Ebook: and Baby Makes Four - A Trimester-By-Trimester Guide To A Baby-Friendly Dog

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Penny Scott-Fox
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Having a baby should be an exciting and celebratory time for parents-to-be. However, if there is a pet in the household, there may be concern about how he will react to a newborn addition to the family. And Baby Makes Four provides expecting parents with straightforward instructions on how to prepare the family dog for a new baby's arrival. Written by a behaviorist and mother, this useful guide helps to address specific pet behaviors that may concern parents-to-be, including possessiveness, jealousy, fear of new people and new situations, inappropriate jumping, and chewing on baby toys. The chapters are arranged chronologically by trimester, continuing through childbirth and the arrival of the newborn baby, to help your dog adjust to changes in the home. The book also features an assortment of contemporary, eye-catching illustrations that highlight and define key information from the text. If you wish to guide your pet through your pregnancy and help ensure a loving relationship between him and your new baby, And Baby Makes Four can show you how to be a leader to your dog while reinforcing his status within the family dynamic.

What reviewers are saying...

This little book by Ms. Scott-Fox covers the subject of preparing your dog for the baby's arrival in a thorough and optimistic manner. Penny Scott-Fox is one of the nation's most respected dog behavior specialists. She works for the Pasadena Humane Society and is a Fellow of the Pet Behavior Institute, Durham, England. Penny also lectures around the country for Emily Weiss Consulting on the SAFER behavior assessment for dogs in animal shelters. While working at the shelter, she noticed how many dogs and cats were relinquished because a baby was about to arrive in the home, and this motivated Penny to write this book. The book is a small hardcover, bright yellow with a colorful picture on the cover. The book is filled with colorful and attractive artist renderings of various dog/baby interactions. The pictures are childish in a coloring book sort of way, lending to the inviting subject matter which describes in clear and easy to understand language exactly *how* you want to prepare the dog for baby's arrival. Quoted from the introduction: ... The procedures outlined in this book are as simple and straightforward as I can make them. You may find that they are a lot of work but believe me, once your baby arrives, life will turn upside down. The time to start working on this is BEFORE the baby is born, not after, when it may be too late. As we all know, this is a very true statement, as we've all gotten those desperate phone calls from a woman due to give birth within a few weeks when she suddenly realizes that there may be some problem with their dog when the baby comes home! They realize that their dog growls at strangers; that he jumps on the bed at will; that he doesn't listen unless he wants to ; that he steals food off the table. This book helps with all of the above, and more. The book is divided by pregnancy trimesters, and instructions are given which correspond to each trimester. She begins with the first trimester, wherein she implements a status-reduction program designed to establish boundaries and to clarify the dog's role in the household. Teaching basic obedience commands is also recommended and discussed in this section. The second trimester is a time when more can be accomplished with the dog, as often a woman feels physically better at this time than in the first trimester. This is the time to get involved in professional obedience training, such as a group class, and to modify problem behaviors, such as jumping up; aggression issues; fear of strangers, etc. This is also the time to desensitize the dog to baby toys, sounds, smells, etc. The third trimester is meant to continue working on all of the above, as well as emphasizing walking nicely on leash (a baby stroller can be used here to help prepare the dog for walking next to it), and jumbling your dog's routine, which will help him to tolerate the hectic nature of life once a newborn baby is part of it. And then comes the exciting time when the baby comes home! Ms. Scott-Fox explains in detail how to supervise, gentle handling, proper play, and responsibility. She discusses food refusal exercises as well as setting up physical boundaries to separate the baby and dog, and to give the dog a safe way to exit if the baby is making him uncomfortable. Case histories are then discussed, with five families telling their stories of how these exercises helped them to stabilize their dog/baby relationship. I would recommend this book, naturally, to pregnant couples, or to those who plan to become pregnant and also to professional trainers who consult with those owners as both a resource for themselves and a referral for their clients. Valerie Pollard