Understanding Dog Behavior During Pregnancy

November 29, 2022

Among many other things during your pregnancy, how your dog starts to respond to you can come as a complete surprise! How dogs react to human pregnancy can vary from dog to dog. Most dogs won’t change or have a surprising reaction, but it is very possible that your dog’s behavior during pregnancy can change… for good or for bad.

Can dogs sense pregnancy in their owners?

The short answer is: Yes! Many moms have shared that their dogs seemed to know they were pregnant before they did. Dogs can certainly pick up on the changes in smell from your pregnancy hormones. They can tell something is changing, even if they don’t understand that it is because of a baby.

However, this doesn’t always mean that their behavior will change. While some dogs can have more reactive or loving behaviors, others have no change at all. Some dogs may even change their behavior during different trimesters, and other times, dog behavior during pregnancy can change with each pregnancy. However, many people agree that their dog’s behavior went back to how it was before the baby arrived.

The Clingy Dog Behavior During Pregnancy

When it comes to dog behavior during pregnancy, the two ends of the spectrum are a clingy pup and a reactive pup. On one hand, your dog may become extra lovey and needy during your pregnancy. Moms have shared how their dogs would look for their "approval" before doing normal things throughout the day. Your dog might also stop jumping on you, become much more gentle, and may not stray as far from you as they had before.

One mom shared her experience with her two dogs, saying that they would never leave her side unless her partner was in the room. Other behaviors you might see with these ultra-loving behaviors are dogs pushing people away from your belly or the oh-so-cute way they will rest their head on your bump. Your dog might start licking and nuzzling into your belly and legs or spend a lot of time smelling your face, crotch, or belly.

A Reactive and Aggressive Side

Unfortunately, not all dogs will become extra loving during a pregnancy. Because dog behavior during pregnancy varies, your dog may instead start showing a different side you aren’t used to. Some dogs develop separation anxiety or seem to move backward in their training by eating things, destroying the house, or peeing and pooping in the house.

Other dogs can show a more aggressive side, especially while on walks or around strangers. They may growl at your partner or become very protective of your house or space.

And lastly, there are some dogs who will become distant and less engaging. Some dogs may lose their appetite or start to hide in a different room.

No Change At All

As mentioned above, dog behavior during pregnancy will not always change. In fact, more often than not, your dog won’t change at all.

Whether your dog has a behavior change or not, it is a great idea to prepare them for the introduction of a new baby. My Prep Course has all of the information you need to prepare your dog for this big change, create a new routine, and teach your dog some essential behaviors to help you have peace of mind when your newborn comes home. Follow us on Instagram and Subscribe to our newsletter! You don’t want to miss out on any of these great tips and ideas for your dog and baby!

Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only. Please contact your veterinarian, a certified dog trainer, or a veterinary behaviorist, if your dog's wellbeing is at risk or your dog's behavior poses a threat to you or other people.