You grew up loving dogs, and you want to foster that same love in your new son or daughter. When your curious Samoyed comes up to your baby, you cherish what you think will be the start of years of togetherness. It turns out that what you’re doing can be dangerous for your child, as you’re magnetizing them to dogs, often without even realizing it. What does this mean?

Magnetization is when a baby will become utterly obsessed or magnetized to your dog as well as other canines they see when out and about. This obsession can carry on into childhood, erasing a child’s inhibitions about the dangers of strange dogs. That could lead to a biting incident.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about magnetization. This includes how to keep your dog and your baby’s relationship less obsessive. If you’re like most new parents, you might not be aware of magnetization, so you won’t want to miss this article!  

What Is Magnetization?

The term magnetization became popular from the blog Dogs and Babies, a resource for acclimating the two. When your baby gets very cozy with your dog at a young age, this can foster a strong obsession in all dogs for your baby. We’re not talking about a basic interest in dogs, either, as that’s fair and normal. No, instead, this is an overpowering need to be around every dog your child sees.

For instance, once your baby can walk, if they notice a dog, they’ll toddle over to it. It’s like they cannot stay away, and they can’t. They’re a magnet to the dog, hence the term magnetization.

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How Does It Begin?

Babies, seeing everything you show them for the first time in their lives, tend to be utterly fascinated with the large world around them. Things that we take for granted, like the gentle spin of a ceiling fan or the view out the window captivate your baby to no end. You can only imagine then what the reaction is like the first time they see a dog like your Samoyed walking by. In fact, this might be their first exposure to dogs.

Your baby may begin making babbling noises and even reaching towards the dog. You can mistake this as a beautiful moment in the making and encourage the baby and the dog, as we said in the intro. In that crucial instance, you magnetize your baby to your Samoyed and all dogs without even realizing it.

If your baby grabs your Sammy, it’s not because they’re doing it intentionally. Remember, they barely even know what a dog is, so why would they know they’d want a dog close to them? They don’t. We assume for both the baby and the dog, and that’s where the trouble starts.

Although we don’t mean to sound harsh here, we do want to be clear. Magnetization begins purely by you, the parent, forcing interactions between your baby and your Samoyed. You’re never doing this maliciously, of course. You think you’ll teach your baby about dogs when they’re young and get them as interested in canines as you were back in your childhood.

To a baby, you’re not proving that dogs are safe animals. Instead, you’re telling them that when a dog comes by, they should pet it. The more you push those interactions, the more reinforced this becomes in the brain of your child.

They see your Samoyed and think “that dog’s for petting.” Then you take them outside and they see another dog. What do you think goes through their head? Yes, once again, it’s “that dog’s for petting.”

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Why Is Magnetization So Bad?

There are a few reasons magnetization can end up causing some major issues in the life of your baby. At the very least, they could pester the Samoyed relentlessly, never wanting to leave them alone. Meaner dog breeds might snap at a child if they’re constantly the canine’s shadow.

Your child is also at risk of bites or attacks from stranger dogs as well. Since your child is magnetized to dogs, if they see one when outside, they’re going to want to be around that dog as well. The problem is, you don’t know the dog and what it will or won’t do. The dog, seeing something foreign running up to it, might react with violence.

Another downside to magnetization? It doesn’t really disappear without intervention. It can very much go from infancy to childhood, as we said. Your child will not just forget that they’re magnetized to dogs. Just like you teach your child to walk in infancy and they don’t forget that, this dangerous obsession with dogs can persist far longer than you expected.

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How to Avoid Magnetizing Your Baby to Your Samoyed

We’re not necessarily saying you have to banish your Samoyed or quarantine them from the baby. That said, you do have to proceed extremely carefully. Here’s how to keep both baby and dog in the same house without magnetizing your child.

Discourage Your Dog Sniffing the Baby…or Make It Quick

Your new bundle of joy has come home for the first time. Your dog will certainly be curious. That said, when you’re cooking a nice dinner and your dog comes wandering into the kitchen, do you let them have a piece of the roast chicken? No, of course not. You shoo them away.

If you prefer, you can shoo your Sammy away from your newborn as well. Some parents might not mind a quick sniff, but do keep it quick. You also want to ensure the baby doesn’t face the dog when this sniffing occurs. Keep their body towards yours so their legs, arms, and face are hidden.

If your dog tries to linger around the baby, shoo them away. You definitely don’t want your baby looking at your dog and getting interested right now.

Keep Your Baby Distracted

With time, especially as they turn a few months old, your baby’s curiosity will kick into overdrive. They will inevitably see the dog, and that’s okay. You don’t have to pretend your Samoyed doesn’t exist. Your baby might not know any words yet, nor have they mastered walking, but they’re not stupid. They see a dog, so they’re going to express an interest in that.

You get to decide how far that interest goes. You might mention your dog by name, but then you want to bring your baby’s attention back to you. Whether you sing, speak in a voice, or play with your baby, you should show them that yes, the dog can be there, but you don’t have to pester the dog or pay attention to them.

Prevent Touching

Now, in some instances, your baby might get a little overzealous and reach for the soft, white fur of your Samoyed. Don’t freak out; your baby isn’t necessarily magnetized, just curious. You do want to act quickly, though. Put your hand beneath your baby’s so they hold your hand and don’t touch the dog.

Then, move your baby further from your Sammy and even consider leaving the room if the baby tries reaching out again.

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Related Questions

Q: Can toddlers become magnetized to dogs?

A: Toddlers may still magnetize to dogs, so you can’t let your guard down yet. In fact, that’s almost doubly true now that your toddler can crawl. They can also understand you a bit better, so you can use verbal commands.

For instance, if your child wants to crawl up to the dog, encourage them to keep going and leave the dog alone because they’re sleeping or resting (why else would the dog be on the floor anyway?). If your Samoyed hops up on the couch while your toddler is there, tell your toddler again to let the dog rest and not pet them.

You want your dog and your child to get along and live together but not necessarily be best friends yet. That can come later, trust us.

Q: How can you demagnetize your child to your Samoyed? 

A: Okay, so you wound up reading this article a little too late. Now your child has become magnetized to your Samoyed. Is there a way to demagnetize them? Indeed! Try these methods:

  • Explain that while your dog still lives with you, your child cannot touch or pet the dog for a while. You want to tell your child that the dog is off limits or unavailable.
  • Keep your child entertained or at least occupied when at home. Whether they draw, color pictures, play with toys, or even watch some TV, you don’t want their attention on the dog.
  • When your child inevitably asks to be around the dog, again, you want to keep them busy. You might take your child outside or go out to the park, shopping, or run some errands.
  • Invest in a doggy gate so you can physically keep your child separated from your Samoyed.
  • Never leave your child and the dog alone together. They will definitely try to get to your dog if they think you’re not paying attention. You need to jump in between your toddler and the dog in such a situation, reminding your child that they’re supposed to leave the dog alone and then walking them away into another room.
  • When your child does successfully avoid the dog, you want to praise them for that. You may do this verbally or even give your child treats such as a dessert or extra allowance.

According to Dogs and Babies Learning, if you stick with the above diligently, it should take only two weeks for your toddler to become demagnetized from the dog.

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