How Much To Feed A Puppy By 2 Month Old 9 Steps to Preparing Your Dog for the Arrival of Your Baby

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9 Steps to Preparing Your Dog for the Arrival of Your Baby

1 – Be proactive

My first trimester brought an overwhelming state of fatigue that I had no idea existed! This stage of pregnancy is a great time to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Training and preparing your dog should be part of your plan. You can list some of the dog toys and games and other items you’ll need over the next few months to keep your dog busy on days when you can’t take him for walks as often as you normally would. At this point, it might be a great idea to find a professional dog walker in your area to help you with dog walking at least during the last few weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks after the baby is born.

2 – Set goals that make sense

Start by listing all the amazing things your dog can do. You’ll be amazed at all the great behaviors your dog already knows, and then you can start your new training plan with confidence.

As part of setting goals, create a post-baby exercise plan for your dog. Whether that means hiring a dog walker or if your partner has to get up early every day to walk the dog is up to you. You can also plan activities to do with your dog at home, such as placing a chair outside to play fetch.

3 – Be a great leader and you will get a great dog

The four main leadership traits you need to display when training your dog are:

1. Control of all resources including food, toys and attention,

2. Respecting personal space,

3. Ability to influence behavior in any situation, a

4. Proactive intervention.

To be a good leader, you need to be able to control the things (food, toys, walks) that your dog may want, make sure that he always respects your personal space and does not enter it uninvited, be able to train the behaviors necessary for your dog to be well behaved and safe and to be someone your dog can rely on.

As part of my guide dog training program, I always made sure all my dogs were comfortable with confinement. I created a safe and welcoming place to put them if I needed them to settle into their Doggy Peaceful Place. I started by placing treats in the kennel for them to go get. Once they got inside without a problem, I extended the time they were in their kennels by giving them a bone to chew on.

4 – Never forget the basics

During the second trimester, most women experience a return to normal energy levels, so this is a great time to get fully involved in training your dog.

There are a few certain behaviors that you need to master with your dog through your training program, but don’t worry—the expectations are not at all out of reach. Focus on using positive reinforcement to teach him basic foundational behaviors which are: Responding to name in ANY situation, Sit, Sit, Come and Walk nicely. I don’t teach the Stay command because I teach my dogs to hold every position until I give them a release or other instruction. This way, Stay is incorporated into ALL the behaviors I teach.

In my opinion, the NUMBER ONE behavior to teach is Long Lasting Mines. Many times you will need your dog to lay down on the bed in peace so you can rest, change the baby, bathe the baby, feed the baby, etc. Trust me…it’s worth it!

5 – Teach your dog some GREAT manners

My GREAT Manners program consisted of teaching personal space bubbles, wait for food, wait by the car, wait by the door, stay and leave it. Basically, a behavior program uses good impulse control and teaches your dog how to “ask for permission” by offering appropriate behaviors such as sit.

The key to your success in teaching your dog great behavior is to ensure that you are in control of all resources whenever you are training. Set clear boundaries and never allow your dog to violate them.

6 – Make sure Rover is comfortable walking next to the pram or pushchair

Many dogs are agitated and excited by things that move. Strollers are no exception! Starting at six months pregnant, I walked the neighborhood with an empty stroller to teach my dogs that it was no big deal. As soon as each dog was able to walk next to the stroller alone, I started training two, three and finally all four at once.

Take some treats with you to use to keep your dog’s attention during the walk, as he has to walk politely and calmly beside you in order to get his dinner. Many dogs will jump all over the place the first time they walk next to a stroller. Even if you practice walking down the hall or in the yard, this will be enough to get your dog used to the movement of the stroller so close to them.

7 – Prepare the children’s room nicely and on time

When I was about seven months pregnant, my husband and I painted and decorated the children’s room. I brought my dogs in one by one to check the room and then taught them the invisible wall at the entrance to keep them out unless of course they were invited in.

For the rest of my pregnancy, I found time to sit in my rocking chair with one of my dogs resting next to me. I wanted them to see the children’s room as a place of rest that they can explore, but only by invitation and only if they are able to remain calm and still.

8 – Practice desensitizing your dog to any sounds your child makes

I recommend a CD called Preparing Fido, which is a comprehensive collection of baby sounds. This CD (I’m sure there are many others like it) was great for preparing my dogs for my daughter’s arrival.

Desensitization is basically defined as presenting a stimulus at a reduced (but gradually increased) intensity so that it does not cause a fear response. You need to slowly increase the intensity as your dog gets used to it. If your dog shows signs of fear or anxiety while the CD is playing, the volume should be turned down or turned off completely. The best way to do this is to start playing the CD at meal time at a very low volume and turn off the sound after the meal is over. Once your dog gets used to the sounds and shows no signs of stress, you can play them louder and louder at different times of the day.

9 – Bring home the baby!

Have your partner take home from the hospital a blanket with your baby’s scent on it. Let your dog sniff. On the day you bring your baby home, one of you will need to step into your first to bring your dog on a leash. If he is too excited, take him to his Doggy Peaceful Place and wait for him to calm down. If it’s a nice fit, bring the baby over and lower the carrier so your dog can sniff the toes – not the face. Make the first meeting quick to make sure it’s not too overwhelming for anyone involved.

It is SO IMPORTANT to always keep this in mind your dog is an animal and can behave unpredictably at any time. No dog – no matter how gentle – should be left unsupervised with a child or toddler under any circumstances.

Now enjoy this time and live in the present moment. That baby grows up so fast!

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