Tuesday, April 19, 2011

dog training

At this point in the process, we’ve gotten past most of the major “getting ready” steps and are dealing with some of the “if you have time” preparations. What that means is that yesterday was “mess with the dogs head day”.

The day got started when I began researching how to introduce dogs to a new baby. By 6pm, Lisa had picked up a new doll from Target and when I got home we were ready to begin.

Walking down the stairs with the doll (carried like a real baby), we had a mix of responses. Bessie did not stop staring at her food bowl, while Darby jumped up on the couch staring at us, then immediately ran around to get closer to our little bundle of plastic joy. She sniffed intently for a few minutes, but was always very gentle and just inquisitive, nothing threatening. Once she relaxed, we upped the ante and put my phone near the babies head after clicking on a Youtube video of a baby crying. This got the attention of both girls for awhile, and Bessie came over to investigate.

After they both got used to that, we realized it was still gorgeous out and decided to do a dry run of walking the dogs with the stroller. We barely made it out of the front door before we realized this would be harder than we thought.

Carrying a infant carrier makes it much more difficult to open the door AND grab both dogs leashes. Then its going down stairs into the garage, and putting the carrier into the stroller without them running away. We have been letting them have more unleashed time recently, and I think that has helped keep them close by when they are off leash.

Once we were suited up there, we started walking towards the gate, when two neighbors dogs started barking at our girls, causing them to bark back and almost waking the baby. By the time we got to the gate, we realized that (if she was alone), Lisa would have to punch in the code, prop open the door (it closes automatically), and get the stroller through, all while the dogs are pulling her out so that they can pee. Luckily, this time it involved a neighbor’s guest trying to get in to, so the girls were all riled up about that.

Once we got actually onto the road, the walk went pretty well. The girls stayed pretty close by and didn’t pull very much, but picking up after them seemed like it could cause some issues. And we got some strange looks who saw a 9 month pregnant lady walking two dogs and a stroller while her deadbeat husband was next to her without a care in the world. And one strange look from a new mom who looked into our stroller and saw a doll…

By the time we got back to the house, we were pretty pleased we did the dry run, and also realized that it would make more sense to use our back gate, as it does not shut automatically, is not on a hill and has much less traffic. So overall, I think it went well.

We also think that Darby has been around infants before, because she has been extra nervous lately and really got curious when the doll was brought out – seemed like she knew what that meant for her.

More youtube baby crying and walks with strollers tonight!

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