Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Good manners

Practicing good manners helps everyone feel more confident once baby arrives. Your dog wants to know what is expected. :) Firm up your basic manners and maybe even add some new ones! Think of what will be most helpful once your little one arrives. Then think once your baby is a toddler, then a preschooler etc. Planning short term and long term goals for manners helps increase the importance and meaning. Keep in mind that like you, your dog always likes to be reminded when he does a good job. We all like to get our pay checks even when we do what is expected. Keep the reward coming every now and then and your dog will stay interested in participating. :) REMEMBER! Do not expect your dog to follow commands they have not been patiently taught. Dogs need hundreds of repetitions to truly know a skill. Be fair and practice. English is not their first language and although dogs sometimes act as if they understand our every word....we can not count on it unless we have taught the desired behavior and reinforced it so that they know what is truly expected. This is especially true and important when the dynamics in an environment are different....such as when you are pregnant or a new baby is in the home. Sometimes using a higher value reward helps keep motivation alive for these times as well as lots of practice and managment.

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