As you can see from this blog, my husband and I got a dog before we had a child. I believe many of the lessons that I learned from raising charlie from a puppy I now use as a new parent. Here are some of the things that I have learned.
1. Diversion to other Object– When Charlie was chewing on a shoe, I gave him a similar soft chew toy. I try to do the same thing with the baby. If she is chewing on a shoe, I give her a baby doll to chew on.
2. Key Words– Sit, Down, Lay, Back, Nice, Kisses, ect. These are all words we taught Charlie. Quick easy to learn phrases that are easy to say, remember, and for him to respond. Well we have some similar ones for the baby. Kisses, Nice, and hugs are a few I can think of. Having the same nice “command” for Charlie and the baby works out well because when the baby is petting Charlie incorrectly saying nice helps on both accounts.
3. New Food– We changed Charlies food onetime without slowly making the change. Big mistake. We learn to only give the baby one different food at a time.
4. Easier As They Get Older– I feel likes sometimes I get a little break as they both get older.
5. Praise for Doing Good Things– When Charlie does something good I praise him. I also give the baby positive reinforcement as she learns.
6. Tags on Toys– Charlie the Cavalier and the baby both love tags. These tags can provide hours of enjoyment.
7. Begging– If you feed a dog he will beg. We learned not to feed Charlie from the table. Just like a dog, you can’t give into a kid when you say no then give them the treat (gold fish crackers).
8. Tone of Voice– When Charlie does something good we give him a high picked “Good Boy”. When he does something bad a low pinched “leave it”. In the same way we tell our little girl similar things.
9. Body Language– When I am happy I move my body around in excitement. When I am sad I make sad face and slump my shoulders. When I want a change in behavior I lower my voice and puff up my shoulders to look big and tell them that I mean business.