Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crib safety

Many cribs now are doing away with drop down side rails due to safety concerns. See article here This presents some concerns safety wise with inquisitive dogs. Many of the cribs settings for the infant mattress position are pretty close to the height of the now lower stationary rail. This makes for easier putting in and getting out of the baby but also can make things a bit unsafe without proper supervison.

As always Dogs & Storks recommends that when baby is sleeping and without an awake adult supervising that the wooden bedroom door be closed and parents use a baby monitor. This means that we do not suggest screen doors, or gates as barriers or appropriate options to keep a dog from entering a room with a baby. As always we encourage you to plan and prepare ahead by contacting one of our very qualified presenters in the U.S. or Canada.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Dog's Eye View on Dog Bite Prevention

Every day should be filled with respect and love for our 4 legged companions but in honor of Dog bite prevention week here is the Press release from the National canine research council.
Enjoy and love your furry friends....they really do well in our chaotic human world!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

TV is entertainment not real life!

Dog owners today are faced with the challenge of sifting through many resources as they try to find the techniques that work best in including thier family dogs. I encourage all dog owners to follow their gut and ask questions of any professional if what they suggest or say does not feel or seem right. Speak up! Here is an article that provides some insight and is right inline with what I experience with families who also have followed the examples shown on TV. Be cautious and know that TV is just that....entertainment and not real life. Read more here!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Baby vs Dog (youtube)

It is best to allow the dog space where they will not be distrubed when enjoying a bone. I like that this parent is setting some boundary but then ....allows not such good interaction. Let me ask you....if you are enjoying a FANTASTIC you want to be disturbed? This dog checks in with Mom and then bucks the baby off. What do you think happened next? Who's fault is it if the baby got hurt when bucked off? Preventing these situations is safes tfor all.

Cute Baby Scares Dog! (youtube)

Steps, entryways, doorways etc are often areas dogs have a tendency to guard. This dog made a great choice by moving away after not getting help from the camera holder. Notice dog and baby checked in. That is a good skill. Dogs that "check in" with their trusted people can gain confidence and guidance in times of potential conflict or confusion.

baby + puppy

Love this! Baby is swinging and the puppy is nosing around WITH A LEASH ON! Many families forget that putting a leash on a pup or adult dog especially with a newborn in the house can help decrease chaos and increase success and boundary setting.

Baby loves puppy (youtube)

This one says it all. I love that the baby actually seems to get the feeling behind the look the dog gave and looks to the camera person. Let sleeping dogs sleep!

Baby and Boxer battle over a sock (youtube)

Expecting our dogs to know how to play with a baby is unrealistic. Dogs play like dogs and often we do not appreicate this. Mouthing, pawing,tugging, hip bumps etc are all fair game in dog play. This dog is being very gentle in this video but this is not a safe way to encourage interaction between small children and dogs. Structured play activities without a possession involved is a much safer encounter.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Decreasing reactivity at doors before baby.

Questions emailed in! We welcome your questions and Thank you for sending them to us!
Q. We are expecting our first baby and our dog acts nutty anytime someone comes in the door. What can we do to stop this behavior especially the barking so that our dog does not wake up our baby? Pam
A. Great question and one we get often! This is a common concern and thankfully there are many ways to help begin to decrease the excitment at the door. Another great point here is that your baby is already habituating and becoming familiar with your dog's barks and often parents find that their baby does not wake up when their dog barks. :) So good news all around. Here are some things to try when it comes to your dog acting as the social director at the front door.
1. Keep your returning homes calm as well as your leaving. Making the use of the door a non event will decrease the excitment. Do this by iignoring.....I mean ignoring your dog when you come home. Pick a focal point (like in labor) to look at when you enter your home and avoid eye contact with your dog as this invites wiggles and waggles and gives attention. Be quiet and go about an activity such as putting things away or making tea or changing clothes. ONce your dog settles down or defers to a toy then call him over for a calm reuniting. The point here is to not offer attention right away as this has been the pattern...door opens.....the party and greetings begin. You will need to practice this calm behavior many times to break an old greeting routine.
2. Try entering your home via another door. Practice the above at this new entry point and see how that goes.
If your dog is responding to the door bell here are a couple of tips.
1. Download a doorbell wav file similar to yours or record yours. Ring it and sit and read. Do nothing. Don't look up or react to your dog's antics, reward your dog the moment they make another choice or lie down or take their attention off the door, repeat. Over time the door bell sound becomes boring as nothing happens and the once novel sound is no longer excitinContg.
2. Another way is the visitor game. Door bell sound = dog goes to their spot with a treat while leaving the greeting up to their people. This exercise is a bit more complicated and we use tethering as stepping stone tool to build the behavior. Contact a presenter for ideas and tips to help your dog before baby arrives!