Dogs and Children

Linus and baby Connor

Pre-Baby and Post-Baby Strategies
Many training and planning strategies exist to help families and dogs adjust to the arrival of a new baby or help a new dog coexist peacefully with a family. I can help you and your dog learn certain important skills before your baby arrives, along with sharing strategies to keep in mind when your dog and baby meet for the first time.

Besides having first-hand experience with my three dogs, a young child and another on the way, I have helped numerous families over the years understand what is involved to have happy dogs and happy children as they grow up together.

Preventative Measures
Whenever children are in the house, it is even more important to understand strategies to prevent inappropriate behaviors including aggression, barking and even normal puppy biting. Puppy biting can be annoying to adults, but very painful to young fingers and toes. 

IMG_3274 Aggression
Resource guarding is a form of aggression that can appear in any breed of dog. It is important to understand that dogs can be comfortable with certain people taking bones away or walking near their food bowl, but bite a stranger. If there are children in the home, it is imperative to prevent resource guarding or treat the problem if present. 

Children also do not naturally understand signs of anxiety or aggression. Dogs might stiffen, lower their head or tail slightly or some other subtle warning. Children often ignore these signals and end up getting bitten. I can devise strategies to manage your household, treat aggression if present and teach you and your family how to read signs of aggression and how to react if you see them.

Boredom
Inappropriate dog behaviors often get labeled as "jealousy" when in fact they are simply boredom. When babies arrive and throughout busy lives, dogs sometimes get pushed aside and a family has less time to devote to their care and entertainment. A bored dog will find something to do such as barking, destroying furniture, digging holes in the yard or even aggression.

I will help you incorporate training into your busy schedule and show you specific ways to continue training your dog to prevent boredom. We can work on basic to advanced training such as leash walking, off leash control, and jumping prevention. We can also practice more advanced strategies such as heel, object discrimination, placement cues, distance work and refining behaviors to a high level. Tricks such as take a bow, roll over, shake, and high five are a fun, easy way to provide necessary mental stimulation.

Your situation might seem overwhelming right now, but I can help bring focus and direction and provide step-by-step strategies to have a happy home for you and your dog.

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