One of the best payoffs of devoting time to training is when it really starts to make your life easier instead of just adding another commitment to a busy schedule. This paid off yesterday with Ranger’s first family walk. Because of his overreactions to other dogs and his tendency to pull, we had not taken Ranger out before with the baby; it was too much of an inconvenience to try to manage a flailing slobber bark-hound (I’m sure that is just one word in German) instead of just being able to enjoy an evening stroll.
Ranger did not know that he was being trained today. It’s now after dinner and he is nosing around at me wagging his tail saying “Hey! It’s training time!” But, poor thing, we’re actually already done.
Yes, she is a person. She is an adorable little human puppy. But Ranger is a dog, and he is just starting to figure these things out. So for today, she shall be deemed Rolling Lumpy Squeak Thing (RLST).
The baby has begun slow-mo flopping and flailing and can migrate herself from one end of the living room to the other, without crawling, over the space of a few minutes. And Ranger is quietly curious, but so far unconcerned. This is fabulous, but we are still starting to take greater precautions. So what does one do with a RLST and a dog in the home?
Want to know what a “It’s 28 degrees and I just worked on heeling for 20 minutes while babywearing outdoors” selfie looks like?
Of course you do. You’re reading this, so you are either my mother or a spammer from some poverty stricken country who has always secretly wondered what a “It’s 28 degrees and I just worked on heeling for 20 minutes while babywearing outdoors” selfie looks like.
One of the ways we have re-organized the house to create a well integrated and safe environment for the baby and dogs is to set up a couple of safe spots for dogs to go when the baby is playing in her playgym or bouncy seat.
We’re back! As you may have noticed, Ranger and I took a blogging hiatus over the holidays. Ranger got to spend some happy Labrador time at the grandparents’ house, chasing four wheelers and going on long walks in the woods with his boy, and I got several naps and way too much fudge and pralines.
I am quite blessed to have in-laws that love Ranger and also respect our rules for baby and dog safety, such as having active, alert adult supervision any time the baby and dog are in the same room. My husband and I got to take some time off from baby-holding to explore the outdoors, so prepare for a glut of Labradorable pictures of Ranger in his natural setting – ponds, dirt roads, and mud.
It has been quite interesting to really hone in on the behaviors I need Ranger to know to live politely with a baby, and I’ve had some thoughts bubbling in my mind like porridge that may be useful to other trainers or families searching for ways to integrate their furry and less-furry family members.