Skill Level: Beginner
Length: 6 Modules
Access Period: 1 year
The family dog is often not properly prepared for the arrival of a newborn resulting in the dog becoming isolated or re-homed. Carrie Silva Wooddell, a professional dog trainer with over sixteen years of experience, teaches families how to better understand their dog and demonstrates how to prepare and introduce their dog to their new baby.
In recent years the number of child dog bites has risen. Keep your baby safe by learning the warning signs to watch for when your dog is around your baby. Not only does Carrie offer the perspective of an accredited dog trainer but this video follows her personal journey from being pregnant and sharing the same concerns as many first time moms who love their dogs.
This course is designed for any parent, grandparent, family member or friend that owns dogs and will have them around a newborn or young babies.
MODULE 1: Teaching Your Dog Some Essential Skills
Having reliable obedience will help you be able to give your dog a job to do once your baby arrives.These jobs will make life with your baby and dog easier to manage.
SEGMENT 1: Introduction of the Trainer and Course
The best thing you can do for your dog and your family
SEGMENT 2: The "Place" Command
One of my favorite commands that gets the most use to this day!
SEGMENT 3: The "Away" Command
Creating space and the dog respecting your boundaries
SEGMENT 4: The "Heel" Command
Having a loose leash and understanding a position next to you while walking
MODULE 2: Incorporating Commands in Upcoming Baby Scenarios
Your dog will know what you are asking of them once your baby arrives by showing him the “training picture” beforehand.
SEGMENT 1: Stroller Walk
Ensuring your dog has polite manners with Stroller.
SEGMENT 2: Rules with Furniture
Teach your dog to respect the rules of the furniture and beds by using the "Off" and "Place" command.
SEGMENT 3: Proper Door Greetings
It is a safety concern if your dog jumps on you or is under your feet when you start coming through your door carrying a car seat. Teach your dog a proper greeting at the door by incorporating an "Away" command.
SEGMENT 4: Invisible Boundaries
Create an invisible boundary at the nursery room doorway. It is important for your dog to respect your time together with the baby in the nursery.
MODULE 3: Establishing New Routines
The earlier you make these changes, the more you will decrease your dog’s stress when your baby arrives. Remember your dog’s life and routine is also about to drastically change.
SEGMENT 1: Schedule Feeding
You can provide your dog a more structured lifestyle by not allowing him access to food 24 hours/day. Choose your dog’s feeding times and allow them 15-20 minutes to eat. If any food is left over simply remove it until the next feeding, it may take your dog some time to adjust
SEGMENT 2: Car Travel with Baby and Dog
Seatbelt your dog in your vehicle or accustom them to ride in a crate or your back hatch. Dogs are more comfortable when confined in the vehicle and is safer for the baby to not risk being jumped on while you are driving.
SEGMENT 3: Baby Gates
Teach your dog that healthy alone time is good by incorporating baby gates around your home. Provide your dog interactive toys to play and entertaining themselves with. Once your baby arrives, baby gates will be critical because you never want to leave your dog and baby together unsupervised.
MODULE 4: Desensitize Your Dog To Baby Sights, Sounds, and Smells
Help your dog adapt before your baby arrives.
SEGMENT 1: Desensitization to Baby Cries
The sound of a baby crying will not only be alarming to you but your dog as well. Randomly play downloaded baby cries until your dog is nonreactive to them. If you have an overly excitable dog, teach them to go to their “place” when you play the sounds.
SEGMENT 2: Investigating New Baby Equipment
Allow your dog to be part of the changes around your house. As you add new baby equipment let your dog investigate and show him the swings move, chairs vibrate, and toys sound.
SEGMENT 3: Acclimating to Sitter/Boarding Kennel
Decide who will watch your dog while you are away at the hospital and arrange some days for your dog to be watched or boarded now so that they won’t be anxious and you won’t be worried while you are away at the hospital.
MODULE 5: Know Your Dog
Knowing and understanding your dog’s needs and being able to recognize when they are uncomfortable will help you manage your home environment once your baby arrives and as your baby grows.
SEGMENT 1: Personality
Your dog’s personality traits can give you an indication of how they will react in various situations, around strangers, new environments, and most of all small children. Personality traits can also intertwine.
SEGMENT 2: Genetic Characteristics
Dogs were bred for specific reason and were created to have similar characteristics and behaviors. Research your dog’s breed to help your better understand their needs. Research the multiple breeds if you have a mixed dog.
SEGMENT 3: Body Language
Dogs communicate with us through body language when they’re getting stressed. Recognizing these stressors prior to your baby’s arrival is crucial to understanding when your dog is getting into a situation that they don’t feel comfortable with.
MODULE 6: After the Baby is Born
Now that your baby has arrived we have some last exercises to ensure the best introduction between your dog and newborn.
SEGMENT 1: Introducing Article of Clothing
Debunking the age old myth of having your dog smell an article of clothing from your newborn
SEGMENT 2: Baby and Dog Interactions
A step by step example of the first introduction of your newborn, Help with your dog until your recovery from delivery, Newborn photo shoots and settling into your new routine with the baby and dog
SEGMENT 3: Our First Meeting with our Daughter and Dog
From my family to yours
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Is this information pertinent to me if I am a grandmother who owns a dog and will be watching the baby part time at my home?
Yes! Your dog needs the same rules, boundaries and jobs since the baby will be in your home environment. Don't think just because it is a part time visit that situations with baby and dog will be left determined on their own. Remember your dog is used to his/her routines and habits. Once the baby starts visiting all that will change. We don't want your dog to become stressed or anxious around the baby. This course will show you how to start implementing changes to help your dog adjust and teach him/her their role once the baby is in the picture. We want to set the dog up for success around the baby and do everything we can to help for an organic bond.
My dog has been around kids and never had an issue, do I need this information?
Yes! A child and a newborn/baby are a completely different picture for your dog. Most likely your dog hasn’t been exposed to the cries of a newborn. In some cases, a dog can become stimulated by an infant screaming and moving. This can trigger a predatory response in your dog and endanger your baby.
*According to fatal dog attacks statistics, the age group with the highest number of fatalities our children under the age of one year old and account for 19% of the deaths due to dog attacks.
*Of these, 72% of deaths were newborns less than 90 days old.
Your dog might not perceive your newborn as a human. There are ways we can test our dog to help us know how to train and prepare them for the arrival of your baby.
My dog has always been fearful and has even snapped at a few people, will they be safe around my baby?
Any dog is capable of biting even if they have not displayed any aggression. I have trained dogs that are fearful around strangers and they have completely accepted the baby as one of their family members. There are many factors that determine when a dog will not be safe around a baby and until you educate yourself and train your dog for a baby then we can't make any assumptions on how our dog will respond to the baby and the changes.
Are there certain breeds that are more prone to bite young kids?
It’s important to understand that any dog, whether they are friendly, aggressive, reactive, easy going, service dogs, police dogs, professionally trained dogs, or even dogs that have been raised around children are capable of biting.
It's also important to know that different breeds have different styles of how they bite and therefore they can cause more serious damage if they do bite.