August 14, 2013


When new babies are welcomed into our lives, we are all overjoyed to be blessed with a baby, everyone except for sometimes the family dog…


Hi Cindy,

I saw your Facebook post and would love for you to tell me more about my dog Chevy. I have owned him since he was just a couple weeks old and picked him out of the litter before his eyes were even opened- he is very special to me.

I had a baby on June 18th and ever since Chevy has not been the same. It was like he aged in just the time we were away at the hospital. He went from puppy playful to somewhat laid back and more independent. He used to sleep in the bedroom every night either at the foot of the bed or on the floor and has maybe once since the baby. He also used to bring us toys all the time to play but now does very seldom.

I try to make it a point to show him affection when my hands are free but just hoping he is happy.

Would love your help!


Kait Bruggemann


Dear Kaitlyn,

Thanks for your question and the wonderful picture of Chevy. Your concern is far from unique. I have worked with so many dogs that’s noses have been bent out of shape when the new baby comes home.  Chevy’s behavior is fairly common and the fix is easy!

Chevy says, “I’m your baby everything has changed. You smell different, the baby cries and makes me nervous and when you get sad I don’t know how to help you. I was your everything dog and now it feels like you don’t have time for me. I feel like a bad dog. I think dad is upset with me. What is my job? I’m so confused and depressed.

I need to get out and do flips in the air. I want you to laugh at me and give me your all. My job has changed. Who am I now? I know you are trying. You smell really different; I think I already said that, you smell different. (Kaitlyn says that Chevy is constantly sniffing her.)

I miss running and jumping high for you. You used to laugh and call my name. Now I run crazy circles in the yard and it’s just not the same.”


Chevy is a normal highly active dog who is super sensitive to his environment.  All your feelings are amplified to him. So really express your joy and he will get his smile back. He loves you so much!

Chevy needs for you and your husband to go outside with him and get him going. He wants to fly for you! You need to rebuild his confidence with regular basic obedience drills. Let him know how smart he is and how funny he is. When he is too loud in the house put him through a training drill and reward him with a long term chew he can have in his crate. The chewing will calm him down.

Massage him with light circles over his skull, then circles down his spine, then come back up and massage his neck. Just like with people a sensitive dog carries tension in his neck.  Use a very light touch. When you get to his hips do lots of little circles. Sensitive dogs who feel guilty tuck their hips under and this posture makes them sore and that feeds into their moods.

Chevy will come around and everything you’re experiencing is normal when babies come into our lives. They tend to rock everyone’s world.