Strolling and Dog Walking
Naomi is looking as cool (how can she not)? as can be as she strolls the streets of Soho with dog and baby in tow.
If you plan on strolling your baby and walking your dog at the same time, there are some things you need to know…
1. You need to test your dogs response to a stroller in advance. A lot of dogs are not fond of things that have wheels, move fast and seem unpredictable. Your dog may be absolutely FINE with a stroller, but do yurself a favor and bring the stroller home LONG before the baby arrives to test it out. If your dog has a negative reaction – be sure to call in some professional help. A good positive reinforcement trainer can help you change your dogs association with this new and necessary item.
2. Your dog needs leash skills. Whether your dog is 6 lbs (like Naomi’s) or 75 pounds like mine – any dog that will be strolling with a baby requires some leash skills. A dog who pulls on leash, barks and lunges at passersby or other stimulus (bikes, trucks, delivery men etc). may present some danger during strolling-walking time. Minimally, it will make this experience less pleasant. Address your dogs leash skills before the baby’s arrival.
3. Don’t be a sidewalk hog! If you opt to juggle it all – be sure you can do so reasonably and safely. Having a dog on a fully extended leash taking up the entire sidewalk can be danger for your dog as well as those who might trip over the leash. Be sure you can keep control of the leash and stroller. I know it sounds hilarious, but take a few practice runs in your hallway or on the sidewalk just outside your building. Get the hang of it before tackling a big long walk. If you are going to chat on your cell phone during this time, pull off to the side of the sidewalk and chat. Don’t try to do too much at once (hahahahaha! it’s not an easy fete when you’re a mom!).