Picture this: Your newborn baby is finally sleeping. You take a few moments to gaze at them admiringly. Happy, tired, ready to lie down yourself. Finally, a moment of peace. And then your dog barks. Baby wakes up. You have to start all over. Cue the frustration and chaos.
There are many of us who would lose our minds in that moment—and rightfully so. The transition into becoming a parent is a big one. And avoiding chaos and frustration during all stages of parenting is a goal many of us have. This is no different with our four-legged family members as well. We want to avoid chaos and frustration. Today’s guest, Lisa Giesick is going to equip us with tips, strategies, and resources to teach us how to read our dogs, hire the right help when we need it, and set our families up for success—no matter what age or stage our dogs and kids are at.
This show is great for families who are expecting and have dogs, parents of newborns, babies, toddlers, and older kids as well. She shares so much information including etiquette and multiple ways we can keep our kids and dogs safe.
Lisa’s Bio: Lisa Giesick is the founder and owner of Ohana Pet Training as well as the head trainer. Having worked with animals since 1983 and in the animal welfare field for 16 years, she is a nationally certified dog trainer with the CCPDT (CPDT-KA) and is a member of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and the PPG (Pet Professional Guild). Lisa also is a certified evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.
At 13 years old, Lisa took on a job as a brusher/bather for a dog groomer to be around animals, thus beginning a life-long career. With an educational background in child development, psychology and criminology, basic and advanced humane academies, she continued her career as an animal control officer and Humane Investigations Supervisor for approximately 13 years.
In Monterey County, CA., Lisa then worked at the SPCA of Monterey County, as a humane investigations supervisor, a sworn humane officer, then as the manager of the Humane Education and Behavior Departments. There she taught humane education programs to schools throughout Monterey County for students of all ages as well as senior citizens and disabled children and adults. She was also part of the pet therapy programs in the community.
In September of 2005 Lisa left the SPCA of Monterey County to pursue her dream of starting her own pet training business. She also went on to teach animal behavior & care classes for high school students and started to teach group dog training classes at the Carmel Holistic Veterinary Clinic in Carmel, CA. before moving to Maui in June 2007 where she continued Ohana Pet Training.
Lisa has since taught countless puppy kindergarten and group dog classes and helped dogs and owners through private classes as well as behavior consultations and continues to positively influence the lives of many of Maui’s island dogs through these services.
Lisa believes that most behavior problems in dogs are caused by a lack of communication – because humans and dogs don’t speak the same language. Dog training to her is about building a relationship and she encourages people to learn to understand their dogs and teach their dogs to understand them through positive reinforcement techniques. She states: “Positive reinforcement is not only more humane than punishment, but it is far more effective. Punishing a dog for something he or she doesn’t know will not teach the correct way of doing something. Punishment will only make the dog confused and scared, while a dog that is taught what it is we desire in a positive way will stay relaxed, be able to listen better, be more self motivated to learn new things and have a deep trust relationship with their owner.”
In this episode, Lisa & I talk about:
- Being prepared to bring baby home when you have dogs
- Dog training before baby is born
- Basic training for your dog
- Helping dogs understand where they belong in the home
- Avoiding chaos and frustration during the newborn transition
- Dogs are adaptable
- Being on the same page and not feeling like the dog is being punished
- The benefits of hiring a dog trainer (a neutral third party & new perspective)
- Why you should hire a certified dog trainer
- Beware: anyone can call themselves a dog trainer…no certification required
- Questions to ask when interviewing a dog trainer
- What CPDT-KA means
- You can’t guarantee behavior
- Understanding your personal living situation
- Communication about your needs as a new mom
- Clear communication with your dog trainer
- Avoiding aggression and violence in dog training
- Dogs are all very different
- Asking for help when you need it
- Supervising kids and dogs at all times
- Using management tools (i.e. crates and gates)
- Every family and dog situation is unique
- How to use crates and gates (& busting through myths about what they are for)
- Dogs need breaks just like people
- Creating a restful, safe space for dog and baby
- Unrealistic expectations about the family needing to be together all the time
- When dogs bark and startle or wake the baby
- Kong toys
- “A tired dog is a well-behaved dog”
- Our tone of voice
- Short positive interactions with your dog
- Giving yourself and your dog time and grace during the transition
- Dogs are most active twice a day (sun up and sun down)
- What to do when you feel like giving up on the relationship if the transition is not going well
- Paying attention to a dog’s cues
- Bite inhibition
- What cues mean
- Displacement and avoidance behaviors in dogs
- A slow introduction that needs to be managed
- Babies have different stages and dogs have different stages
- Being responsible as a dog owner and considering other parents and children
- “When in doubt, don’t.”
- Dogs around kids with food
- Dog etiquette
- Keeping our kids safe
- Keeping our dogs safe
- Listening to our intuition
- Most dog bites are avoidable
- Get help as needed
- Read good books (Dr. Ian Dunbar and Dr. Patricia McConnell)
- Positive reinforcement/bond-based dog training
- Free Resources: www.dogstardaily.com
- Dog & Stork Training
- Family Paws Family Education
- Must Read Book: The Other End of the Leash
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