Mom and toddler teaching dog to sit in backyard

Exploring the Dynamics Between Babies and Dogs: Insights from The Dog + Child Class

A Personal Story

I’m dropping in with a word for my fellow animal lovers. You know who you are! We’ve got a class coming just for you--an online version of one of the first classes I ever created for The Nurtured Nest.

Here’s the story behind why the Dog + Child class is so important to me personally...and why it’ll make your pup-friendly home safer, more peaceful, and more fun. Plus, some practical take-aways from our resident dog whisperer, Sheri Phillips-Majmundar--y’all are going to love her!

Cooper: The Best Dog

Cooper was a good dog--the best dog, really. He was my sidekick for four years before I met my husband, Justin (whose love for Cooper convinced me he was “the one.) When we were married, Cooper was our first baby.

A Tragic Turn of Events

Cooper was a good dog...but he was also an anxious dog. He hadn’t been socialized well and hadn’t spent much time around children. So when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, we hired a dog trainer. We immediately knew the trainer wasn’t a good fit, but we’d spent a lot of money, so we stuck it out. In retrospect, that was where we went wrong.

When Ivy Kate was born, Cooper seemed to welcome her! But 14 months in, a simple hug from Ivy Kate turned into a tragedy: Cooper bit her above the eye. Five stitches later, we were in the children’s hospital for three days with an infected wound. You know where this is going: we had to make the incredibly hard decision to put our pup to sleep. It was--and still is--heart-breaking.

The Importance of the Dog + Child Class

That’s why I knew we needed a class to help new parents navigate the relationship between beloved pups and beloved babies. I didn’t want anyone else to make the same mistake that I did!

As veteran dog trainer and veterinary nurse Sheri Phillips-Majmundar explains, “That relationship between babies or kids and a well-trained dog can be wonderful! The bond, the loyalty--it’s fantastic. But the key there is well-trained dog. Otherwise, dogs with babies and kids are a bad idea. Dogs are animals, after all. Getting them to a place where they can live well with people--especially little people-- takes hard work.”

Practical Advice from Sheri

But that hard work, continues Sheri, is so worth it! And it starts not with training but with research. Before you buy a puppy, she insists, research what breed would work well with your family dynamic. Then include everyone (yep, even babies!) in the training. She explains, “Family members all need to be involved because I’ve noticed the majority of problems come when owners don’t understand their dogs. Everyone needs to be on the same page.”

Sheri teaches the Dog + Child class and brings tons of practical and encouraging advice, including how to prepare for the new arrival(s), how to choose a breed, how to choose a trainer, and how to follow through with all you learn when you’ve got the knowledge you need.

Conclusion

The Dog + Child class is a class that means so much to me as a mom and a dog-lover, and it was one of our most popular in-person classes. It epitomizes what The Nurtured Nest is about--bringing you the well-researched information you need in the easily-accessible medium you want, so you can nurture those you love...including your furry family members!

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