Ready for baby mini-series: Curious baby-made matters

As you could have predicted, the most important part of our preparation for the two-legged puppy has been growing our collection of dog-related things for our the miniature human to wear and play with. This week we were delighted to get a big package from mama’s dear friend, Celebridog Handsome Dan’s mama. In it we found not only all kinds of interesting sniffing messages from Dan himself, but a variety of clothing items for our new puppy, passed down from Dan’s two-legged puppy, Josephine!

Check out this week’s bounty!

Chickerdoodle-130313-38But we’ve also been busy preparing for the puppy itself. In past weeks, we’ve focused on preparing for puppy-related things like changes in routine and spaces, and house manners. This week, mama is thinking about getting us ready for all the wonders that a new two-legged puppy makes. Smells, sounds, and all kinds of new messes!

A lot of the time, we go into the room-that-will-be-Junior’s and practice our basic manners while mama does weird stuff like fold clothes in that new miniature white prison cell, or put new-smelling lotions and potions on herself by the dresser. We think she’s just acting crazy because she’s waiting for the stork to come, but she claims it’s all part of the plan.

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We have written to you before about impulse control and how important it is in a dog’s life in general. Well, it turns out it’s important when you have a tiny human in the house, too! One of mama’s favorite ways to solidify our impulse control is to practice it in challenging areas. For example, when each of us was learning the very-difficult-but-apparently-important skill of sitting and waiting to be released at the front door, we practiced not only our sit-stays, but all kinds of other impulse-control exercises in that very spot. We’d do fetchings there, we’d practice our down-stays, and we’d sit and wait for our dinner bowls. Now, we don’t normally have any problems with impulses in the-room-that-will-be-Junior’s since nothing exciting ever happens in there, but mama says we might in the future — if we don’t prepare. So for now, we are preparing — lots of sits, stays, downs, and leave-its in and around the special room. So far so good!

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The clothes-folding and doing stuff in the miniature white prison cell, mama says she’s doing that to get us used to that being A Place Where Things Happen but it also being no big deal. So far, we think she’s super-right. What a boring place! She goes in there and does things in the prison cell, and we just yawn and lay down for a nap. Mama says that’s exactly what she wants — for us to think that no matter what is going on in there, it is a nap-worthy event for us dogs.

Chickerdoodle-130313-35We also mentioned mama using new-smelling potions and lotions, and making odd noises that we haven’t heard before. Because we can’t practice relaxing around the two-legged puppy until it’s officially here, the people are trying to approximate some of the sights, sounds, and smells that the miniature human will bring. The potions and lotions are warming us up to the way a tiny human smells, and the noises — which they are trying to hide but we have figured out are just coming from that small white rectangle they’re always looking at — are getting us used to how a tiny human might sound. Mama says that if they were less lazy, they would also consider getting a fake miniature human (the kind that’s made of plastic and you can get at the toy store) and dressing it up, smearing it with lotions and potions, wrapping the noise-making device up with it, and carrying it around like they might do with a real mini human. But let’s face it — our people are lazy, and they are pretty sure that because we dogs are also lazy, we won’t be too concerned about the tiny humans’ smells, noises, and carryings-on.

Chickerdoodle-130313-34

what is that strange sound?

One last thing that tiny humans make — other than noises, smells, and their tiny selves — is big ol’ messes. We have each been practicing since we were tiny babies ourselves first adopted that licking and nibbling on humans is never an ok thing to do, even if the humans are covered in food or other yummables. Mama is relieved that she taught us this from the start, because she thinks it may help the rule carry over to the tiny humans who smell and taste exactly like milk or apple sauce or coconut oil lotion. In case that rule fails, though, we also have a backup rule (a phrase the humans can say that actually makes us physically back our faces up) — if mama or dad says the magic phrase, we know our curious noses and tongues are unwelcome. It’s the same phrase they say when we’re taking undue interest in the snacks on the coffee table, so we think it will transfer well.

We mentioned in a previous post that we are not big toy-stealers or chewers, and mama is relieved about that, too. We can easily co-exist with a toy or other chewable, and as long as we know it’s not ours, we are probably not going to sneak off with it and chew its insides out. If we were more into toy stealage, mama would be working hard on teaching us which things are ours and which things are not ours — and making sure she has a bullet-proof “release” word that makes us give back whatever treasure we found. She’s just lucky we’re such easy boys and we don’t cause trouble with our thievery!

photo 2

Please join us for another installment next week, when we talk about hitting the town with your dog and baby!

To catch up on the rest of our series so far, check out the following links:
**If you are experiencing behavioral concerns with your dog, please seek out an experienced, reputable trainer in your area. In Austin, we sing the high praises of theCanine Center for Training and Behavior, where Chick and Doodlebug learn and play. For more info on picking a quality trainer in your area, see this post.**
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29 responses

  1. How fortunate for Chick and Dooflebug that their mom is setting everyone up for success when the 2-legged “pup” arrives!

  2. I admire you taking the time to training your adorable dogs. It will make life so much better for you and the dogs, and little one!

  3. Love the pictures. As long as you guys are not in the white prison cell you will be fine
    Benny & Lily

  4. When I was pregnant, I heard all the horror stories of how cats smother babies. I asked the vet and he said that no, the cat would be afraid of the baby. By the time they got over their fear, the baby would be grabbing and after one grab, the cat would be gone again.

    And that’s what happened. The cats cleared out of the nursery when the baby came home. The first time they got over their fear and started to approach the baby, she sneezed all over them and scared them right out of the room. That took care of it for a few more months.

    I’m glad the boys are improving their manners and how to behave around a baby. It’s good manners. I’m really tired of naysayers who don’t think pets should be around the babies.

    Nancy

  5. That picture of the three of you looking out the window is just beautiful! You must replicate when it is the four of you! I also love the one of the boys with their stuffed toy clones. What a cute family!

  6. I don’t know why, but the photos of you all gorgeous and glowing, with your only two babies for now, instantly made me tear up. This is such a special time, and I love that you are including your boys in all of the preparations. This baby is going to be SO loved by all FOUR of you. How lucky is he or she?! And may I say, the nursery is just perfect. Very happy for your growing family!

  7. We hear so many horror stories about how baby comes and pup goes. We are so glad you are prepping your pups for the big day!

    Sam

  8. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone did this??! I remember preparing my 3 1/2 year old son for his new sibling. I told him it would be ‘stinky’ and cry a lot and wouldn’t be very much fun for a long time (I made icky faces along with my stories which made him laugh). He was also allowed to hold the new baby for as long as he wanted as long as he asked first (believe me, after a minute he was more than willing to hand the squawker back to us!). I just thought it made sense to do this and you wouldn’t believe the horror stories I heard from friends who didn’t go this route. I’ve no doubt you’ll experience a pretty smooth transition.

  9. Pingback: Ready for baby mini-series: Out and about! « Love and a Six-Foot Leash

  10. Pingback: Ready for baby mini-series: When it’s go-time! « Love and a Six-Foot Leash

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  13. Love this! I refer to my unborn baby as the “new puppy” too as my husband and I have 2 4 legged babies already 🙂
    We have German Shepherds and I’ve been doing research on how to prepare them. Great article and I learned a lot. I always appreciate it when people take the time to train their furbabies and not dump them off at a shelter because of a new tiny human. People like that shouldn’t be reproducing anyways! Thank you!

  14. I have a pitbull, and a baby on the way. I absolutely LOVE your blog! I will continue reading it throughout my pregnancy preparing my dog. Have you ever discussed dogs becoming protective over the baby, and how to address that?

  15. Fanatstic read and blog. When I was pregnant with my first child, Sara I used a book called Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant: An essential guide for dog owners who are expecting a baby. It was really helpful and came with a baby sounds and toy noises. Max (my fur child!) took some time to get used to the sounds but the book helped on how to do it. It gave me advice on what changes will occur and how to prepare my Max for them. It also talked about the causes for aggression and why it might occur and how to avoid it. It is written by a vet behaviorist too so it cover health issues as well – I got it from http://www.babyandpet.com.au or Amazon too i guess – mayb that will help you too!

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