So, I am a little behind on things. That comes with being 3 months pregnant and a busy working Mom! I have to say that life is fantastic and I am enjoying this opportunity to review all of the Dogs & Storks® materials and tweak many things. Here are some things that I have thought about and have considered MUST DO’s during the First trimester.
1. Identify who is the primary care taker of the dog/s and build up all other relationships within the family. REASON: It is important that everyone has a solid relationship with the dog/s in your home. If one person is closer then the others then there is more likely going to be a wider variable of behaviors offered when one or the other person is not home. This is increasingly more important with multiple dogs. So, build the bonds of those who normally take a back seat or who do not help in care taking, and basic manners.
2. This is the time to begin reinforcing appropriate behavior. For example: If you are like me your tummy region is sensitive and a jumping dog is NOT appreciated. One of our dogs has slept with me and now that I am a bit uncomfortable at night…this has changed. That is a good thing as long term I will not want the dog in the bed with me because I know the baby will be there for nursing times. Look at all of the behaviors your dog offers and have your spouse or partner write down how your dog gets your attention….and you write down the same for them. Then identify the most annoying or inappropriate behaviors in order of most to least. Begin to teach your dog an alternative behavior for these. Ex: They come over to you when you are on the couch and paw you. Solution: Direct them to go lie down or to sit for attention. Reinforce only with attention if they sit without a paw on you. This is a great time for clicker training!
This is also a fantastic time to invite one of our qualified presenters/advisors to come to your home and set up a plan for you and your family to help you prepare.
You have 9 months to plan so be sure to include your pup all the way!

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