Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Preparing pays off!

Helen Nicholls, CPDT-KA, CDBC
No Monkey Business Dog Training
My husband took this picture of myself, my 7 month old daughter, and one of our dogs Atlas on a stroll this afternoon. It's a great photo of the three of us, but looking at it reminded me of how hard both my husband and I worked to get to this point.

As a licensed Dogs and Storks presenter, and as a Licensed Dog and Baby Connections presenter, I educate expecting families on how to help prepare their dog for the arrival of a baby. I also assist families after the birth in helping the dog adjust through the many stages of development babies and young children go through. Teaching proper supervision techniques, body language, and management skills that are imperative in helping both dog and baby grow up together safely and happily. 
I had to employ these skills with my three dogs in my own family through my pregnancy and now through the development of my daughter as she grows from a tiny newborn to a toddler. The amount of work it took to get Atlas to walk on a leash next to the stroller and be able to withstand distractions was no easy task. It is these minor everyday adjustments that the dog will have to make that many families do not think of and sometimes struggle with after the baby is born. Dogs that chase, dogs that bark, dogs that like to constantly be in your lap... these all seem fine and livable (and to some owners even funny) until a baby is in the house.
The proof is in the pudding as they say. The hard work that we have done and still do everyday is making raising a baby with dogs an absolute joy. There are certainly challenges, but knowing how to work through them appropriately and safely is crucially important. It takes work, but it can be done and it is so worth it! I can't wait to see what the future will bring and hope that one day it will be my daughter educating people on building lasting relationships with dogs based on trust, respect, and friendship.
If you or someone you know is pregnant, has a baby or young child, and needs advice on how to help prepare their dog for their new baby, please contact one of our many qualified presenters!  We would be delighted to help! Please visit  Dogs and Storks for more information.