Management sometimes is the best option during hectic and stressful times. There will be many visitors and lots of commotion during the time of the baby's arrival... If you have a dog that is fearful of guests plan ahead for the many guests that will visit once the baby arrives. You may choose to "manage" the situation and provide your dog with a quiet secure space where he feels safe. Get your dog used to this space well ahead of time. Establishing this ahead of time sets your dog up for a positive and successful situation. There are times that crating and removing the dog may be temporarily a better solution instead of risking a negative consequence or a chance to practice unwanted behavior. If you choose to crate the dog please keep in mind that this is not punishment. It is allowing a safe place for your dog. Reinforce this by providing a special treat for them each time they are in their crate. Stuffing a toy with peanut butter and kibble is one idea. There are many ways to make this a positive and welcoming den for your dog.
It has been our experience that with leadership, obedience and management, dog family members welcome the arrival of a baby with wagging tails! After all, their leaders are happy so they should be too! Congratulations and enjoy!
Family Paws encourages you to never leave an infant or child unsupervised with a dog or puppy! Even good dogs have tolerance limits. Expecting a child and dog to "work it out" is not realistic and can be extremely dangerous! Always be aware of the interaction between your child and any dog. Any dog no matter their breed, color, size, age and past experiences can lead to an amazingly great outcome or potentially dangerous outcome. Your involvement and instincts play an important role!
About the author: Jennifer Shryock, creator of Dogs & Storks™ CD, is a stay-at-home mom and a certified dog behavior consultant. She enjoys each and every opportunity to reach out to new moms as a support in their early days of Motherhood. She has been a member of Nursing Mother's Advisory Council (NMAC) and counseled nursing Moms for over six years. Believing the relationship between dogs and their family is precious, Jennifer created Family Paws to offer opportunities to families that will help enhance their relationship with their dog.
Jennifer is a certified and founding member of IADBC, Inc. and maintains professional memberships with APDT. She is enrolled in a Diploma program of Canine Behavior Theory at Cynology College and has been an advisor at Doggie Door forums for three years in the areas of Dogs and Kids and Cat and Dog. You can contact Jennifer by e-mail.
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