Last week we laid down the ground rules. This week we’re going to lay it out for you, step by step.
Step 1: ISOLATION
Give Them Time
When you bring baby home for the first time, resist the urge to allow your dog to “greet” your baby. Your baby is none of your dog’s business. Your dog is none of your baby’s business. For the first 6 months your dog and baby will be isolated from each other.
Babies make high-pitched squeals, screams, coos, and other “prey-animal” noises that might confuse, frustrate, and scare your dog or even turn on your dog’s natural, predatory urges.
Dogs make loud, high-pitched whines, barks, scratches, and other natural dog sounds that might wake up, confuse, or scare your baby. As a wife, mother of two, dog-owner, and entrepreneur, I value my sleep. When Mckenzie was born, my dogs were sent to Grandma’s house for a few days so I could recover and try to get some sleep after a 12 hour labor!
Establish Home Base
Baby’s home base is the entire nursery or your master bedroom. Kick your dog out for the time being. He will thank you in the long run.
Dog’s home base is his crate in a dog room, laundry room, closet or other quiet place away from the noise and bustle of baby.
When baby is in the main living area, your dog should be crated or on a dog bed and have a solid “stay” command. No sneaking off allowed!
While out on a walk with your dog, start with two adults, one in charge of the baby riding in a car seat, stroller, sling or similar baby carrier, the other in charge of the dog on a 4’-6’ leash.
WARNING: This video is very upsetting. Please use discretion when allowing your children to watch this video.
When unsupervised, your child should be confined to the nursery in a crib or pack n’ play. Your dog should be in a quiet room with a door inside his crate.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG AND CHILD ALONE IN THE SAME ROOM, even for a split second!
When supervised, your baby should be in a baby carrier. Your dog should be on a dog bed tied back with a leash or in his crate.
DO NOT LET YOUR BABY TOUCH YOUR DOG, period.
DO NOT LET YOUR DOG TOUCH OUR BABY, period.
WAIT until your child is old enough to learn and understand that dogs are sentient beings with their own personal space.
WAIT until your dog has adequate training to be calm and comfortable in his crate and on his bed without getting in your baby’s business.
Stay tuned for more steps to raising socially responsible kids and dogs. In the meantime, here is your homework: watch the video below and visit stopthe77.com to do at least 2 of the activities together as a family.