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Don't Wait to Prepare the Family Dog for Baby's Arrival

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Advice from a Canine Company dog training expert – and mom -- on smoothing the transition for everyone

WILTON, Conn. (PRWEB) July 24, 2018

The birth of a child is a joyful event for everyone in the family, except – perhaps -- the family dog.

"For many of us, our dogs are our first ‘baby,'" says Heather Corum, who trains the dog trainers for at-home pet services provider Canine Company and is mom to four human and three canine kids. "We give them lots of attention and even establish our household routines around them."

"But those routines change dramatically when a baby arrives. Daily walks may get shorter, meal times change, and there are strange new things in the house. It's all very confusing and your previously well-behaved pup may act out."

To avoid problems, Corum encourages expectant parents to start preparing their dogs as far in advance of the new arrival as possible.

First, take a training refresher. Baby will be safer and life will be easier with a dog who listens and obeys on command, says Corum. "You won't have time to address problem behaviors once baby comes home, so don't wait. A professional trainer can help you work on the skills most important for baby's arrival."

Next, introduce household changes. Starting early allows gradual introduction of the many new things a dog will experience. Corum recommends gradually desensitizing him by:

  • Getting a baby doll and carrying it around the house.
  • Setting up the crib and stroller with the doll in it.
  • Introducing him to the scent of baby powder, wipes and diapers.

Now is also the time to transition to a new routine. "Think about how your schedule will change and ease him into those changes. For example, practice walking him with the baby stroller," says Corum. "Your trainer can also help you with this process."

Introduce the new siblings. "It's important to let your dog see and sniff baby, but keep yourself between them just in case. Use a calm voice so you don't excite your dog, and praise him for being calm and gentle. If he gets overexcited, give a firm but gentle ‘no' and separate him and baby."

Never leave a dog alone with a newborn, no matter how well-trained, she cautions, because dogs can react suddenly to unexpected noises or movements, possibly putting baby in danger. Corum recommends creating a pet-free zone around the crib with an Invisible Fence Shields® containment system. The unit's wireless transmitter sends a signal to the dog's collar, eliminating the need for clumsy baby gates or other barriers.

Finally, she adds, "Find time to give your dog some individual attention so he doesn't become jealous of baby. Praise and play will reinforce good manners, making life happier for everyone in the home."

About Canine Company
Born of a family's love for dogs, Canine Company has been helping families keep their dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy for 35 years. The company serves pet parents across New England, New York and New Jersey with the Invisible Fence® brand systems, Manners dog obedience training, and mobile grooming and pet sitting in select markets. Its charitable Canine Love™ campaign supports pet rescue groups and donates pet oxygen masks to first responders. For more information, visit http://www.caninecompany.com or call 800-818-3647.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/07/prweb15642626.htm

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