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Dog Meets Baby Blog

Ideally, by the time baby comes home, they should be the only change for your dog.

How and Where to find a Great Dog Trainer

Aug 17, 2022

The dog training industry is unregulated in many countries. Literally, anyone can call themselves a dog behaviorist or a dog trainer. When looking for a trainer, ask for certifications*, especially if you don’t know much about that trainer.

*At the end of this blog post, you’ll find a list of the recommended certifications (the US and some international).

In-person or online?

If you have a local trainer you like a lot, great! But if you don’t–or prefer remote meetings–many trainers work online. During the pandemic, it was often the only way to “see a trainer.” Many behaviors can be successfully addressed with cameras during online training sessions or group classes. Some trainers work exclusively online and offer training packages and programs.

In some cases, online sessions are more beneficial than in-person sessions. For example:

 

Easily distracted pups
SF Puppy Prep is a reputable dayschool for young puppies in San Francisco, CA. At...

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Introducing your baby to your dogs: A story from a dog trainer & mom

Aug 11, 2022

Meet Michelle: Michelle is a sought-after dog trainer and mom to a 4-year-old girl, two dogs, and one cat.

Meet her fur babies: Her dog Izzy is friendly with all people BUT nervous with younger kids and barks if young kids come too close. Frankie is neutral with kids but nervous of adult strangers if they rush her. She will bark if strangers are looming, staring, and trying to pet or touch her.

I asked Michelle to share her story and what she did to overcome the obstacles that come with introducing a baby to your pet-friendly home, as I know it could help many parents who are nervous about that transition.

 

Michelle’s story:

will give you many ideas
will help you to have realistic expectations about your baby and your dogs
will give you HOPE!

 

Disclaimer: If your dog has displayed aggressive behaviors toward children, reach out to a certified dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist.

 

Pregnancy

I started prep work in the second trimester and focused on ...

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What to do when your child hits or kicks your dog

Aug 02, 2022

“My son can’t stop trying to pull the dog’s hair and tail, even if I repeat a thousand times that he’s hurting the dog. I feel like I’m constantly correcting one or both of them.”

“I have a 2.5-year-old who will not leave my English lab alone - grabs her face, tries to touch her eyes, grabs her fur really tight. All of these are uncomfortable for the dog.”

“My toddler is extremely rough with our dog. We don't let them alone together. We never let him rough handle her. But even when we are right there, he is super quick to grab her paw or jump on her when she is sitting. I am concerned that she'll snap at some point, or it's negatively affecting her.”

 

Does this sound familiar?

I asked Caley Kukla, M.Ed., for her advice, as a behavior specialist and parent coach who integrates brain science and empathy into discipline practices. Caley is also a mom to two young children and a dog. Here’s what she has to say:


To...

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What comes first, the dog or the baby?

Jul 28, 2022

Did you decide to get a dog as a couple before having a child, or did you and your pup come as a “package deal”?

Or, are you a single parent or a couple with young children looking to add a dog to your family but not sure when and how?

I’ll walk you through different scenarios to help you prepare your dog for future kids or help you choose the best moment for your family to get your dream dog.

 

Option 1: First dog, then child

Many couples get a dog before they decide to have children. It's a good way to learn responsibility and selflessness. Dogs teach us better planning skills and to be more flexible. And, if you get your dog as a puppy, you’ll also get a taste of the inevitable sleep deprivation that comes with a baby.


If you plan on kids entering the picture at some point -no matter how far down the line- getting your dog comfortable around children is important.
When socializing a dog with unfamiliar or familiar children, it is extremely important...

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10 tips to stop your dog from stealing your baby’s stuff.

Jul 20, 2022

Does your dog steal your baby’s toys, diapers, pacifiers, or clothes? Sometimes you get lucky and your dog magically KNOWS not to touch the baby's toys. But, if you’re like most, you need a strategy for keeping your baby's stuff out of your dog's mouth, and your dog out of harm's way.

 

Creating a safe environment.

Babies bring A LOT of new and organic smells that are exciting to your dog. Dogs are natural scavengers. Scavenging is a survival mechanism and an instinct that’s strong in most dogs. Introducing a baby to your house can potentially trigger your dog’s scavenger tendencies in new ways.

 

Many baby items can be stimulating for your dog, or even mistaken for food. Here’s a list of common baby items that can be uncontrollably enticing for your dog:

  • dirty burp clothes
  • dirty diapers
  • milk/formula bottles
  • pacifiers with baby slobber


My dog ate a toy, now what? 

If your dog gets, consumes, or destroys one of these things, don’t...

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Does your dog licking your baby drive you mad?

Jul 14, 2022

If I had to name the number one behavior people ask me questions about, it would be LICKING. Some of you don’t mind it at all, and some of you can’t stand it.

The chances are, your dog doesn’t just lick the baby. Oftentimes, dogs have been licking their family members for years, it is not new behavior.

With consistency, training, and management, your dog can learn it is okay to lick you and not the baby. However, it is important to understand that if this behavior has been allowed and rewarded (even unintentionally), a negative reaction from you when they try to lick the baby, may be confusing to your dog at first. 

 

You might be wondering, how did you unintentionally reward licking?

 Anytime you:

  • Let your dog lick you
  • Pet them while they lick
  • Look at your dog
  • Sweet-talk them
  • Show any type of positive (and even negative!) attention 

It could be rewarding to your dog.

 

Understanding why your dog is licking is key if you want to reduce...

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Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs

May 31, 2022

One of the best ways to keep your dog entertained while you are figuring out life with a baby is puzzle toys for dogs. These toys have a variety of functions and there are different toys depending on your dog’s size and personality. Read below to learn how to pick out the perfect puzzle toys for your dogs and some of my (and Lola’s) personal favorites! Plus, here is a reel that shows how I prepare puzzle toys for dogs with my kids. 

How to Choose Puzzle Toys For Dogs

There are some things you should keep in mind when choosing puzzle toys for dogs:

  1. Choose a toy based on your dog’s personality and size. Many toys come in multiple sizes so you can choose the right one for your pet.
  2. Start out by making it easy for your dog to get the food from the toy. Use loosely-packed food so it falls out easily.
  3. Once they are used to the toy, make it more difficult. For example, you could freeze the toy, add extra layers, or pack in more food.
  4. If your baby is mobile,...
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Help! I Resent My Dog

May 24, 2022

Many pregnant and new moms (and dads) may be thinking “I resent my dog,” and don’t want to talk about it… But this is something that definitely needs to be discussed. It is normal to feel frustration, guilt, grief, and resentment towards your furry friend when this big change happens in your family.

It’s Normal To Resent Your Dog

Along with pregnancy or becoming a new mom, you are experiencing a lot of changes. This resentment may show up in different forms. For example, you might

  • Feel emotions such as guilt, anger, rage, or frustration
  • Feel like you are failing your dog and at being a mom to both your dog and newborn
  • Be too tired and sleep-deprived to spend time with your dog like you used to
  • Not have the energy to play with them or be the one to take them on walks
  • Not have as much time to spend with them
  • Feel like your dog would be better off if they were with another family

But no matter how you are feeling, it can be tough to navigate these new...

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6 Dog Mom Must-Haves to Add to Your Baby Registry

May 19, 2022

With a new baby on the way, you’re probably thinking about what to add to your baby registry… But have you considered adding items that can be equally beneficial for both you and your dog? There are tons of items that can bring you less stress and guilt and more quality time with your baby and dog! Here are 6 dog mom must-haves that will make your life (and your dog’s) so much easier!

1. Robotic Vacuum or Cordless Vacuum 

You may already be used to the dog hair, but just wait until your little one starts crawling around… You won’t believe how much they can pick up! On their clothes, in their mouths, and everywhere else!

I highly recommend getting a robotic vacuum to do the work for you. It’s one less thing you need to stress about every week. Or, you can opt for a cordless vacuum that is easy to use and doesn’t have a long cord that your baby would play with. 

2. Puzzle Toys

Some other dog mom must-haves are puzzle toys for...

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How To Prepare Your Dog For Baby Coming Home

May 10, 2022

The arrival of a new baby is a huge transition for your dog, and it’s something is recommended to prepare for! Here are some simple ways to prepare during each trimester to make the transition easier.

1st Trimester

During your first trimester, I think it’s best to just relax! Yes, it’s important to prepare your dog for baby, but both you and your partner are going through some huge changes. You probably aren’t feeling the best and you’re just trying to survive with this big news. So just focus on yourself, let your partner focus on helping you, and relax! The time to train and prepare your dog for baby will come soon enough.

2nd Trimester

Ideally, this is the time when you start to think about training. If your dog is already well-behaved, you could wait until around 20-24 weeks to start training. However, you will want to start sooner if your dog has more serious behavioral issues as those take longer to address. 

If you are able to start your...

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