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www.wvno.com - Bringing a baby home for the first time can be a "ruff" experience for some dog, however, with a little preparation, things can be much smoother.

A Trainer Can Help Dogs Better Deal With A Family's New Baby

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Bringing a baby home for the first time can be a "ruff" experience for some dogs.
  However, with a little preparation, things can be much smoother.
  Tomeka Jones has the details in today's Health Minute.
  Maddux is used to this kind of one-on-one playtime every day.
  But soon, he'll have to share the spotlight with a new addition to the family.
  His owners, Judd and Jessica Hickinbotham, are expecting and they've decided to prepare Maddux for the baby's arrival.
  "Maddux sit. Good boy, good boy"
  Certified dog trainer, Meredith Minkin has been working with the family for several months.
  Meredith recommends that dogs who haven't been exposed to children, receive training before a newborn arrives home.
  "I oftentimes ask owners to get baby dolls and practice holding the baby doll and teaching the dog something like sit or sit stay cue so that the dog doesn't practice jumping up and potentially scratching the baby," says Meredith Minkin, owner of Canine Ph.D
  Meredith says it's important for the dog to become familiar with the baby's room, and to recognize the difference between the baby's things and their own.
  "So what he is demonstrating is that if a baby's toy drops on the floor, something that doesn't belong to him he shouldn't put it in his mouth and take it as his own," Minkin says.
 Ultimately, a good relationship between dog and owners, as well as positive reinforcement, leads to a safe and happy home for everyone.

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