Best Dog Training & Behavior Book Nominee (2006), Dog Writers Association of America! Pediatricians, childbirth educators, veterinarians and dog trainers recommend Happy Kids, Happy Dogs for the latest advice on how to prepare your dog for your baby’s arrival, what to do if your child is afraid of dogs, and how to choose the best dog for your family. Learn what to do when other kids visit, how to cope with your in-laws’ dog, and teach your dog the three most important cues to be safe and happy around your child.
What reviewers are saying...
APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“Two days prior to the writing of this review, a four-year-old boy was killed in Houston when two pit bulls attacked him in his yard. A horrific incident like this always stirs the public to outcries against dangerous dogs, yet as Shumannfang points out in this book, incidents like this are indeed rare. Less rare, however, are the nonfatal bites children receive in their own, or friends’ homes. If every parent and prospective parent read this book, this number would surely drop. The subtitle is indeed apt—this is a book not so much about solving problems, but preventing them. It provides a protocol for laying the foundation for healthy interactions from the moment children enter a dog’s life. Schumannfang wisely begins by addressing how our culture mythologizes the child/dog relationship and asks her readers to rethink expectations. She notes that all too often parents assume that a “good dog” will find Junior as adorable as they do, or that babies and puppies will naturally bond as if littermates.
Schumannfang debunks popular notions persuasively, validating the emotions that drive them, at the same time that she points out prevalent misconceptions regarding canine behavior. Trainers and behavior consultants will nod when reading this book, having heard cries of “My kids can do anything and my dog doesn’t mind!” repeatedly. Although this book is intended for the dog owner, professionals will glean insight into how to help clients reconsider the encounters they witness, and how to effectively restructure the home environment.
Happy Kids, Happy Dogs is both well-organized and well-written, covering concerns from pregnancy through adolescence. The book’s real strength, however, comes from Shumannfang’s attention to detail. She asks parents to think thoroughly and creatively about opportunities for potential challenges, providing specific examples. In addition, she includes step-by-step suggestions for training to help disarm troublesome interactions. Her chapter on “Your Growing and Changing Child” is especially valuable. Parents are often lulled into a false sense of security when a dog seems unruffled by a crying infant, forgetting that a mobile toddler presents a myriad of new stressors. Included are photos clearly illustrating dogs experiencing stress and those enjoying the proximity of a child, as well as images of training techniques. Appendices provide useful references and resources.
The resounding response from parents and prospective parents reading this book will undoubtedly be, “I never thought of that!” Schumannfang seems to have thought of it all. Some parents may even reconsider adding a dog to their growing family. All readers will certainly be inspired to expanded thought and dialogue on the topic of integrating a dog successfully into a family with children, helping lower both the incidents of dog bites and potentially, of surrendered dogs.”
"Happy Kids, Happy Dogs is unfailingly logical in its presentation of ideas, with clear explanations and step-by-step training instructions on such diverse topics as the three secrets to a well-behaved dog, the top three cues your dog should respond to and how to teach them, when to get help, dos and don'ts for child behavior, games kids can play with their dogs, and rules to follow when kids visit.”
STEVE DALE'S PET WORLD
"This is a desperately needed book, and the title says it all! It’s all about setting up a relationship that kids and dogs should have…This book more than about preventing dog bites (important since most bites happen to children, and by the family’s own dog), it’s all about making those special child/canine bonds happen and then flourish. It all begins with fun, and with mutual respect. Two important parts of this book: What parents need to know about violence to companion animals, and about how to say goodbye to a pet, coping with loss and grief.”