Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
I suggest beginning for very short periods of time (under a minute for sure) and building. Your dog needs to already know a down cue.
Watch the clip here!
This clip is long and suggests prior work leading up to it. I encourage you to go slowly and build the time gradually so that you and your dog are successful. If your dog looses interest or gets up....you attempted a longer time then they are ready for and should begin the next session shorter to achieve success again.
Step one....announce it's changing time
Step two ....cue your dog to down
Step three....reward immediately for eye contact from the down position
Step four.....begin your activity with back turned or side facing dog so you are engaged elsewhere.
step five....carefully toss treat between the dogs paws for staying in down position and remaining attentive and calm.
repeat step five through out your activity. End on a positive note and with an "all done!" Don't make your All done to exciting....keep it as a cue vs a "your free" response. This is a game and we want our dogs to enjoy participating not ending the game. :)
I encourage you to NOT walk away or around but to stay at the diaper station at first and then build to walking away and talking and interacting with the baby or doll. If your dog has a solid down stay then you may be able to move to this step faster.
Build on this exercise by practicing in various rooms, having music on and being more animated. Once you have successfully achieved this then your dog will know exactly what to do when it comes time to change and bath the baby! That allows you to include them and that is our goal!
I hope you find this helpful
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
This dog is mouthing the baby like it would another dog, although gentle, this interaction is not safe and often leads to confusion and miscommunication once the dog begins to play rougher. The child will get bigger and then what? Will it be ok to mouth the baby then? Children this age MUST have a parent guiding their interaction to allow the dog space, and not challenge their tolerance. Notice the dog lifting his head to get away from the little girl as she is stepping on his paws to sit down IN HIS SPACE!?! Turn aways are often ways to ask for more space. What is this chld learning? i can sit on my dog and invade hs space. What is the dog learning? The child hurts me and crowds me and the adults don't help me.
What happens when the dog is hurting or just does not feel like he wants to be crowded? Then what?
It is always best to respect what your dog is communicating to avoid an uncomfortable situation for all. This dog should have been rewarded for signaling discomfort and the child should have been removed.
I have received this video clip in email so many times that I finally decided to post about it. I am torn on this one....although adorable, it is never safe to allow a baby to freely explore a dog...especially a sleeping one. This interaction is beautiful but....the boxer does a great job offering signals indicating stress and discomfort. The licking, turning away when the baby faces him head on, yawning etc. All of these are signs to pay attention to with such encounters. Dogs offer these to one another and as people, we usually don't get what they mean. This dog and baby are very calm in this footage but..many times this type of interaction causes discomfort and stress for dogs as they do not know what to expect from this little being.
****** to make this a safer and more predicatable encoutner for the baby and dog, a parent should be holding hte baby and using "Guided touch" with their hand over the baby's hand to touch the dog gently. That is the safest way for baby and dog to interact and learn what is expected.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This is often reflected in articles of major dog incidents that hit the news. Many times it is not the parent who is the caretaker when the incident takes place.
Some reason for this may be:
1. The caretaker is less familiar with the dogs responses and signs indicating stress or agitation. 2. The supervision is not as strong or is overly protective ....indicating something wrong to the dog or creating stress.
3. The caretaker is nervous or fearful of dogs
4. Structure that is normally expected and established for the dog is not in place.
5. Structure for the child is not in place
If the child is being cared for in a home with a dog, then the baby and dog do not have a "familiar bond." Visiting babies in homes with dogs are at higher risk due to the unfamiliarity between dog and baby. As always supervision is important always around babies and dogs and parents leaving their baby in the care of another who has a dog must have full confidence that this rule is followed.
All of these are just some of the many factors that can contribute to the cause of more severe incidents while babies are in the care of someone other then their parents..
Childcare providers and anyone responsible for babies can take advantage of our materials via our podcasts, DVD, presenters and so on. We hope that this is helpful in prevention.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
They could climb on him, roll on the floor with him, pull his tail etc. Well, guess what! Like you, your dog does not like to be crowded or crawled on and wants space. The difference is you and I can say nicely say to our children...."I need some space" or "not right now." (Notice this dogs closed mouth, whites of the eyes, ears back....all subtle signs.)
Dogs (if you haven't noticed) can't speak up in a way that is clear to us. They will indicate...Hey kid, move over by licking their lips, turning away, whale eye etc. But often these communications, that other dogs understand, go unnoticed by we humans. Then once these signals don't work the dog will move on to growling or snapping. They too get fed up. (Again, this photo shows a dog giving subtle signs...ears back, lowering herself, whites of eyes, and closed mouth)
Think of it this way. Would you say this about a guest that comes into your home? "She is so great with our kids...she allows them to hit her, pull her hair, jump on her back and never complains." I don't think you would. I also believe you would be horrified if your child behaved this way towards another person. Why is it we say our dogs are great with the kids and then list all the things they "put up with?" Why? What are we teaching our children with this mindset? This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine as it is a very inappropriate expectation for our family dogs.
As parents it is OUR responsiblity to protect our dogs and children as they learn how to respectfully interact with one another. That means, gentle touch, supervision and allowing your dog some time to Chill out away from your children. (Notice this dog's tail tucked, lowering of the body and curving away from the children)
I encourage you to think about what makes your dog a "good" dog in your eyes and think about what you are expecting him to "put up with."
Sunday, February 1, 2009