Dog owners, dogs and babies all need their exercise and fresh air. If there is a new baby in your home, it’s more important than ever to think of ways that you can include your dog in activities you do with the baby. It’s always adorable to see a baby in a stroller alongside a dog being walked on a leash. What’s not so pretty is when the leashed dog is dragging its owner down the street and you fear for the safety of the infant inside the stroller! Follow the steps below to safely walk your baby in a stroller and your dog on a leash…at the same time!
Remind your dog about walking etiquette. Take him out by himself on the leash and make sure he remembers his basic commands. He should know how to sit, stay and heel before you think about combining his walk with the baby’s walk.
Introduce your dog to the stroller. Ideally, this would be done before the baby arrives, but it’s okay if that’s not the case. Allow him to smell the stroller and see that the wheels move and propel the stroller forward. While he is close to the stroller, push it so that he moves his paws out of the path of the wheels. He needs to see that the wheels could roll over his paws and injure him.
Practice without the baby. You might look silly but you need to practice with an empty stroller. Leash your dog and slip the end of the leash around your wrist. Put both of your hands on the handle of the stroller. It’s not a good idea to leash your dog to the stroller. It’s also not a good idea to push the stroller with one hand.
Test his heeling abilities. If your dog respects the “heel” command, the leash should have some slack in it while it hangs off your wrist. He should not pull at the leash causing you to have to pull your hand off the stroller.
Practice sit and stay. At each corner you come to, command your dog to sit and stay. This safety precaution will come in handy any time you reach an intersection and have to wait for cars to pass.
Repeat this exercise. Several times a day for several days in a row, you should practice walking your dog alongside the empty stroller. He needs to prove to you that he can remain calm and in control when joining you and the baby for a walk.
Insert baby. Once your dog has proven that the can walk alongside the stroller without pulling ahead or getting his feet caught in the wheels, it’s time to insert the baby!
Enjoy your walk. As you head out on your walk, remember to talk to the baby and the dog. Your dog needs to hear encouraging words and praise for his good behavior. Each time you enjoy a successful walk, reward your dog with praise, affection and treats.
Keep in mind that once you’ve inserted the baby into the picture, your dog may become more protective of the three of you. Keep an eye out for changes in his behavior so that you can correct and reassure him if necessary.
This article was provided by collin walker who writes for pet super store which is an online pet supplies store featuring dog car seat covers, patio pet doors, and orthopedic dog beds.