Ask a Trainer: New baby and a dog

Here’s a question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

We are about to have our first baby. Our dog gets so much attention from us right now. What would you recommend doing now or later to help our dog adapt to our baby?”

  • dog babyRead “Introducing Your Pet and New Baby” by the Humane Society.
  • “Two of the most helpful tips I give clients who are welcoming a new baby is: get good solid training for your dog so he knows what you expect of him in all situations and try and set up your home in advance. Put the swing in the living room and turn it on. Set up the changing table. Teach your dog to stay out of the nursery (if that’s your wish) BEFORE the baby comes. Dogs get stressed out when everything changes all at once. For more read the full article at http://superpawsk9.com/imported-20110119201141/(Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • Train your dog to be able to be separate from you when you ask. Practice “in-home” separations, where you ask him to go to his bed; leave him with a “long reward” like a bully stick while you relax in the other room, take a shower, cook, etc. After the baby arrives it is just as important as ever to continue giving your dog at least three long walks a day, and daily offleash social play at the dog park. Exercise, socialization, and daily obedience work…and your dog should love contributing to your family unit.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • “I would begin adjusting your schedule before the baby comes. If your dog is getting constant attention now it will be a big shock when the baby comes. Start by ignoring your dog for 15 minutes 2x/day. Then ignore your dog for 30 minutes 2x/day. I would also recommend purchasing your stroller ahead of time and teaching your dog to walk calmly on a loose leash next to the stroller. The last thing I would do is find baby sound effects on youtube and play them during your dogs mealtimes. (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • make attention active; dog is asked to ‘do’ something to earn attention, toys and food” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • Are there incidents that can be attributed to having a baby after owning your puppy or dog?  Yes, there is, however, Dedicated Dog Training believes this gets too much attention.  Again, this is our opinion.  You should definitely attempt to spend as much time as you can with your dog; the ideal thing would be for you to spend the same amount of time with your dog as you did prior to the baby.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

(NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

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Each week DogSpin highlights fun NYC dog excursions, dog-centric NYC articles, and tons of resources to help you navigate life with a dog in New York City.

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Ask a Trainer: Dog barking at doorbell

Here’s a question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

Our dog loses it (barking) whenever someone rings the doorbell. Are there any training tips or commands to calm her down in these moments?”

  • Doorbell“First, condition your dogs response so (s)he knows that the doorbell means that something good will happen! Ring the doorbell and give her a piece of chicken (even if she reacts). Repeat for 3 minutes. Break. Repeat again. The point is to make the association that doorbell = chicken. Once (s)he gets it ((s)he will begin to look at you for chicken instead of barking), ask for a “sit” or a “down” after you ring the doorbell and before you treat her. (Doorbell -> Sit -> Chicken!) Soon she will automatically sit when she hears the doorbell, instead of barking. When this is consistent, you don’t need to treat her every time she sits when the doorbell rings, just every so often. (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash, www.laurensleash.comlaurensleash@gmail.com, 917-261-1128)
  • depending on how often someone rings the bell you can desensitize the dog to bell or even make the bell a signal for the dog to run to a mat or crate and go into down….depending how much time one wants to invest.” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations, http://www.dogrelationsnyc.com)
  • I love the “go to your bed” command for this. It acknowledges to the dog that you heard their “alert”, gives them an assignment (they’re barking in order to serve you, by alerting you), and puts them in a comfortable, safe, and relaxing space. “Go to your bed” must INCLUDE not only going but also lying down, relaxing, and staying until verbally released (“OK!”). After as long a pause as possible (longer and longer as you practice), release your dog from their bed, so that as a reward they get to jump up and go sniff the visitor and get pet (either up to the door to sniff the delivery guy, or after your friend comes in and sits on the couch).” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training, www.calmenergydogtraining.com, www.calmenergy.blogspot.com, (646) 942-1979)
  • Obsessive barking is a very difficult behavior to control because it is so self reinforcing. Lots of dogs like to hear themselves bark. The only way to control barking is to teach a “quiet” command and have an effective way to reinforce it. Avoid using food reinforcement with barking because even with perfect timing, it is easy to mistakenly reinforce the barking! Read more at: http://superpawsk9.com/imported-20110119201141/(Dr. Mary Travers-Smith,  Superpaws Dog Training,  mary@superpawsk9.com,  www.superpawsk9.com, 212-781-7197)
  • Yes, unfortunately most people think the training is directed at the actual “barking” although the reason for the training is to calm the barking, you do not correct or address the barking head on, as a matter of fact, we try to divert the dog to something else.   For instance, we change the meaning of the sound of a door bell rining, by doing that, we change the reactions of all persons around, thereby changing the dogs’ reaction as well.” (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477 www.DedicatedDogTraining.com)

‘Impossible’ to Destroy Dog Toys

Impossible to Destroy Dog Toys

Ok, so maybe “impossible to destroy” is a tiny exaggeration. But at least these toys will give a dog with heavy jaws and an insatiable knack for “the chew” a run for their money. Different from the squeaky cloth animals and the little rawhide bones they typically tear apart in under 3 minutes, the following should last your dog at least a month, and force them to put up a bit of a fight.

1) Real bone

Anything made of REAL bone, whether it’s bleached or not, is going to be very hard for your dog to chew. And he/she will love it! Check with your vet, but there should be nothing wrong with this option in terms of safety, either. Real bones are so hard, your dog can actually only shave off small bits of it with their teeth, which will mostly get deposited on the floor of your home rather than in their stomach. It’s only when the bone gets small enough that it might be dangerous and could be swallowed that you should take it away. But that shouldn’t be very soon at all.

When purchasing a real bone for your dog, remember the bigger it is, the longer it’ll last. Also no chicken bones, nor other small bones. And cooked bones splinter much more easily, so don’t give cooked bones to them. Stick with uncooked bones.

 

2) Premier Busy Buddy Jack Dog Toy

This was the first toy that I ever saw a pitbull UNABLE to destroy in a whole month. It took her almost six months before she was able to disconnect all the parts, and still she played with the centerpiece.

The brilliance of the Busy Buddy is that its treats are circular, very thin, and very tightly smashed between two plastic knobs. For a dog to retrieve this type of treat, they must figure out how to chew each of the knobs in such a way that they break the treat. It’s not easy – even the smartest dog will be up for a challenge.

Also, when the treats do disappear, you can keep replacing them. The toy continues to amuse over time.

5 things that make having a dog in the city different than the suburbs

So what’s the big deal about having a dog in New York City? Here are 5 considerations:

  • central park dogs 2No yards: Most of us don’t have a backyard in New York City, so dogs only go outside when we take them outside. That means we have to make time to take them out to go to the bathroom, play or socialize. We need to know the good walks, the closest dog runs, and where we can and can’t take them. It makes house-training a bit more work when you can’t just open door and let a dog out when it needs to. When we are home, it also means we are in close contact with our dogs. Much closer than if they had a day in the yard only to come back for dinner. So we end up knowing more about them, and they about us. They are likely aware of all of your movements in the apartment, your schedule, your routine, and cues that its time to eat or go outside. We also notice more about our dogs by being in such close contact. You get a sense of their personalities, when they are happy, depressed, bored, or tired. When we are away, it means they are alone. Maybe they can hear people in the hallway or the adjacent unit, but otherwise they wait, and sleep. They are social creatures and likely are very excited when you are back.
  • No cars: Most of us in New York City also don’t have cars. This means that we need to find other ways of transporting our dogs, be it walking, taking a taxi, or even the subway. It also means we have to find better ways to get 30 pound bags of dog food home (thank you online pet stores!). Even getting a sick or injured dog to the vet can be tricky without a car.
  • No space: Let’s face it- we have a lot less space in New York City compared to other places. A lot of us our in studio or 1-2 bedroom apartments and it’s close quarters to add a dog into the mix. That well-placed dog bed and a few strategic dog toys can go along way to letting the dogs feel at home. They don’t ask for too much. But we do need to make time to get them outside. We also don’t likely have some sort of lesser room with furniture that is dog friendly. So we have to protect our stuff- our clothes, our shoes, our rugs, our furniture – from our dog’s accidental destruction.
  • crowded nyc streetCrowds: In New York City your dog is going to have a lot of exposure to other people and dogs. They don’t just go from the yard to the car to some destination and back by car with few contacts with others like they do in suburbs. So you have to have them well trained to deal with people and dogs walking past them. This includes a lot of things that set dogs off, like kids, skateboards, wheelchairs, people bundled in winter clothes and hats, people in uniforms, homeless or mentally ill that may smell or behave differently, and then of course other dogs, some of which may not may spay or neutered, and who may set off alarms with a look or smell. And then of course there are cars, and lots of them. Proper training and socialization can keep a dog by your side and not in a dangerous situation.
  • Expensive: Having a dog in new york City is expensive. If you are at work and need daycare (~$30/day) or a dog walk (~$15-20/walk) every day, it is going to add up. And somehow Veterinarian bills are oftentimes more expensive than your own doctor bills. Most pet insurance won’t cover routine visits. If you go away without your dog, overnight boarding can run $50-90. Plus training is typically $100/hour for private sessions, or a couple hundred dollars for multiple group sessions.

 

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Union Square Dog Run

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Stuyvesant Square Park Dog Run

  • Stuyvesant Square Park Dog Run: Located near 15th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue

    stuyvesant dog park

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Conrad New York

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The Marmara Manhattan

  • Address: 301 E 94th Street New York NY 10128
  • Website: http://www.marmara-manhattan.com/faq.html/
  • Phone: 212-427-3100
  • Pet Deposit or Fee? one-time fee of $75 for the daily stays and $150 for the monthly stays
  • Pet Services? pet care
  • Approximate advance purchase room cost? $355
  • Tripadvisor Review: tripadvisor review

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