Colby Morita is the blogger behind Puppy in Training, where he shares his experiences raising and training service dog puppies. Colby and his wife welcomed a new daughter, Emma, to their pack last year.
As we were preparing to expand our own little pack, I reached out to Colby to ask him how he prepared his dogs for Emma.
For all my posts in my series on introducing your dog to your baby, click here.
That Mutt: When you thought about your dogs with your baby, were there particular training areas you wanted to focus on?
Colby: I had good intentions of making a great introduction between my dogs and baby, but Emma arrived 3 weeks early and things didn’t go as planned.
I got a book about introducing your dog to your baby and I was planning on reading through it in the days leading up to Emma’s due date. Unfortunately, I hadn’t even opened the book and all of sudden, surprise!
TM: Speaking of surprises, was there anything that surprised you or reactions you didn’t expect from your dogs once Emma arrived?
Colby: Linus (an Australian Shepherd mix rescue) and Stetson (a career-changed guide dog black lab) pretty much acted as expected. Stetson ignored Emma, and Linus was very curious and protective of Emma.
Raven (a Golden Retriever breeder/foster) surprised me. She’s a great mama to her puppies. While she is watchful of Emma, Raven doesn’t seem as interested in her as Linus was.
TM: What are your top tips for pet parents who are expecting a human addition?
Colby: I really don’t have tips because we did not properly prepare our dogs. I wasn’t too concerned about our dogs because I know their temperament, so I’d advise other pet parents to know the temperament of your dog and act accordingly.
I had good intentions going into baby/dog introductions, training, etc., but because Emma arrived early I was unprepared. So my best advice would be to start preparing for your dog/baby introductions months rather than weeks before the due date because you never know if your baby will be premature.
TM: Thanks so much, Colby, for sharing your experience.
Emma’s arrival is a good reminder that babies don’t always operate on a fixed schedule … and we need to be flexible!
Julia Thomson is a blogger at Home on 129 Acres where she writes about her adventures of country living and DIY renovating. She and her husband live on a 129-acre farm in Ontario, Canada. Follow Julia on Twitter here and Instagram here.