Does your dog need a Doggy Doula makeover? Weekly tips to develop a baby and child friendly dog
Alright, now you’ve done it. You’re pregnant. You are happy! Everyone around you is thrilled.
But then you pause and think about the “spoiled dog” (the most common phrase we hear at DD) that you consider to be your first child and a little panic sets in about his or her behavior surrounding the pending arrival.
Fret not! Doggy Doula Makoever tips are here to help you and your pup prepare!
First up….how does your dog ask you for things like attention?
The issue: My whines and paws at me for attention, or barks to get me to do something for him (pet him, get his favorite toy), then it’s time for a little Doggy Doula makeover.
There’s a great quote tossed around in the dog training community, “dogs do what works.”
So, when you dog whines at you and you look at him, pick him up, get up and make his meal, talk to him, or toss his toy, you are teaching your dog that whining or pawing at you is a great way to get you to so what he wants or needs.
Doggy Doula Makeover: Teach the difference between saying, “Hey, give me dinner. I want it now,” and “I would love some dinner, please.”
There are two things to do:
1. Try to predict the times your dog might paw at you or whine and decrease his ability to practice. For example, if you are sittingon the couch right at dinner time..and you know he’s likely to start whining or pawing at you – beat him to it! Call him to you and ask him to sit. As soon as he sits, pop up and say, “yes,” while you move to the kitchen to prep his meal. You are showing him and teaching him what you would like him to do. If toys are strewn throughout your house that he delivers to you feet and then starts to whine. Pick those toys up and place them away. When YOU are ready to play. Take a toy out, and ask him to sit. Once he does, say “yes,” and toss the toy! Ask that he sits for each toss for a great obedinece workout!
2. If each time your dog barks, you completely ignore the behavior – like you didn’t even hear it - instead waiting for your dog to finally sit down – you are teaching him to sit to get what he wants. Alternatively get up and walk away (if it dinner..do not walk toward the kitchen). With each failed attempt at using his bark to get a response from you (or you walk away from him!), the bark will fade from his behavior repetoire (at least in terms of demanding things!) and sitting will be his new way of telling you he wants something.
How long will it take? This depends on how long your dog has been practicing this form of communication. If he’s been practicing for 6 years, sure it will take him some time to learn that there’s a new way to ask for things. Be patient and consistent.