Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

PARENTvision vs. supervision

Anytime we have someone else babysit for us we have our dogs in a comfy spot to be away from the kid activities.  Although babysitters, nannies and even wonderful relatives may love dogs and feel comfortable, I do not recommend that they are responsible for supervising both kids and dogs.  Remember when the substitute teacher or bus driver was in for the day?  Kids acted up and problems happened.  Same is true here.

As a parent you have PARENTvision which is far more consistent than that of someone who occasionally watches your child.  You are able to predict your child's responses, behaviors far better than another.
Here are some reasons why I believe that it is best to allow your dog a calm spot while your child is being watched by another.
1.  The person may not be confident or comfortable with dogs.
2.  Often people handle dogs differently.  Different expectations, methods and responses could put your child at risk.
3.  Your sitter does not know your dog's comfort level or your child's behavior like you do.  Again...PARENTvision
4.  Your dog is not as trusting of another as they may be with you.  They may lack a comfort level with a caregiver and that can increase risk for your child.  Dogs depend on their trusted adults and rely on predictability along with deferring to you for guidance.
5.  Bottom line...when a CHILD care provider is in your home they are there for your CHILD not your dog.

A room to chill together in
This may seem challenging but believe me you never want to get a call from your babysitter who unknowingly put your dog or child in a bad situation.  Dogs and children miscommunicate often but when the familiar trusted adult is not there the dynamics are off balance and this is the time accidents happen.

So, what can you do?  Here are some suggestions.
A comfy spot to chill out

A yummy frozen treat is great
1.  If your have a full time caretaker then you will want to be sure that you ALL get educated about body language and dog and baby interaction ( or lack of) We will be offering a webinar you can have you and your childcare provider can take together.
2.  Have a long discussion ahead of time of rules and boundaries with your caretaker.
3.  Observe your caretaker as they run through and regularly practice familiar cues with your dog.  This will build the trust and bond with them too.
4.  I recommend video taping or a nanny cam to observe (with their awareness) so that you can use that for educational opportunities and come together to change anything that makes you uncomfortable.
5.  Be sure that there are multiple management options for your caretaker to use and rotate the dog during the day.

My dogs in with me  while we have a sitter
Short term sitters...teens, family etc.
1.  Secure dog in a closed off area.
2.  Let dog go to doggie day care
3. Gate dog in a dog zone
4.  Allow the dog the option of multiple locations but not in the area with the child.
Always prepare and plan ahead with a yummy long lasting treat for your dog to enjoy!

Dogs and kids succeed when there is parent guided education to support growing bonds.

1 comment:

Linsay said...

Great post, not something I have read about before...but definitely worth remembering when my sitters are watching both babies AND our dog. Thanks! Positive Dog Training Supplies