Creating Non-Verbal Conversation with Your Pup about Change
Here is how I began normalizing change for my dogs and desensitizing them to baby items:
1) Left our baby stroller and swings in the living room for months. People would come in and look at
me like I was crazy. Music was playing, the empty swings rocking back and forth -- but I’ll tell you,
when my son was born my dogs didn’t even lift an eyebrow when that music started playing. In
fact, I think it put them all to sleep!
2) Set out bottles & pacifiers and all kinds of toys. Pacifiers make the best chew toys so this is one to really work on!
In tandem with this, I also immediately began strengthening behaviors that would help me manage my dogs once our baby arrived.
“Leave it” and “Give” are both impulse control exercises and are easily trained. The key is to teach your pup that he gets something more exciting or more delicious when he does what you request.
Remember to teach it as a fun exercise, not a punishing one. A happy learner is a better learner.
Here are two ways to teach “Give” & “Leave It”...