Call Best Bully Sticks (877) 483-5853

Want Coupons & Sale Updates?


Privacy Policy

101 Dog Care Tips: Young Children and Dogs

Kids can be rough. They also have trouble showing empathy. If your child is acting too rough with your dog it is likely that your child does not even realize s/he’s hurting the dog. Young children do not understand how rough and boisterous behavior can aggravate a dog. As a parent it is important to step in and make sure the relationship between your children and dog is functional and happy.

Three common kid behaviors that annoy dogs are:

(1) Shouting

I don't like a rough wake up

 (2) Grabbing

i don't like it when you grab my ears or my tail

 (3) Rough wake ups

i don't like when you shout at me

 To effectively correct this behavior, you should spell out the rules and consequences for your children. You will need to revisit these rules and be consistent in your punishment. It is important to note that you should never threaten to get rid of the dog when punishing your kids for breaking the rules. Instead, use positive reinforcement. Praise and reward your children when they treat the dog in the appropriate way.

Looking for more tips on dog ownership with young children?

Choosing the Right Dog for Your Children

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby Part 2

Dogs & Kids: Introducing a New Dog into your Home

How to “Talk Dog”- Learn to Communicate with your Dog

shutterstock_107501672-smMany people know that for companion dogs to understand what we want from them, it is important to communicate differently than we do with one another. Our language, using many words together in full sentences, is not clear or discernible to dogs. We can help dogs learn certain words or commands by making those words meaningful, but simply talking to dogs and expecting them to understand is asking way too much of them. So, how do we learn to “talk dog“ to our best buddies so we can better communicate our needs? To be honest, it’s not that difficult.

Body Language, Facial Expressions and Tone

The old saying, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” is a really good thing to keep in mind when attempting to communicate with your dog. Dogs are not complex thinkers and simply see the world in terms of “what’s good” and “what’s bad”. A high voice is good, so when the dog does something you like, tell them “great job” in a high pitched, happy sounding voice with a smile on your face.

shutterstock_105853361_smConversely, when the dog does something naughty like counter surfing, or jumping up on you or someone else, simply say “OFF” in a very deep voice with a grimace on your face to communicate clearly that he or she has behaved badly. It is important to note here that the dog’s attention span is very short and can work to your advantage. So, if the unwanted “jump” can be followed quickly with a “sit” command, you may replace the wrong behavior with the right one. To seal the deal, reinforce the correct behavior by popping a treat in the dog’s mouth and change your tone to a happy and high pitched one. Dogs also respond best when we are dramatic, so it is extremely important to pull out the stops and be very expressive about your “likes and dislikes” with respect to their behavior.

By rewarding or reinforcing the right behavior at the right time using the proper tone, body language and facial expressions, you and your dog will start to learn the same language and you will be amazed by the transitions the dog can make once you no longer have a failure to communicate.

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

5 Ways to Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with your Dog

valentine corgi webAt Best Bully Sticks, we believe every day should be treated like Valentine’s Day!

After all, Fido deserves love, affection, good exercise, chews, and toys to keep him happy year round.

But if you truly want to celebrate, here are 5 ways to make this Valentine’s Day extra special for you and your canine friend:

 

1. Make some delicious treats in the kitchen. If you enjoy playing in the kitchen, show your dog some love by whipping up treats that he’ll go nuts for!

For some sweet decadence: Valentine’s Day Carob Dipped Dog Biscuits

For a cheesy, easy, gourmet snack: Chock Full of Cheese Cookies

If you don’t have the time to make drool-worthy dog treats for Valentine’s Day, you can show your canine best friend(s) some love in other ways.shutterstock_237411067_web

2. Get some exercise — it will benefit both of you! Take him for a longer than usual walk. Does Fido like to fetch? Get out that squeeze toy, ball, or Frisbee and wear him out — fit, healthy dogs make happy dogs!

3. Give him a new toy. Keeping your dog entertained is vital for his health and happiness.
Best Bully Sticks’ selection of chew, rope, plush, and ball toys

4. Buy some of his favorite dog chews or treats or maybe one he hasn’t had yet. Browse our large supply of bully sticks, chews and treats, and dog bones.

shutterstock_129944051 web

 

5. And last but not least, cuddle! What better way to spend quality time together than a neck or belly scratch, a massage, or relaxing on the couch together?

 

From Best Bully Sticks, wishing you and your pooch lots of love this Valentine’s Day!

 

For tips on how to make more appetizing dog treats, see our Weekly Drool Recipe collection here on our Healthy Dog Blog or Follow our Drool Dog Recipes board on Pinterest.

Does “sit” really mean “sit”? Dog Training Tips by Deborah Rosen

Does “sit” really mean “sit”?

 

webdog 1There is something that most dog owners don’t know.  Dogs don’t generalize!  I will explain more about that a little later, but before doing so, some background might be helpful.

Although we know dogs are considered highly intelligent animals, they are not deep thinkers.  Their intelligence lies in their senses. Their sense of smell is off the chart and their hearing is extraordinary. So, while we appreciate these characteristics in what makes dogs both smart and special, their senses also help to distract them and make it extremely difficulty to train them at times.

For this reason, it is important to practice training your dog in novel places and at different times during the day.  For companion dogs, outside distractions pose the greatest obstacle in learning and in building attention and focus.  It’s always best to start your training indoors where there are fewer distractions.  Put anything that might pull the dog’s attention away.  Make sure there is no food being cooked or other distracting smells, turn off the television or radio and, if there are other dogs in the house, put them outside or in another room.  In order to build attention and focus with your dog you must be able to give him your undivided attention.

webdog1In our Puppy Kindergarten as we begin the learning process for both the puppy and the owners, I urge dog owners to use a verbal command just once.  If the puppy fails to do what you ask the first time, I urge the owners to simply lure the puppy into place by holding a treat right over the pup’s head until he or she “assumes the sit” position.  By repeating the verbal command over and over, the verbal command becomes meaningless.  At first, only say the word “sit” the moment the pup’s butt hits the ground.  If the puppy breaks out of position to reach for the treat, pull it away with a firm “uh, uh” and take the treat back.  Then, try again and see how well the puppy maintains his or her position. 

You’ll want to do this when teaching any new skill.  By requiring the puppy to maintain the position, you are beginning to teach the puppy “impulse control”.  This is a very important lesson to learn, and the earlier you teach it, the easier it will be to extend this skill to other areas.

web dogDogs, especially puppies, are not terrific at remembering what they’ve done before.  Their very short attention span, along with their amazing senses, creates a world of distraction. This can make training your puppy a challenging and frustrating experience.  Train for only a couple of minutes several times throughout the day and if you’re feeling tired or edgy, the puppy will know it.  If this is the case, stop and begin again later when you are in a better state of mind. 
So, when you ask a puppy to sit, each individual occurrence of that action is a new experience until the pup finally “gets it”You’ll  know when the puppy is able to do a skill in both distracted and non-distracted circumstances, inside and outside, that skill has become generalized! 

 

Tune in next time for more dog training tips on basic obedience and achieving “peaceful living with your dog”.

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Choosing a Dog Trainer for your Fur-baby

dalmatian puppyMany of you were lucky enough to bring home a new puppy for the holidays. Now your days are filled with the joy of puppy love along with the chore of trying to do what’s best for your new addition.

If you’re a savvy new puppy owner, you’ll go straight to the best trainers in your area and enroll in a reputable puppy kindergarten class. Getting started with training and socializing early will help you mold your puppy into the adult dog that will become a fully integrated family pet —one that can go everywhere with you and receives compliments about his or her behavior.

How do you Choose a Trainer?

Most folks know enough these days to read reviews and ask for referrals from friends with dogs. Go a step further and interview trainers to feel safe that you’ll be receiving the best training with the most current methodology. So many trainers out there are still utilizing old school, aversive training techniques. There is no reason in the world to employ techniques like “yank and pull” using choke or pinch collars. These methods went out long ago and have been replaced with better tools, like front clip harnesses or the head halti. I prefer the harness because dogs often dislike the material around their noses.

Deb Rosen training GR

Many of the aversive trainers complain about having to give puppies treats and try to convince new puppy owners that they do not want their dog’s performing only when there is a treat involved. In this case, know that treats are only required in the beginning, while the puppy is learning. It’s important to reinforce the behaviors you like and most puppies will understand what is expected if a treat is delivered quickly. Once the behaviors that you feel are important are learned, the treats are “faded out” and the puppy learns to perform without them.

While you are doing your research, look at trainer’s websites, and be sure they talk about the science of canine behavior and the use of reward-based and positive methods. Training puppies using anything other than kindness will only create fear and fear may inspire aggression.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more puppy obedience how-to’s and dog training basics!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Pet Obesity: How to Prevent it


shutterstock_89924767
Last week we addressed Pet Obesity– the widespread prevalence of the disease and how it happens. In the second part of this topic by guest contributor Jordan Walker, we want to address prevention, because after all, obesity is highly preventable. 

So how do you prevent obesity in your pet?
While some pets do look cute when fat, owners shouldn’t allow it if they truly love their pets. The excess fat and weight can put tremendous pressure on a pet’s heart, lungs, and joints, thereby lowering their quality of life. On top that, obesity is known shorten the life expectancy of pets. Meow, a cat publicized for his obesity and efforts to slim down, lived only two years before suffering heart failure. Obesity can result in many kinds of health complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breathing problems, to name a few. No pet owner should put their pet through that kind of suffering.
The main ways pet owners can keep their pets’ weight down include regular exercise and feeding meals in intervals. Human food that is high in fat, fried, and/or processed is generally a no-no for pets. Healthy at-home treats you can give your pet include natural peanut butter and vegetables.

Best Bully Sticks’ blog has many healthy Drool Dog Recipes– be sure to browse through them!

 
shutterstock_105896411

As you and your pooch make plans to be more active, eat leaner, and enjoy more quality time in 2015, be on the lookout for pet obesity– a healthy dog makes a happy dog!

For more on Pet Health, see the following Healthy Dog Blog posts:

 Caring for a Sick Dog

9 Easy Ways to Show your Dog Love

12 Crucial Facts about your Canine’s Canines

 

Jordan Walker

 

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages and other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter.

 

Pet Obesity: What’s considered Obese for your Pet?

dog on scale cropAs we head into the New Year, many Americans are thinking about what they would like to do differently. These New Year resolutions extend to our pets as well. What, and how much we are feeding, our pets, has a significant impact on their waistline and overall health.

Guest contributor Jordan Walker of Coops And Cages offers insight on the obesity epidemic in pets and what we can do about it!

When it comes to pets, chubbiness can be pretty darn cute. Chubby pets are so fluffy and irresistible, owners and others can’t help but cuddle them! Plump pets may seem excusable and taken to mean a pet is well-loved, cared for, and oozing with cuteness. However, humans have been warned about obesity and the adverse health risks associated with it. Is this also true for pets?

The “Fat Pet Gap”
The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) says that millions of pets in America are too heavy for their own good. 53% of dogs and 57% of cats, a combined total of 179 million pets, are currently overweight or obese. However, many pet parents don’t even realize that their pets are tipping the scales. Pet owners surveyed said their pets were normal weight when they were in fact overweight or obese. APOP founder, Dr. Ernie Ward, refers to this lack of awareness as the “fat pet gap,” where pet parents have normalized pet obesity. This means fat pets have become the new norm. This should not be taken lightly!

What is obesity?
Like in humans, obesity in pets is defined as having excess body fat. If a pet is obese, not only does it weigh more, but it has more fat in its body than considered healthy. Weight is some indicator of obesity. In dogs and cats, being overweight means weighing 10 to 15 percent above the ideal weight. Obesity, on the other hand, is weighing 15 percent or higher than the ideal weight. 10 to 20% over the ideal weight may not mean much on the scale. For example, if a pet’s ideal weight is 20 pounds, it will only need to put on 4 pounds to be considered obese.

shutterstock_113408662Could your pet be obese?
Most pet owners would be hard put to determine whether their bundle of fur is obese. The onset of obesity can be barely noticeable – at least to some – and when it is, the pet may have already grown extra fluffy. Determining the ideal weight for pets and weighing them regularly will help in keeping healthy pets in healthy form.

Experts have also developed a way of determining a pet’s body condition by visual and hand inspection. In order for a pet owner to tell whether their pet is in the ideal range of health, they should feel for their pet’s ribs. In normal dogs and cats, the ribs should easily be felt, but not sharp against the skin. For both animals, when looking from the side, a waist should be defined, and the belly not sag. 

What (or who) causes pets to grow out?
Quite simply, obesity usually results when pets are overfed and under-exercised, have conditions like hyperthyroidism or Cushing Disease, or are neutered/castrated. Overfeeding is the main cause of pet obesity, and pet owners are largely to blame. After all, it is the humans who do the feeding. Free feeding, where food is freely available in the bowl, is one main cause. Pets who are allowed to eat as much as they want, whenever they want, are more likely to become obese. 

Another reason is a lack of exercise. The simple rule of “calories in, calories out” with humans also applies to pets. If pets get more food than exercise, they are more likely to plump up. Treating excessively is yet another contributing factor. Treats should be given in moderation and not replace a dog’s regular meal. Best Bully Sticks natural, single-ingredient dog treats are low in calories and high in protein for a dog chew owners can feel good about.

Check back with us next week as we continue on the topic of Pet Obesity and measures you can take to prevent obesity and undo the extra pounds!

Jordan Walker

 

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages and other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter.

 

Lessons Learned: How to Have Happy Holidays with the Hound

shutterstock_113454991This week’s post is by our guest writer and dog trainer, Deborah Rosen of Good CitiZEN Dog Training, whose franchises span from coast in coast in WA State, Denver, and Florida.

 Every year Deborah shares her list of helpful tips for the holidays, also known as “how to stay out of the emergency Vet Clinic” with your favorite canine companion! Make sure your holidays stay positive and mishap free, this year and every year!

 Tip #1 – Stow presents until Christmas morn!
Young dogs have energy to burn and enjoy exploring novel things. So, DO NOT put holiday presents under the tree until it’s time to open them. We love to display presents, but keeping them hidden beats the disappointment of a present destroyed before it’s been opened. And it’s certainly better than making a trip to the emergency vet to surgically remove whatever was ingested. No harm, no foul!

shutterstock_154188704Tip #2 – It’s All About the Food, Bout the Food, No Begging!
We know feeding the dog from the table will encourage begging. And, there’s nothing worse than a dog begging at the holiday table. And an occasional bit of turkey or holiday fare should be no big deal. But, if you multiply that bit by the number of people likely to be present you’ve got a serious problem. Of course, no one will admit to slipping the dog just a little tidbit. The only one who knows is the poor puppy with her belly stuffed with rich foods she’s not accustomed to eating. End result? You’re up with a sick dog and your merry holiday is now a wretched one involving you cleaning the carpet in the middle of the night. Good times!

I suggest the following with just a tad bit of mocking. Hang a sign above the dining table that says, “Human Food is for Humans Only!” When queried about this tell your guests that if the dog gets sick in the night, each person at the table will receive an immediate phone call to come help with the cleanup. Problem solved – on with the merriment!

shutterstock_124417567Tip #3 – Exercise and a little training!
Whether it’s raining, snowing, cold, or sunny and warm, exercise the dogs before your guests arrive. A dog that has not been attended to will be much more difficult to handle when your guests arrive. Dogs that jump up on guests will jump more if not given any exercise.

Better yet, do some advanced training leading up to your holiday event. Have someone ring the doorbell and insist that the dog “sit” at the front door before opening it. If the dog does this fairly quickly, deliver a treat along with a verbal praise. If necessary, put a leash on the dog and step on that to prevent the dog from jumping. Practice this every day for a week leading up to your event and, along with a good long walk, you’ll have a better chance of guests arriving without incident.

Tip #4 – Keep the licks and kisses coming up roses!
Are you a household with a variety of pets – perhaps cats? If so, the holidays are a busy time and the pets are often neglected while cookies are baked and presents are wrapped. Remember, if you do not attend to the kitty litter, the dog will! Whether the dog is hungry or well fed, cat poop (known in the dog training world as “kitty rocha”) will attract many dogs and your guests may be the unfortunate recipients of a kiss delivered shortly after feasting on kitty rocha. Eck! Do everyone a favor and put “clean the litter box” on the “to do” list for the day the guests arrive.

Tip#5 – Tidy Fido will make guests happy!
Store a dog towel by the doors where the dogs go in and out. When your guests arrive in their holiday finery, nothing will make you feel worse than having muddy paw prints all over your guests’ new clothes. People are good-natured, but why put a damper on the holiday by “muddying” things up? Attend to your dog’s comings and goings and wipe their paws when they come inside, especially when you live in wet areas like in the Northwest.

shutterstock_107786723Tip #6 – More About the Food, Bout the Food, No Trouble!
By now everyone knows that certain foods will make dogs sick. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic are some of the common foods that most people know will make dogs unwell.

Here are some others that are more obscure, but very dangerous, if consumed by dogs. Macadamia nuts and nuts, in general, may be toxic. Raw bread dough is another food that can make dogs very sick. According to the ASPCA’s website, “the warm, moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach.” The stomach may become so distended it becomes difficult for the dog to breathe. Keep bread dough that is rising in a safe place where the dog cannot reach it.

Christmas labsWhile you are preparing your holiday foods, it’s best to give dogs something to do. A frozen marrowbone or a bully stick or a stuffed toy is something that will keep most dogs occupied and happy and not looking for things that might make them ill.

 

In general, the holidays are a time when family is home, people are happy and the family dog is enjoying attention from everyone. By taking a few precautions and making time for a bit of extra training, the holidays can stay happy and healthy for everyone!

Feliz Navi-Dog!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby, Part 2

This week’s post is by our guest writer and dog trainer, Deborah Rosen of Good CitiZEN Dog Training, which has franchises in WA State, Denver, and Florida.

In the last blog post we discussed the need to take great care when introducing a new baby to your family dog. These may be precautionary measures since many dogs take a shine to children and will not behave badly; however, even the most socialized of dogs may have difficulty with a new baby and it’s always best to put safety first.

There are often things that children do, naturally, that may provoke anxiety and reactivity in dogs. A child may start crying, emit a scream if excited or upset or even throw something from a high chair or crib that could be viewed as hostile to your pup. While it is difficult to know what might irritate a dog, it’s best to get a “jump start” on desensitizing him before trouble presents itself.

dog baby cropBabies are Good Things!
Always start with the dog and baby at a safe distance from one another. The instant the dog observes the baby, be ready with a treat and effusive praise. It’s important to deliver the treat and praise quickly since dogs have a limited attention span. Wait patiently and allow the dog to look at the baby without prompting. Once again, deliver the treat and praise as an “unexpected surprise” to the dog.

What the dog comes to quickly understand is that the baby is a “predictor” of good things. This simple exercise results in the dog feeling that the baby is a terrific new addition to the family. In the mind of the dog, we are creating a positive connection to the baby, or what we call a “conditioned emotional response” of the most pleasant kind. Now it’s important to do this at several different times during the day. Start when everyone is in a good mood and do it many times until the dog looks at the baby and then, automatically, back at you for his or her treat. It’s important to keep this going. As the baby starts to emote, as babies often do, keep treating and praising the dog.

Crying Babies – not so bad!
Once you have done this multiple times and moved to a distance much closer than where you first started, you may begin the exercise when the baby is not so happy. A crying or screaming baby can irritate and arouse much deeper and darker instincts in a dog. It is important when working with a crying baby to have two people present – one to work with the dog and another to administer to the baby.

shutterstock_111940151Start the process again, first at a safe distance (8 – 10 feet) and then slowly, moving closer. Allow the dog to look at the baby and then interrupt the look with a high-pitched happy praise and a high-value treat. Once you have repeated this many times at a distance, you may begin to slowly move closer. By doing this slowly and repeatedly, you are helping the dog to understand the baby, although upset and crying, is not a threat or a thing to be viewed negatively. You are helping to turn an otherwise unpleasant occurrence for the dog into a more positive experience.

Even if you have no concerns about your pet dog, doing these exercises will help instill in the dog the right set of emotions and skills needed to withstand the onslaught of the new addition to the family. And, it’s still best to never leave a dog and a baby alone. Although it’s hard to imagine our beloved pet doing anything that might harm a child, it’s always best to be safe!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Dogs & Kids: Introducing your Dog and Baby

Guest blog post by Deborah Rosen, Dog Trainer and Owner of Good CitiZEN Dog Training.
 

shutterstock_191635586In the last few blogs, we’ve been discussing the best ways for dogs and kids to interact, especially when first meeting. What has not yet been addressed is a discussion of how to best introduce dogs to new babies. And, once the baby is inserted into the family unit, what are the best practices for daily interaction with the family dog?

You may be surprised to know that as a small child, I was actually bitten by a dog. This is a common occurrence that can be avoided. My unfortunate experience, combined with what I now know as a dog training professional, has heightened my understanding of how to keep children safe from potential bites – and also how to keep the family dog safe from losing its place with his or her beloved family.

 

 

Help! My Dog Doesn’t Like Babies!
Over the years, I have had many panicked calls from clients telling me “we’re expecting our first child and the dog seems to be scared of or reactive to babies.” They describe a variety of different behaviors such as a low growl, raised hackles, baring of teeth or even a snap at the unassuming baby. The dog is actually giving a loud warning, “I do NOT feel comfortable – make this go away!”

I will typically ask the owner to describe the dog’s history of socializing with kids and newborn babies and, invariably, the owner tells me that the dog had no prior experience – there were simply no kids around.

If this case, it is best to take the side of caution and start very slowly, if possible, before the baby is born. By exposing the dog to some of the noises made by a newborn baby like crying, screaming, giggling or even gurgling sounds, you may at least be able to partly habituate the dog to some of what he or she might hear when the real thing arrives. Play a tape of a baby crying. Start low and, over time, raise the volume.

To some dogs, the baby may appear as an annoying intruder and could trigger anxiety. To other dogs, the crying and helpless baby may seem extremely vulnerable. Without the right early exposure, to include positive and corrective feedback, it would be easy for a dog to mistake a newborn for the young of any animal. Never forget that a dog is an animal, and, as well adapted as we think they pet is, when confused or upset he or she will behave in ways that harken back to being in the wild.

beagle baby cropDon’t Leave Babies and Dogs Alone – even for a minute!

That said, never leave a baby alone with a dog, even one that has been with you for a very long time. If you must leave the room, even for a short time, either take the baby with you or secure the dog in a crate for everyone’s safety.

Tune in next week for additional tips on about baby and dog interaction. I will take you through a desensitizing process that can help a dog adjust to a newborn child and some daily practices to keep things moving in the right direction.

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

 

1 2 3 24
%d bloggers like this: