Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Diaper downs...including your dog while you tend to baby.

Here is a great clip of Bette Yip practicing a "dishwasher down." I use this same techique to teach dogs that lying down when changing a diaper or dressing a baby is the desired behavior. In order to do this you must take your time and have what y ou need handy. YOu will need treats (part of their daily kibble) and supplies to go through the motions of being busy with baby.

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 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

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