Dogs are awesome creatures, and they do things that leave us gasping with awe. These animals can be pretty intriguing, from sensing pregnancy or cancer to burying their favorite toys and bones. But, while a close relationship between children and dogs may seem adorable, dogs may have a few odd behaviors when it comes to children. One of the few odd behaviors is a dog covering the babies with blankets. I’ve researched why dogs cover their babies with blankets, and here is what I found.
Your dog covers your baby with blankets basically for protection. Dogs have been burying food to prevent them from being stolen by predators in ancient times. Now, this same behavior manifests in dogs to things they find valuable, for example, babies, and to protect them from harm.
This protection behavior is instilled in them by their ancestors. We’ve all come across these videos or read stories of how dogs get along with babies, especially newborns, and will do everything to protect them from harm.
Although seeing your baby bond with the dog can be heartwarming, don’t ever think that every moment will be sweet, especially when it comes to the dog covering your baby in blankets. As a result, you need to teach the dog to maintain distance from the baby so as to prevent accidental suffocation while covering them with blankets. Keep reading to find out ways to prevent this behavior and the reasons why your dog is engaging in such odd behaviors.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Covers A Baby With A Blanket?
Your dog may try to cover or bury your or someone else’s baby because it is a behavior that was established in them by their ancestors. But, strangely, dogs won’t try to bury their own puppies but will display the behavior when it comes to food or babies.
This behavior originates from when the ancestry dogs used to live among the predators. They would sometimes get more food than they could eat and instead hide it to prevent the predators from stealing.
However, this doesn’t mean that your dog buries your baby to snack on them later. Modern dogs will try to bury or hide a baby for various reasons, including;
Dogs find babies very valuable and something that deserves to be well protected. So, if they notice the baby might be in danger or any other time they feel unsafe, they will bury your baby to keep them from being attacked. This is especially true and common if the dog has a history of hiding treats, favorite toys, slippers, or even your TV remote.
Parental instincts are another common reason why your dog buries your baby. Most parents tend to feel like they are the only ones capable of keeping the dog safe. However, dogs have the same feeling.
It is likely that they will see your babies as theirs, especially if they have had their own puppies before. This way, they will try to become the father or the mother by protecting your babies from harm, ensuring that they are happy and well taken care of. One of the ways to do this is by burying them.
While jealousy is the most unlikely reason your dog buries your baby, it is a possible reason. It can happen where the dynamics have changed; for example, a newborn baby has been added to the family. As a result, the attention shifts from your dog to the baby.
Sometimes your dog may become jealous because newborn babies need a lot of attention. They will bury or hide the baby to try and shift the attention back to them.
Dogs have been widely known to bury their food. In the wild, food wasn’t available as it is right now, and as a result, dogs had to hide their food deep in the ground to save some for later. Burying food on the ground did not only keep the food safe from predators, but it also helped the food remain fresh as well as added some nice flavor to it.
Over time, this behavior of burying meals developed and was established in their DNA. As a result, dogs will try to bury anything they find precious, including toys, treats, and your baby. The dog will bury babies to keep them away from predators, the same way it happens with food, especially bones.
While this behavior of covering your baby with blankets may seem harmless, it is important to always stay cautious.
How Do You Stop Your Dog From Covering Your Baby With Blankets?
Stopping your dog from covering your baby is mandatory. This is because dogs can’t foresee the negative consequences which might cause accidents. It is important to discourage your dog from burying your baby.
Here are some of the incredible ways you can use to curb that behavior.
Prepare And Prevent
When it comes to babies, dogs can get overly protective and tend to become aggressive towards others. Therefore, it is important to let your dog know that you’re in charge and the baby is in a safe environment.
Before the baby arrives, you need to prepare your dog for the new baby coming in. For example, you can do so by training their boundaries using commands such as “Stop” or “Leave it.” Even though the dogs might understand the commands, it is a good idea to give them a refresher before the baby comes.
Additionally, when the newborn baby comes in, you need to teach the dog to respect you and your baby. You can decide to make the nursery area off-limits for the dog. You can later decide to introduce the dog and baby at a slow pace and with lots of boundaries. If you find it challenging to do this, you can always seek help from a professional.
Most times, dogs and babies grow up to become inseparable but getting here takes time and effort. Therefore, it is crucial not to leave the baby and the dog alone together at the beginning. This is because accidents may happen, and for this reason, it is essential to set boundaries in your home.
A recommended way to do this is to provide a safe space for the dogs before they get used to the new developments in the home. For example, you can provide the dog with a gated area or a kennel so that they can still see the family.
This way, you will be guaranteed safety, and you don’t have to watch your dog all the time. However, if this method doesn’t help, it is better to talk to a professional trainer, as they are more likely to make the situation easier for everyone in your home.