In the pre-baby/infant component, targeted training helps prepare parents and their dog for the baby’s arrival long before birth. Management tools and practice sessions provide the foundation for ensuring dogs’ physical and emotional enrichment needs are met. Through positive reinforcement, dogs will become conditioned to gates, crates, and tethers before the baby arrives. Dogs will even learn in advance how to adjust to all the strange noises and movements of new gear such as rockers, strollers, bouncy chairs and swings.
Once baby arrives, Mom will be exhausted, and the baby will need so much family attention that preplanning is essential. “One of the most important things we talk about is homecoming for the adults. The dog doesn’t need to be involved in a big celebratory party. We want to see calm,” says Vincent. “Parents will have practiced by role playing some of the scenarios so they can tell when their dog is stressed.”
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To learn more about our Parenting with Pets program or if you would like to schedule an introductory training session with Beth Vincent, please contact our Helpline at 860-242-9999 or email Helpline@OurCompanions.org.