Talking To Toddlers

Positive Parenting Tips for Toddlers

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Whether already here or on the way, babies figure larger than life in the eyes of a dog. If the dog is there first, let her in on all your baby preparations in the house. When baby arrives, let your APBT sniff any item of clothing that has been on the baby before Junior comes home. Then let Mom greet the dog first before introducing the new family member. Hold the baby low for the dog to see and sniff, but make sure someone's holding the dog on a leash in case of any sudden moves. Don't play keep-away or tease the dog with the baby, which only invites undesirable jumping up.

The dog and the baby are family, and for starters can be treated almost as equals. Things rapidly change, however, especially when baby takes to creeping around on all fours on the dog's turf or, better yet, has yummy pudding all over her face and hands! That's when a lot of things in the dog's and baby's lives become more separate than equal.

Toddlers make terrible dog owners, but if you can't avoid the combination, use patient discipline (that is, positive teaching rather than punishment) and use time-outs (for both dog and child) before you run out of patience.

A dog and a baby (or a toddler, or an assertive young child) should never be left alone together. Take the dog with you or confine her. With a baby or a youngster in the house, you'll have plenty of use for that wonderful canine safety device called a crate!

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