Dog Training & Support For Expecting Families

Initial Consultation: 60min/$125 Follow-Up Sessions: 60min/$100

Many questions arise in families with dogs when they learn they are expecting a baby, or planning to adopt one: “How would the change affect our dog”?, “Should we prepare in advance?“, “How do we fix our dog’s the unwanted behaviors?”, “What’s the best way to introduce our baby to the dog?” and many more. As a professional dog trainer and certified Family Paws Parent Educator, our founder Tanya Lim, is passionate about helping expecting families navigate through this exciting time in order to achieve success and decrease stress.

When a woman is pregnant, the hormones in her body are likely to alter her scent in some way, and since dogs have 60 times as many scent receptors as humans, the chances are your dog already smells something is different. Your dog can also detect the subtle (or not so subtle) changes in your behavior, your mood, and body posture which often leads to changes in your pup’s behavior too! Many expecting families report their dog being more clingy, fearful and affectionate as a result. It is extremely important to prepare your dog in advance for the major life changes that are bound to occur once your baby arrives home! Knowing that you and your fur baby are prepared for life with a newborn, will leave much needed physical, mental and emotional space for caring for and bonding with your child.

We offer private dog training & support at the convenience of your home! Here is how we can help through every stage along the way:

Support During The FIRST TRIMESTER:

  • Discuss your dog’s history and behavioral tendencies. We’ll go deeper into your dog’s socialization history, training experience, sound sensitivities, outside behavior, separation from you, etc. This will help us to create a training plan to modify any unwanted behaviors.

  • Teach/refresh your dog’s ability to respond to basic obedience commands: place, sit, down, look, touch, leave it, find It, off… the list goes on. The more skills your dog has, the more options you can give them to successeed in times of stress.

  • Determine, reduce, eliminate your dog’s attentions seeking behaviors — barking, jumping, whining, pawing, being destructive, etc. By modifying your reaction to these behaviors, you’ll decrease their reinforcement value for your dog. Example: You’ve settled on the couch for your baby’s feeding time and your dog starts pawing you for attention. We’ll help teach your dog desired behaviors in order to establish a functional daily routine.

  • Learn About “Success Stations”. These designated spots will help you manage your dog’s placement in your home in order to set them up for success. Examples: We’ll discuss the function of Indoor Tethers, Gates & Crates.

Support During The SECOND TRIMESTER:

  • Advance your dog’s skills to responding to cues at a comfortable distance; anytime/anywhere. It is important for you, as new parents to have confidence in your ability to control your dog under all circumstances. This means when you are in different locations & different positions too! We’ll help you achieve that, build confidence and reinforce desired responses when giving directions to your dog.

  • Prepare your dog for life with a newborn by carrying a baby doll. The benefits to this exercise are many! Examples: generalizing your dog’s ability to respond to you while your posture is different and while your hands are full; prepare your dog for baby talk that’s not directed towards him; observe your dog’s reaction when you move or pass the baby and more.

  • We’ll look into the future and create a Parent “ME” time activity. It’s easy to get caught up in a daily routine once your little one arrives. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember to take time for you! We’ll create fun activities for “me time”, “mommy & daddy time” & “bonding with Fido”. You can refer to those once life with a baby gets overwhelming.

  • We’ll create a list of fun & helpful games you can play with your dog in order to maintain your relationship, provide mental stimulation & include your dog & baby in the fun!

Support During The THIRD TRIMESTER:

  • Learn about the different types of supervision! These are extremely important and will help you become aware of essential dog/baby safety information. Example: always make sure to Actively Supervise your dog and baby and never leave them alone, even for a short amount of time. We’ll provide you with management strategies on how to achieve that.

  • We’ll help prepare your dog for the baby equipment. It’s important to go back and review your dog’s sensitivities as you bring in these new items. Baby swings have all sorts of gadgets, they vibrate, play music and rotate, there are baby bouncers and so much more. Working with your dog in order to make sure he/she’s able to remain calm and create positive association is essential. We’ll include the baby doll into our sessions to make sure your pup is prepared.

  • Create a “Homecoming Plan”. We’ll create a vision of how you’d like your new life with dog and baby to come to reality and how your dog should behave then. And while brining your baby home is exciting, we’ll work on creating calm and safe interactions that will allow your dog to act appropriately. It’s always good to err on the side of caution and take things slow. After all, your baby and your dog have their whole lives to become best friends.

  • Tips on how to prepare yourself & your dog for labor day. As you near your due date, there are many things to consider. It’s essential to create a plan for your dog’s care during this time. We’ll help you with tips and local recommendations.

  • First days,n weeks and home. Maternal and paternal instincts can be very strong at this time. Having a plan to go by will help reduce a lot of the stress during this initial stage. We’ll provide tips on how to create a positive association between the baby and the dog, how to keep your dog happy and occupied, how to include your dog in the day to day life with your baby and much more.

“We’ll create a personalized training & support plan that best suits your family’s needs. We’ll also provide important information, suggested homework & handouts supplemented by the Family Paws Parent Education Program.”

Check out Family Paws Parent Education’s video below for more information: