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Local Classes Prepare Dogs For New Babies

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In light of the tragic death of a newborn who was mauled to death by his family's pet Husky in McKeesport, animal experts say there are ways to prepare your pet before bringing home a new baby.

KDKA's Jon Greiner reports a sudden movement, loud sound, or sickness – even jealousy – can cause a dog to attack. The bottom line is you should never leave a baby alone with a dog.

Penny Layne is a certified dog trainer. She teaches courses on how to bring new babies home with dogs.

"I've been training dogs for 20 years. I currently have six of my own dogs and a 20-month-old grandbaby," she said. "And I will not leave my grandbaby in the same room with my dogs."

Her course is called, "Dogs & Storks." It includes a CD of baby cries you play for the dogs before the baby comes home.

She says there are rules you must always follow. For instance, don't leave a baby on the floor with dogs around.

"Also, before the baby comes home, you want to have gates as we have here," Layne explained, "you want to have a crate and you want to have tethers."

If the gates and crates can't be done, you can buy a tether for under $1. She says it's important to have adult awake supervision of the baby 100 percent of the time around animals.

Two local organizations offer classes to help families with dogs to prepare for a new baby. For more information, visit the following links:

Animal Friends
Aunt Penny's Pet Sitting and Dog Training


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