travelling By Car

Sadly, with the arrival of your baby, your Great Dane will not be able to sit beside you. You will have to slowly introduce them to riding in the middle seat or in the trunk.

4. Recheck Your Dog’s Diet

Your dog’s nutrition can largely influence not only their physical health but also their mental health and can affect their emotions.

Before your baby arrives, evaluate your Great Dane’s food and overall diet and check if they’re getting proper nutrition.

With proper nutrition, your dog will be a healthy, confident, and good-mannered dog.

5. Try New Activities

Trying new activities might sound like something you don’t need with a baby on the way. However, doing so can still be beneficial.

For example, if your dog loves playing with other dogs, you can take them to a dog day care. This will prove helpful when you need to attend to your baby and have no time to exercise or play with your dog.

Furthermore, this helps the dog stay healthy and social with a new activity added to its routine.

6. Reduce Attention

It won’t come as a surprise that when the baby is born, your Great Dane will get less attention, since you have to take care of the baby. The same goes for the amount of playtime or exercise you have with them.

So, it will be important that you start slowly reducing the attention you give them.

7. Introduce Infant Voices

So, letting them see and interact with things associated with the baby like toys, car seat, crib, and blankets will help.

Sense of sight is the most basic tool in preparing a Great Dane to meet the baby. Thus, let the Dane visualize some peculiar things that would be associated with the baby solely. Namely, baby toys, baby products like lotion, shampoo, etc.

There are a lot of infant and baby voices recorded in tapes available on the market. Get one for yourself and play it inside the house. Make sure that the Dane gets to listen to these sounds.

This will help the dog to adjust itself with the baby’s voices beforehand. Additionally you might get a doll almost the size of a baby so the dog can relate the sounds with the baby.

Note:

Teach the Dane not to jump on while you are walking around holding the doll. 

8. Imitate Baby Stroller Walk

Imitate stroller walk with your dog, and teach your Dane to walk behind calmly. If you notice any trouble with the dog whilst walking, correct the dog’s behavior beforehand.

In case your dog seems uneasy with the walk, practice it more. If you want your walk to be a family time make sure to work on this integral part of pre-introduction.

9. Introduce The Baby’s Scent

Let your Great Dane dog familiarize itself with the baby’s scents before introducing baby to the Great Dane dog. This would discourage any probable burden on the dog. At once smelling a flood of new unknown smells would disturb the Dane.

  • Use baby lotion and shampoo repeatedly so that the dog would know the smells before the baby’s arrival.
  • Additionally, bring the baby’s smell home before the baby’s actual arrival. 

For the purpose, fetch an item holding the baby’s scent from the hospital. It could be anything, its booties, or blanket.

Let the dog sniff from some distance while holding ‘the baby’s sent’ in your hand.

Do not let the Dane take away the item from your hand. Rather control the whole sniffing practice and tell the dog that this new item belongs to you.

  •  Or you can also wear the baby’s scent on your body when you come home. When you bring your baby home for the first time, allow your Great Dane dog to sniff and lick your hands to get used to baby’s scent.

How to Introduce a Baby to the Great Dane

When you return home greet the Great Dane dog alone. The dog might feel excited at your sight after a few days. Tell your partner to keep the new born baby outside and meet the dog without the baby. In this way the dog would be able to get a hold of itself and its excitement before introducing baby to the Great Dane dog.

Note;

An excited Great Dane can jump on you. In case you are holding the baby while you greet the dog, the new born baby might get hurt.

To reduce the dog’s excitement you can also take the Dane for exercise or for a walk before the introduction. Make it a long walk so that the dog would not be as energetic as it usually is. A dog without much energy would resort to obedience and submission. Such temperament of the dog would be good at the first meet up.

Interesting myth,

Upon introducing a baby to a dog, bring keep the baby’s feet bare. Let the dog see and sniff the baby’s feet. In this way it is assumed that the dog can develop a strong bond with the baby. 

Although it is recommended not to bring baby too close to the dog. In proximity, the dog might be overwhelmed and not able to control its emotions properly. Hence you might end up getting the baby hurt.

Therefore, it is better to introduce baby to the Great Dane dog while the dog is on leash.

Gradually when the dog shows signs of relaxation and becomes acquainted with the new born baby’s scent you might let it come closer. Wait a few days until the dog gets acquainted with the baby’s scent to let it have a look at the baby.

Note;

The new born baby and dog interactions ought to be supervised no matter how submissive your dog is.

Preparing Yourself For The Challenge Of Introducing Great Danes And Babies

You also need to practice somethings for introducing baby to the Great Dane dog. Such as,

  • Don’t reprimand the Great Dane dog for sniffing and checking out baby items. It is fairly natural for the dogs to become inquisitive about everything new. Do not scold the dog for its interest for the baby’s items. It is all right for the dog to sniff and smell the clothes, and toys.
  • Be aware of how you behave with the dog around the baby. Rather appreciate the Great Dane dog every time it approaches the baby. Particularly, if the dog is gentle and kind do not try to shoo it away. 
  • Remember scolding the dog when it gets near the baby would make it associate the baby with negativity. The dog would identify the baby as a symbol of unpleasantness. Whilst your praise and appreciation every time the dog approaches the baby gently, will help the dog recognize the baby with gains.
  • It is crucial to link the baby with good things for the Great Dane dog. This would provide the linchpin of the baby and dog’s bonding. 
  • Separating the dog from baby or giving attention only to the baby must be avoided. If not the dog would register the baby as its nemesis. Therefore Pet the dog more when the baby is around. 

What to teach the baby

how the baby behave around the dog is an integral part of introducing baby to Great Dane dog. Once the baby grows it becomes crucial to teach it how to behave with the dog. The infant and Dane interaction is partially based on child’s behavior. Let the baby understand what is allowed and what is not a favored attitude towards the dog.  Although Great Dane dogs are ‘gentle giants’ yet the most amenable Dane has limited endurance.

For example, infants must not be allowed to pester the Great Dane by pulling on its tail or ears. Its natural floppy ears appear attractive to the babies.

Infants should also learn not to hurt the dog from an early age to make the baby and dog’s bonding positive.

Points to reckon

The most paramount point in introducing baby and Great Dane dog is training. You need to establish great control and mastery over your canine comrade before the baby’s arrival in order to have a sound relationship afterwards. 

Socializing a puppy with children could be of some help as well. Keep in mind that nothing negative should happen for the dog when the baby is around. Anyhow Great Dane must not regard the baby as a disapproval, this is the key to introduce baby to the Great Dane dog.

If you find yourself unable to teach and train the dog for introducing it to the baby, you can also look out for professional assistance right away.

Leave a Comment