Dog Training Baby tip...When kids and dogs are in the same space, SUPERVISE, but also be aware of what could happen. Don't put all the responsibility to be good on the dog, especially when your baby is in their space, in their face, pulling their hair or ears, jumping on their back, etc. Teach your kids to be respectful of the dog and teach your dog to give your kids space.
This might sound harsh, but we actually never allow any interaction whatsoever until the "baby" (actually a toddler) is old enough to follow instructions and dog is proficient at obedience and manners. Yep, that means for the child there is no petting, patting, sitting on, giving treats, pulling on ears or tails, stealing toys, etc. For the dog that means there is no licking, babysitting, eating from baby's hand or high chair, stealing toys, etc. NO INTERACTION OR CONTACT. PERIOD!
Why so dramatic? Well, here's a few stats to look over...Stop The 77
If you are expecting, consult with a canine professional asap, even if your dog is already super awesome around kids. Be prepared and take the steps necessary to protect your child and your dog. There are a lot of GOOD dogs out there that had a BAD day that ended up killed because we were so certain "my dog would never bite my child."
Why take the risk?
Below is our MUST FOLLOW rules for every household in which dogs and kids live together or visit regularly.
SEPARATION: ALWAYS have separation in place. In the beginning, the baby is separated (in the nursery, in the crib, in a sling/baby carrier, in the highchair), then as the child becomes more mobile (crawling, toddling) the dog will be separated (in a crate/kennel, on a dog bed, in the laundry room). Do not leave the child in same room as the dog, even for a few seconds.
SAFE PLACE: Establish a safe place for the dog to hang out and allow the dog to retreat on their own if they ever feel cornered, anxious, overwhelmed, and especially when they are enjoying a chew toy or eating their food. This can be in their own crate, in a room away from the child so no little fingers can find their way into the crate.
PERSONAL SPACE: absolutely never allow the dog near the baby when changing diapers, while the child is eating in the highchair and especially when the child is wandering around with food in their hands.
SUPERVISE: When the child is old enough to begin interacting (2-3 years of age), supervise at all times and have a leash on the dog.
Contributing author: Katherine McCarter, owner/head trainer at Rock Star Dogs
Share this post with a friend who is expecting or might already have kid/dog issues and needs help asap!