I am even stricter with the kids. The dogs are NEVER allowed to stand over or sit on the kids. They are NEVER allowed to come between me and the children, even when we are standing (note: lap cuddles are very different, make certain you watch that lines aren't crossed). (I once had a huge fight with my mother-in-law over this...you can tell we don't talk anymore, too long of a story, maybe someday but that is an epic unto itself...just imagine 15 years of this kind of treatment...and she started it! Yes, even in my own mind the bickering was real mature: She claimed it was "cuddling" when her Great Dane mix would squeeze between my 18 month old and me, knocking over the baby, and she allowed the same dog to stand over the baby!!!...grrr...makes me feel like Mama Wolf to this day...grrrr. My kids, who love dogs, were always afraid of those things...they often came home scraped up and bloody from being knocked around.)
To reinforce dominance, and like many parents out there we want the kids to start chores, the kids often feed the dogs and give them their treats. The kids stand over, walk across, flop on top of...and fall asleep on the dogs. (Again, always keep an eye that no one gets hurt...dogs too!)
Some great resources:
If you are in the Phoenix Area: Kim Kowalski did a wonderful job helping us with our 75lb Chihuahua. She is a mother too and has great understanding of just wanting a dog with just plain old good manners. She can be reached through: http://www.animalwelfareaz.org/meet-trainer
If you are in the Tucson Area: Nicole Kelly. I have seen what her dogs can do. It is fantastic to watch! She is a wonderful person...and intense when it comes to the dogs. What more could you ask for in a trainer?! She has the character and the substance. She can be reached through: http://www.sublimek9.com/contact.html
WHAT NOT TO DO. MY HUSBAND IS GREAT FOR THOSE EXAMPLES. THE LITERAL "DOG PILE".Utah and online: You have heard me mention Steve Parsons and http://familydobes.com/ many times now. I have met his dogs and they are superbly tempered. Enough said. He is a parent as well and has much to say on the subject and some great you-tube videos.
THIS GUY IS AMAZING. HE COMES WITHIN INCHES BUT NEVER TOUCHES THEM.If in the Seattle / Tacoma area: Kathy Sdao. I don't know if enough can be said of Kathy. She and my sister have known each other, worked with each other for years now. It has been so long the story is foggy. I believe they met both doing pro-bono work for a shelter long ago. Later my sister had a rescue with aggression issues that Kathy helped her work with...and was there for her when he passed this year. I had the honor of meeting her personally this spring. She is simply wonderful on all levels. Her professional bio: http://www.kathysdao.com/kathy-bio.html
GUARDIAN. HE IS ALWAYS WITH THEM.
What to Expect when You're Expecting has a great chapter at the end about merging pets and babies.
SERIOUSLY? TAKING THIS "DRIVER'S SEAT" THING TOO FAR.
CAN YOU FIND THE REAL DOG AND CHILD?Family Dog. Some criticize this book for being antiquated, but I find it adaptable to many circumstances. It is naive to assume all children and all dogs should be treated in the exact same manner, regardless of temperament or behavior. It is like anything else, make certain the tips followed are appropriate for your situation. He constantly reiterates to not reprimand unnecessarily...and that for parenting too. No matter your opinion of the author, Richard Wolters, I have met many in service dog training who still hold him in reverence for his contributions to that field.
NOW THAT'S A GOOD DOG!
WE'RE DONE WITH PICTURES MOM