Learn more about us and how you can see similar results with YOUR DOG! Preparing Dog for Baby: PART 2 Baby Space …
Hello! The magic word hello generally
means somebody's at our home. Hello everyone
my name is Krystal with the Dog
Psychology and Training Center. We are
doing part two this week of our
preparing dog for baby series and I
think, I may not be live. Hm,
it says I'm starting so I don't know if
that means I'm live now or if it's still
loading but I'm just going to go ahead and
proceed. So for those of you that are
just joining, again my name is Krystal
Nierman with the Dog Psychology and
Training Center. For our families that
don't know yet, we are expecting our fourth child and
we've had a couple families of dogs that
we've trained who have reached out
recently who are also expecting their
first and so they had a lot of questions
about how to prepare dog for baby,
the do's and don'ts, what's best what's
wrong, all of those new parent questions
that suddenly pop into your mind and so
we decided to do this series just to
help clarify some things on how we do it.
Dogs, with dogs and dog training, there
are a lot of right ways to do a lot of
things, there are a lot of wrong ways
that might be okay for another dog but
for certain dogs it just doesn't work
and so with that being said, what we do
as a practice as our family may not work
for you and your dog and that's okay.
Please reach out to a professional
trainer if you are still having issues
especially if your dog is easily
stressed, has anxiety, fearful behaviors,
reactivity or aggression. Reach out to a
trainer before baby comes so you can
start working through these things and
hopefully when baby comes that
transition for your dog will be a lot
less stressful and happy so that's the
goal here. Yeah so last week's if you
missed it, I'll post a little link in the
comments when we're done here all about
preparing, excuse me, dog for baby. So, we
talked about some exercises to start
training your dog
to do now, so when baby comes your dog
will have a foundation of one,
communication and two, obedience and
manners and so you can start laying that
groundwork now preparing your dog for
that distancing you might need because
you have a new baby on your lap and so
maybe your dog can't be on your lap at
the same time, or if you were like me,
when I have those first few weeks when I
got home I was just exhausted, right? The
baby was always eating, I felt like I
never slept, I didn't want anybody
touching me or being by me including my
dogs and I loved my dogs. So, it didn't
mean that I didn't love my dogs or that
I didn't love my family, I just needed
some space because I just felt like I
was being used by this little baby that
never stopped ,right and so my dogs
they're obviously very well trained but
I could just tell them go lay down right
now and so it wasn't a big deal to them, it
wasn't like, "Oh mom doesn't want me by her," it was just something they were used to.
There are times that I just can't give
my dog's attention and so I say "go lay
down" and they do and so practicing those
type of things now prepares your dog for
that little surprise baby when it comes
home from the hospital, and your dog is like,
"Whoa what's this little monster and why
don't you look at me or talk to me or
touch me anymore?" So that's what last
week's Facebook live was about, so if you
missed it, I'll post that link in the comments. So today's we're gonna be talking about
what to do when you bring baby home, so
after baby's home, that introduction, all
of those things basically post baby. A
lot the last one was all about pre baby,
now we're going to be talking about post baby. So 'baby bubble space,' it's a thing. Your dog
should definitely know it. Your dog does
know it. In a pack of dogs,
if a mama dog has puppies the other dogs
aren't allowed to come buy those puppies
for a while usually until the puppy
start exploring on their own and can
approach the other dogs, are the other
dogs then allowed to interact with those
puppies. The whole mama dog ferociousness
thing, the mama dog protectiveness thing,
is a thing and for a reason
right and it's no different from us "mama
parents," right? Like we want to protect
our babies we want to keep them safe
and not that your dogs gonna do anything to baby but it's important to set those
guidelines now so your dog understands
that this baby, one, it's yours and not
theirs. That's a huge thing that we deal
with a lot where families come to us and
they'll sa, "Oh my dog is very
protective of my baby, he won't let me,
you know, change my baby's diaper without
barking or growling. You know, like he's
trying to protect the baby."
That's not protection. That's your dog
thinking that your baby is your dog's
property, and he's telling you, you didn't
have permission with baby. And so there's a big, big blurry line between
protectiveness and ownership when it
comes to canines. If you are threatening
your baby and you are assaulting your
baby and your dogs growling at you,
that's protection. Kudos to your dog. But
if you are loving on your baby or even
if you're just scolding your baby becuase they're about to do something dangerous or
harmful and you say, "No, don't do that!"
Your dog should never have any
aggression or reactivity towards you in
that moment and so these guidelines that
we do with our own dogs, that we're gonna
recommend for you guys to do, are just
some of the subtle things that help dogs
get into that mindset of,
"This is your baby, the humans, and it is
your property and you get to protect it,
you get to keep it safe," and your dog is
a part of your family,
just like your baby, but it's not your
dog's baby. So, day one, when we come home
with our baby, we let our dogs sniff
the baby in the car seat but we don't
let our dog stick it's face right in the
baby's face in the car seat. Your dog can
smell that baby from across the room, so
there is no need for him to be touching,
pushing head in your baby's face, waking
them up, or doing anything of the sort
because in the canine world, remember we
talked about momma dog keeping all the
other dogs from baby, it's called space and
space is a sign of respect. So when you
have that new baby home, our dogs just
kind of naturally did this, they would
get to be about 1 to 2 feet away, they'd
kind of just stick their nose up and sniff
that area around the baby and then they
just kind of walk away or if they're
really curious they kind of walk around
to the front of
the carseat and look in there, but again they weren't all up in the baby's face, right?
They were being respectful and keeping
that space and so don't let your dog
crowd your baby. If you're holding your
baby and your dog comes up, definitely
they're allowed to sniff them and
interact them but again make sure dog's
being respectful during that process. They shouldn't be pushing on them, they shouldn't be
sniffing on them really hard, they don't
even need to touch your baby to sniff it
and so again you know your dogs you know if they love kids or don't
love kids and maybe you don't and so I
would have extra precautions in that
case because this is a new thing for
your dog and so making sure your dog
only has very positive interactionsm
meaning your baby's not grabbing or
pulling your dog's hair or your baby
doesn't just scream in your dog's face
because it sniffed it's face and woke the
baby up and now it's screaming, the dog's
going to be like terrified because why is this thing screaming at me. Just making
sure you have very, very positive
interactions for a dog that is, maybe not
been exposed to children or babies
before, to make sure that they only have
happy feelings towards this baby. So
baby bubble space. We talked about
bringing the baby home, this also applies
to when you start doing tummy time with
your babies. Meaning they get to lay on
the carpet or a baby blanket and they
start to kind of strengthen those tummy
muscles preparing them for crawling. We
also didn't let our dogs crowd our
babies in that way either, so some of the
rules that we didn't really have to
enforce but our dogs just did was, one,
they didn't lay like right up next to
our babies. So they were like really
like super cuddly close and they didn't
try to lay on or paw our babies at all.
What they would do is they may come down and lay on part of the mat, so they were
close to the babies, which is a really
great enticer for crawling because
there's a dog close by and the babies
like oh what's this and so they want to
scoot but they made sure, they again, made
sure to maintain that spacial distancing
from your baby.
aAnd again that's a preference thing, I
don't think when you see all those cute
Facebook pictures of dogs, little
dogs cuddle with a baby in a baby swing
you know laying next to or almost on
top of a baby like they're super cuddly
close, to me that's terrifying. That's a
situation that could go wrong very fast.
Dogs are canines, they're animals, the way
they would correct a puppy is pretty
ferocious compared to how they, if they
were to do that to a baby and so in a
dog's defense, they're not necessarily
doing anything wrong in the canine world.
If a baby or puppy was to startle them
or jump on them or pull their hair, it's
absolutely correct for a dog to kind of
do like a quick snap at or even mouth
that puppy on it's neck to communicate,
"This isn't allowed." But if you do that to
a human, especially a baby, it's gonna
make them bleed, it can leave marks,
and it's not necessary if you make sure
your dog understands, one, this is not
their baby, they can't treat it that way
because it's yours, the humans, and
you're in charge of correcting your baby.
So if your baby does anything wrong to
your dog, anything that, not
necessarily wrong, but maybe they pull
your dog's fur or they grab too hard,
making sure you as the adults are
quickly, you're right there with them
always, but you're quickly there to say,
"No, no, no, let's be gentle," and you show
your baby how to gently hold your dog's
fur or if my baby was you know a month
old and didn't understand and started to
grab because they just grabbed anything
they can get and they've got a pretty
fierce grip, I would just quickly open
their little hand and slip my finger in
there instead and then kind of rub their
fists on the dog's fur. So there are ways
to show your dog that you are gonna
advocate for them so they don't ever
feel like they have the need to correct
your child for themselves.
So baby bubble space, just making sure
that that is something that's maintained.
When our babies started to actually scoot
and move towards our dogs is when our
dogs would get closer to our babies
because they understood, "Oh, this little
monster is ready to interact with me," and
so there was a little door open there
that interaction was now approved and
that is just the natural progression of
normal life. So something to consider.
The other thing is you can call it baby
math or babies equal good things but
anytime your dog is showing good
behavior around your child, in the same
room of your child, doesn't have to be
within in one foot or two foot proximity
of your new baby but if you are, for
example, holding your baby on your lap or
nursing your baby or whatever and
your dog is laying nicely at your feet
or on the other side of the room on
their dog bed, just having a cup of
treats or a treat pouch that you can
just pick a couple up and toss over at
your dog to reward that moment in time.
One of the most overlooked things in a
dog's life is good behavior or so quick
to realize and remark on those negative
behaviors but the positive ones tend to
be overlooked, so as you go through this
time of less attention to your dog
because your baby is demanding all of
your time, it's very important to make
sure you are marking and rewarding every
positive thing your dog is doing with
and around that baby so you can start
showing them that's the behavior I'm
going for it and they don't feel the
need to get pushy or needy or start to
act out because bad attention is still
attention, right? So making sure you're
marking those positive things. So if your
dog's laying on their bed real nicely,
toss some treats. If they're laying quietly
out your feet, toss some treats. If you're
doing tummy time and your dog's about a
foot and a half or two feet away just
kind of laying there watching your baby
do weird bubbly sounds, throw them a
couple treats. Just making sure they
understand that that's the behavior I
love and that's the behavior I want to
keep seeing and the other thing that's
super important that I want you to not
only understand for yourself but start
to teach your children as they get older
as well, so obviously when they're you
know in their twos, threes, and fours, some of
these that can start to pick up on, when
I do kids in k9 class in preschool and
lower elementary age classrooms, we talk
about these a lot because kids are much
more perceptive than we give
them credit for. So, stressful body
language signals in a dog. Specifically
a dog
who has a new interaction with a baby
that they've not seen before because it
can be stressful. That baby crying in the
whole night, it's probably not just
waking you up, it's probably waking your
dog up. So again, your dog's getting a lack
of sleep, there's new smells in the house,
this is so much change that's happened.
Your dog is going to be stressed just like
you are those first few days, first few
weeks, first few months home. That's not a
bad thing, stress is good, stress is what
helps us grow and develop and to become
better things, better people, better dogs,
everything. But it's appropriate to
understand, your dog is also going
through stress too. So, take it easy on
them and understand they're gonna be
stressed and that doesn't make them a
bad dog but it is, again, as you are the
leader of the house, it is your job to
notice these stress signals on your dog
and show them how to healthily take care
of them. How do relieve that stress. So one
of the things we always taught our dogs
is to, you know, if we ever felt like they
needed to, my dogs have never tried to
bite my children, but when they were
babies and they're starting to go
through that crawling phase and we don't
let our kids crawl on our dogs, but when
they're babies things happen, right? And
so. I could see my baby getting ready to
pull up on my dog and I, you know, would be
quick to get up and go over and get the
baby and you'd see our dogs kind of do a
sharp look like this. They never tried to
bite our baby, they never tried to do
anything like that but what they were
saying was, "No, I don't know what you're
thinking you're gonna do but that's not
okay with me,"
and so we would quickly instead of
correcting that behavior where would say,
"Kester go lay down," and show him you don't have to stay there. Because staying there, my
baby's going to crawl on you because my
baby doesn't know what that sharp look,
what that sharp look means right now, right? But Kester, who was
uncomfortable with that situation, he
didn't need to stay there. He could go
lay down on his dog bed, he could go lay
down in his crate, wherever he felt like
he needed space he could go get it
but he didn't have to fight for it, right
there, right? He didn't have to own his
spot he was laying at and make that baby
leave because that's impractical and not
going to happen. As an adult, as the leader
of the family, as the leader of my child,
I was the one to quickly pick up and
remove my baby but I also wanted Kester
to know he needed to advocate for
himself as well, in a healthy way. So
instead of being, you know, very stern or
mean or, because it surprises you as a
new parent because you're like, "Did he
almost bite my baby?" "Was he going to bite my baby?" All these things go through your
head. Be calm and just let your dog know
they can redirect, if your dog doesn't
know the lit 'go lay down' command, pick up their leash so you have a drag leash on
your dog, a six-foot drag leash, in the
house all the time when you're home,
pick up that leash and say 'come lay down'
and just walk them over to the bed, have
them get over there, wait till they sit
or lay down on it, and then you can go
back to the couch or back to your baby
or wherever you need to go but making
sure your dog knows how to excuse him or
herself from those situations. So stressful
body language to look for. The head
tells you so much, so much but it's also
some of the more difficult things to
see especially if you're not skilled or
trained to look at these things and
also if your dog's not facing in your
direction but the eyes, there are a lot
of stress signals that the dog's eyes
will tell you, so if your baby's over
here, here's the baby head, and your dog's
doing this looking away from your baby
you can see a lot of the whites of my I
hear this what we call whale eye that's
the dog saying, "Um, I don't like this and
I'm trying to think of happy thoughts
right now and I'm just trying to get out
of this area in my head," but your dog's not realizing if he would just
remove his body from that area, the
stress would go away. So again, that's
your cue just say, "Hey!" You can see your
dog's uncomfortable say, "Hey Morgyn, go
lay down on your bed," or, "Hey Morgyn come over here baby," and calling her away from
your baby in that situation and then
take for her to go lay down. Another one
that you might see is your dog moving
away. So like, your baby's on the floor
doing tummy time and is just
happening to scoot closer and closer to
your dog and you'll see your dog just
kind of shifting away, shifting away, or
if your baby is actively crawling and
your dog keeps like looking it's whole
head away from that situation, again, that's a stress signal and your dog's trying
to say, "I don't want to be here and I'm
going to a happy place in my head," but
not realizing they can just move their
body out of that situation. Let's see,
so a tight dog mouth, which with some
breeds I understand that this is gonna
be very difficult to see, we have a
Neapolitan Mastiff whose lips just
wiggle all the time
but I can tell when she's doing a tight
mouth, tight like where she just tightens
her lips or if she's doing what's called
tight lipped licking and so when we
humans are stressed you know this is my
normal face. When I'm stressed, I might
purse my lips or it's like, kind of hide
them, right? That's my tight mouth and dogs will start to do licking and that licking
is very little and and short so it's not
like a dog that's like cleaning their
face and doing a whole, you know, lick on the cheek but this is what it will kind of look
like. Picture me as a dog, so tight mouth
and then I'm doing this. That's that
tight mouth licking, okay. That's another
stress signal. It doesn't mean your dog's
a bad dog or he's about to kill your
baby but it doesn't mean your dog's
uncomfortable and an uncomfortable dog
sometimes can make bad choices. That just
snapping, growling, or biting at your
child because, again, in the dog world
that is how they would communicate to
the baby to get away or to the puppy to
get away. So again, not okay with babies
but again, you are the leader. You are the
parents, you are there to protect both
your dog and your baby and to dissipate,
defuse that situation and by showing
your dog how to react to that and then
when your baby's old enough, even when
they're not old enough, we still
talk these things through with our
baby but when they're old enough,
starting to teach them these type of
behaviors as well. Like when when my dog
stops looking at you and they're looking
away I say, "Oh he just doesn't want to
play anymore, see he's trying to look
over here. He just wants to see what's
going on over there, he doesn't want to
play with you anymore," and so letting our
kids understand that. Yawning, again, it's,
we all do body language all the time, so
it's not that your dog might yawn
midday and you're like, "Oh, he's stressed,"
and there's nothing going on
but yawning excessively in a situation
that you could deem uncomfortable,
that's a stress
sign. So excessive yawning over and over
again, coupled with some of these other
behaviors or body signals is again a
stress factor. It kind of
is like your dog saying, "I'd rather be
anywhere else but here," like, "Ugh," almost
like a sigh but it's a yawn for a
dog. So body language, like your dog's
body as a whole might be super relaxed
and chill and then the baby gets close
and your dog gets tense and kind of
maybe puffs up their chest or maybe
crouches away, all of these things again
is your dog saying, "I don't know about
this." Just telling them to do something
else, to go play with your toy, go lay
down, just don't stay here. To try to hold
your ground. Get out of this
uncomfortable situation. Be prepared to
give space when your dog is doing these
things you can, like I said you can call
them away, you can pick up your baby and
take them away.
I might place myself between my baby and
my dog so if my dog felt like they
needed to snap out or bite something, I
would rather take that than my baby, so I
always just put myself between, not
necessarily my dogs and my baby, but
maybe client dogs that have never been around
babies who think, "Hm I don't know about this." Stepping
between them and then communicating to
that dog. I became a wall between my baby
and that dog to say now all your
attentions on me I'm gonna show you how
to handle this let's go over here and
lay down and it's a really great thing
when you can see your dog for themselves
saying I'm out of here,
I need some space and they just go lay
down on a bed or they go to their crate
for ten minutes, the door is wide open,
they can come out whenever they're
relaxed and ready and when they come
back out they're like prancing, a happy
tail wag and they're just like okay I
feel great now let's start over but in
that moment that they were stressed it
could have been bad but it's important
to show them how to handle it. They say
the dogs had the average IQ of
a toddler, so if you can take it, if you can
think about a toddler that's stressed or
frustrated, they don't usually make
rational choices, right? They usually
throw tantrums, they're illogical, they
fuss and cry about the most ridiculous
things, like they didn't get their
favorite spoon
or the bird flew away and they didn't get to
see it longer, like things that you can't
control but instead of getting mad and
angry at your baby for those situations,
we show our babies, we try to, help them
defuse it and so how we treat the babies
is different than how we treat the dogs
in these situations, remember, a baby's a
baby and a dog's a dog but dogs do have
the average IQ of a toddler, so they're
not, I mean they are very intelligent,
they are not intelligent enough to
figure out stressful solutions. So you
know, just how you'd teach your baby your
toddler how to handle these situations,
it's your job to teach your dog how to
handle these situations. If your dog
is or has snapped at your baby, growled or
even attempted to bite your baby,
everything I just said applies to you
and more but don't do anything, keep your
dog away from your baby and please
contact a professional trainer to make
sure they can have healthy interactions
between your dog or baby or if it's not
possible, letting you know that so that
you can make sure your baby's safe, that
is number one.
Dogs are living creatures and they
have capabilities to do some pretty
serious damage, especially to little
faces, so it's never okay, I don't want to say
it's not okay, it is okay to love your
dog and love your baby but decide to
re-home your dog or find a different
solution for your dog other than living
in your home with your baby. You can
still love them both and still make a
choice that separates your dog from your
home. So humans always come first,
children always come first, but this
video is more so for those dogs that do
have a more positive outlook on life,
they're more happy-go-lucky and they may
be stressed because the baby's new but
not because they are a typical reactive
aggressive dog and would react that way.
So if you have any questions to this
video that I didn't cover or from week
one, please post them in the comments. I
would love to do a follow-up to this and
make sure I cover all of the questions
and concerns that you might have for
your new little bundle and dog's
But other than that, thanks so much for
joining me today. Again my name is
Krystal with the Dog Psychology and
Training Center and I hope to see you
next week on our Facebook live. Bye!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published