Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toy or baby?

This boxer is so gentle with his mouth but what is he learning? The baby is a toy? I should mouth the baby? The parents in this video talk to the boxer and the baby as if they are able to understand...."easy with the paws" "don't pull his ears." Reality is that the dog is interacting as a DOG and that in and of itself is unsafe for a baby to be playing freely with. This is the type of interaction that ends up with a great deal of confusion for the dog. Parents misread normal dog play and exploratory behavior as love and affection when really that may not be at all what is going on. It is NOT a good idea to allow a baby to roll around and freely explore your dog. I encourage including your dog in activities with your baby where there is "guided touch" meaning parent holding baby's hand to touch the dog. "Guided touch" allows the dog to interact with the unpredictable baby in a way that is more comfortable as it is guided by the trusted adult. This sets up a successful encounter and creates a safer situation for both. This dog is very gentle but is learning that the baby is to be mouthed. Once the baby is moving this behavior may escalate and that will not be appreciated by the parents. This is a confusing situation for a dog.

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