Your Baby and Bowser

( 4 )


Do you want to know how to prepare your family dog for the arrival of a new baby? Would you like your dog to be well-behaved around your grandchildren or the neighbor’s kids? Are you thinking about buying a dog but concerned about the safety of your children? Parents who read and follow Rafe’s advice will be infinitely more successful in raising children and dogs together. Learn how to establish dominance, understand your dog’s way of thinking, adequately prepare a dog for a new child, how your personality ...
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Do you want to know how to prepare your family dog for the arrival of a new baby? Would you like your dog to be well-behaved around your grandchildren or the neighbor’s kids? Are you thinking about buying a dog but concerned about the safety of your children? Parents who read and follow Rafe’s advice will be infinitely more successful in raising children and dogs together. Learn how to establish dominance, understand your dog’s way of thinking, adequately prepare a dog for a new child, how your personality affects your dog’s behavior, and the key things every child needs to be taught about dogs. Make sure children are safe around your dog. Order a copy today!

Stephen C. Rafe is an expert in canine behavior and has conducted numerous seminars on this subject to professional trainers.

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What People Are Saying

Joan Orr M. Sc
Joan Orr M. Sc., co-founder of the non-profit Doggone Safe for bite prevention education.
Your Baby and Bowser tells expectant parents how to help the family dog adapt to the myriad changes soon to come. Stephen Rafe explains why punishment does not work and how to ensure that the dog associates positive experiences with the baby. The book focuses on the welfare of both baby and dog, but Mr, Rafe gives frank advice to owners whose dog is just too dangerous. Your BBaby and Bowser provides essential information to help expectant parents prepare the family dog for the new arrival and to keep both baby and Bowser safe and happy.
Richard K. Lore Ph.d
Richard K. Lore, Ph.d., Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University
Every dog owner should read this book, but if you have or expect to have children or grand children, this book's preventative wisdom is as necessary as fire insurance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577790457
  • Publisher: Alpine Blue Ribbon Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 1,192,455
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Joy or Disaster?

It’s Up to You

Bringing the family dog and a new baby, or a new dog and young children, together for the first time can be traumatic for all concerned, or it can be a joy. Many dog owners are anxious during these circumstances. The concerns are justified! For one thing, the family dog has defined the home as his territory to be protected from all intruders. For another, most dogs are naturally concerned about anything that squeals or wiggles. At the extreme, if left untrained and unchecked, a dog might regard an infant as an animal to be killed, as a rag doll toy to be played with (which could be fatal), or as a helpless puppy that the dog may try to pick up by the neck (which could kill a baby).

We do not mean to be alarmists, but this concern has been expressed in many books on animal behavior. Dr. Michael W. Fox, Director of the Institute for the Study of Animal Problems of The Humane Society of the U.S., in his book, Understanding Your Dog, (Bantam Books, NY, 1981 ed.), discusses prey chasing behavior as part of the hunting reflex—especially in sporting breeds of dogs. He says, “And so the dog, having chased the ‘prey,’ has to bite and kill it.” He refers to mailmen and children, but the same holds true for infants since dogs do not discriminate unless they are properly taught. Most owners wait until the baby arrives or a new dog has been acquired and then bring Mommy, Daddy, Baby and Bowser together in a calm, quiet environment. They allow Bowser to sniff while the parents hold the newcomer and pet Bowser gently. They might repeat the procedure a few times, and that’s it.

Always Prepare in Advance

These steps are fine, but most dog owners will want to do more—and they should. The first step to introducing the family dog to a new baby (or newly adopted youngster, for that matter) should begin months before the child’s actual arrival. It begins with making sure that your dog is properly trained and socialized. Parents must learn to read their dog’s signals and evaluate the ways that their own personality and family dynamics affect the dog’s behavior.

For this program to work well, both parents must have a positive rapport with the dog, and the dog should perceive them as leaders. In a family where people are either overly coddling or overly disciplinarian, the dog could become a problem. For example, he might be too dominant, spoiled, or insecure to accept the baby. We’ll start there, then proceed to making the actual introductions, and finally, we will deal with training basic commands and dealing common problems that can occur when children and dogs share the same household.

There should be no rough play with the dog. It encourages rough play with the child. Also, there should be no yelling or hitting among people in the house. Dogs copy human behavior: like children, they learn from what they observe. A dog that is overly possessive can also be a problem, especially when a child is in the toddler stage and may interfere with the dog's meal or try to take a toy from him.

Socializing Bowser

If your dog is not already obedience trained, that is the place to begin. At the very least, he should know such commands as sit, down, heel, come, no or leave it, and enough. “Leave it” tells him not to touch. "Enough" tells him to stop doing something, such as barking, nudging, and so on. Also, be sure to say "Off," not "Down," when you intend it to mean something like "Get off me" or "Get off the furniture." Use "Down" only to mean "Lie down." Never use your dog's name in a scolding way. Otherwise he will learn to associate his name with negative experiences and may avoid you when he hears it. Allow your dog to be around people as much as possible, but do not overindulge him with excessive petting. He needs to learn how to be with people and yet be left alone without nudging, pawing, or vocalizing for attention. Take him to a wide variety of places. Playgrounds, parks, school yards, shopping centers, office parks, and the like provide experiences that will help your dog accept anything new—even a baby. At first, stay far away from people when you visit each location. Gradually, over several visits, start walking him closer to people and other animals. Keep your dog on a loose leash during each outing, and always take him through his obedience commands while at each new location. Teach him that he must sit to "say hello" to people. Begin with introducing your dog to adults, and eventually teach him to always sit before children are allowed to pet him. Expect good behavior from Bowser at all times and you will be more likely to get it. Praise his positive responses when they occur and he will be more inclined to repeat them.

Practice the following exercise with adults before you expose your dog to children. Tell the dog to “Sit.” If he does, allow the person to pet him as you say "Good sit." If he doesn't sit, or tries to jump up, say "Off" and immediately snap the leash back to keep the dog from making contact with the person. Heel the dog away. Keep him walking in the other direction for at least ten seconds. Then return and try again. Do this no more than three times in a row, and allow at least fifteen minutes between sessions.

If the dog doesn't seem to be learning to sit to be petted on command within a reasonable number of attempts, consult a qualified obedience trainer or behaviorist for help. It is essential that you have this kind of control before you bring home a new baby.

Introducing Toddlers

When you are ready to work with your dog around young children, at first introduce him to them outside the home—away from his own territory. Again, always keep your dog on a leash. Neutral areas such as a park are good locations for doing this. Once you are certain Bowser will behave properly around young children away from your property, allow him to greet youngsters at your property. Once that is successful, do the same inside the house.

A dog that is socialized to a wide variety of people, locations and experiences will be more likely to accept your new baby successfully.

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Table of Contents

Foreword iv
Preface v
PART I - When Bowser Meets Baby
Planning a Successful Introduction 1
Joy or Disaster? It’s Up to You 3
Always Prepare in Advance 4
Socializing Bowser 7
Understanding Bowser’s Personality 9
Your Personality Affects Bowser’s Behavior 15
Bowser Learns How to Investigate Baby 23
Bowser Learns to Walk with Baby 27
Bowser Learns That Babies Cry 29
Welcoming Baby 33
Make Baby a Safe Place 35
Use a Screen Door to Isolate the Baby 37
Shhhh. Baby’s Sleeping 38
When Baby Cries 39
Safeguarding Baby 40
When Baby Is Eating 41
Teach Bowser Not to Guard His Food 42
When Baby Starts to Crawl 47
When Bowser “Guards” 50
When Bowser Overprotects 51
Baby’s Bed Is Not Bowser’s Den 52
What Not to Do When Bowser Misbehaves 53
Toddlers and Dogs 55
Never Alone 56
Fringe Benefits 59
Bowser as Victim 60
Don’t Get a Dog “for Baby” 63
A Word About Dogs That Bite 65
PART II - Bowser’s Basic Training
Modify behavior, teach manners, and resolve problem 67
Who’s in Charge? 68
Controlling Behavior with Rapport Skills™ 70
Teaching the Basics 77
Behavioral Teaching Techniques 78
The Shy or Timid Dog 86
Why Punishment Doesn’t Work 90
Is Punishment Ever Effective? 94
A Better Way 95
Correcting Minor Problems 97
About the Author 103
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very worth the time to read

    At just over 100 pages, this was a very informative and helpful book. My advise- BUY IT EARLY IN THE PREGNANCY!! It will give you more time to train your dog. I highly reccomend this book.

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  • Posted April 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Look For More Informative Book!

    Your Baby and Bowser was a dramatic let down for me. 90% of the information is common sense, and somethng that ANYONE with an animal and baby should already know. I expected more information and training techniques for helping your dog cope with the arrival of a newborn. The other 10% of the book is somewhat informative information on dog behavior, but again, something that anyone should already know. An extreme let down for me, and my wallet.

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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    Posted March 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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