Useful Doggy Commands
These pointers from professional trainers will help your dog behave around your child.
This is an essential command, says Klein. First, put the dog on a short leash near its bed. If it's pulling on the leash, wait for the tugging to stop. The moment the leash relaxes, praise the dog and reward it with a treat. Repeat the process about every five seconds. When you know the dog will do it every time, you can try practicing without a leash.
Try this command when your baby's toys are on the floor, says Megan Blake, host of PBS's Animal Attractions TV. Just put the dog on a long leash and throw something in front of it. When it looks at the object, say, "Leave it." If the dog goes for it, pull gently on the leash and repeat the command. Offer up plenty of praise and a treat for a job well done.
Dogs can get overzealous when licking a child. Keep this in check with the "kiss cue" command. Start by putting a dab of peanut butter on your hand and allowing the dog to lick for a count of three. After three licks, say, "Enough!" and take your hand away. "As you practice, the dog will stop once you say 'enough,' and you can reward it with a treat," says Remer.
Originally published in the May 2011 issue of Parents magazine.