about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



My Three Sons.

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you probably remember back when the family posts revolved around the furriest members of our household.  I haven’t written as much about the dogs this past year, because, well let’s be honest – Cullen is a lot more fun to photograph and talk about!

But they are still very much a big part of our family, and so I thought I ‘d talk a little bit about how they have handled their new role as big brothers.  For those who are new here, we have two dogs.  Huey is a nine year old German Shorthaired Pointer.  Casey had him when we met, and he eventually welcomed me in as his new mom. 

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Indy is a six year old German Shorthaired Pointer/Labrador Retriever mix.  When Casey and I had been dating about six months, he said he wanted to get another dog.  We found Indy on Craigslist, and he’s been attached to my side ever since. 

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I knew that both dogs were good around kids from experience out walking them in neighborhoods.  They have always been great when kids ask to pet them, and neither of them has ever showed any aggression toward people (dogs, however, are another story). 

I wasn’t necessarily nervous about the transition of bringing a baby home, but I didn’t really know what to expect.  Neither of them liked Cullen at ALL at the beginning.  They would jump off the couch if we’d sit down with him, or leave the room if he cried.  It was really sad. 

Indy has always been desperate for attention.  And I assure you, it’s not because he doesn’t get enough.  He’s just one of those dogs that wants to be permanently glued to a person – always touching and nosing for affection.  So I knew his standoffishness wouldn’t last too long.

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Slowly but surely, he started creeping closer and closer toward Cullen, until he’d let his little baby hands touch and stroke his ears.  Cullen thought he was HILARIOUS from day one, and used to laugh like a maniac any time Indy came near. 

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For the first six months or so, Cullen wasn’t really mobile, so the dogs could choose their level of interaction with him.  They would often sit a few feet away, so they were still near me but not close enough to get a tail pull.

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Once Cullen started eating solid foods and snacks, Indy got a LOT more comfortable.  Even though they never get table scraps or anything, both pups are such mooches that I have to gate them off if Cullen is in his high chair or having a snack.  They try to steal all his food!

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Huey was much, much slower to adjust.  He’s kind of strange dog, and I mean that in the most loving way.  He’s very independent and isn’t really into socializing.  He likes to burrow under things and sleep under blankets. 

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He was very curious about Cullen when he first came home from the hospital, but once the newness wore off he had zero interest.  In fact, he seemed afraid of him.

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Before Cullen was born, if I’d had any reservations at all I would have said I was slightly nervous about Indy.  He tends to show random aggression toward other dogs (usually on a leash), and has been known to growl and be dominant toward Huey.  Huey, on the other hand, is afraid of his shadow.

So it was pretty unsettling when Cullen was about 7 months old, and he tugged Huey’s foot under a table – Huey whipped around and snarled at him.  No one got hurt, but it definitely scared everyone.  After that, I kept them separated for a long time, and made sure I never let Cullen touch him.

I should add here that even now, we always closely supervise Cullen with the dogs.  Even if they are at their most comfortable, they are still animals by nature.

About a month after the first incident with Huey, the same thing happened again.  Huey was hiding under the bed, and Cullen went over and grabbed his foot in the 0.2 seconds I had my back turned (I hadn’t realized Huey was under there).  More snarling and growling, and another year off my life.

I’m only talking about this now because transitioning pets to coexist with children is a pretty common thing, and I think it’s important to show that it’s not always a smooth, easy process.  If I had ever thought that Cullen was in real danger, I would have completely separated the two of them for good.  In a worst case scenario, I would have found a new (fabulous) home for Huey, if needed. 

But I wasn’t willing to give up too quickly, as I know he’s a very gentle and sweet dog at heart.  Once Cullen was walking and up off the ground, I could tell Huey was warming up a bit.  I never let Cullen touch him unsupervised, but gradually Huey started letting Cullen pet his ears or stroke his back.  Side note:  this is why there are zero pictures of Cullen and Huey together through his entire first year!

Somewhere right around Cullen’s first birthday, Huey seemed to understand that Cullen was a little kid, and no longer a confusing (apparently threatening) baby.  Perhaps it helped that Cullen had new fun things for the dogs to steal. 

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It was a slow process, but these days both dogs are very comfortable with him.  Casey and I both recognize that when Huey is underneath a table or bed, that’s his way of trying to hide or be alone, so we don’t let Cullen touch him when he’s clearly asking for space.  I want to teach Cullen to respect the dogs and be gentle with them, and so far he’s done pretty well with it.  Both pups love to hang out in his room, and under his crib is one of their favorite hiding spots.  Those feet are so tempting to to tug though, right?

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One of the ways we tried to get the dogs interested and comfortable with Cullen was simply extra love and praise – positive reinforcement.  When Indy would let Cullen pull his ears or tail, I would give him ten minutes of belly rubs and praise him for being so good.  Any interaction with Cullen was rewarded with a treat or a snuggle.  We also made sure to pay individual attention to the dogs in the evenings when Cullen was asleep.

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There are definitely days when my dogs drive me insane.  They bark during naptime, trek mud in from the backyard, and the click click clack of their nails on our floors is the soundtrack of my nightmares.  But they are still my first babies, and it’s so fun to see Cullen’s face light up whenever he sees one of them.

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During the day, Indy is usually glued to my side.  He has realized that his best source of constant attention is from the little one, so he lays in the middle of the floor begging Cullen to come tug on him.  He is protective, loving, and honestly – it’s been a bit of a surprise. 

Huey is usually searching for sunny spots (which are hard to find this time of year), hoping I will leave the pantry open when I go upstairs, or digging through my diaper bag in search of extra snacks.  

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At least once a day, sometimes twice if the weather is nice, I take all my boys out for a stroll through the neighborhood.  Our dogs are crazy leash pullers (and yes, we’ve tried every leash/harness known to man), so when Cullen was first born I was too scared to walk them with him.  They are pretty powerful when they work together.  But now that I’ve got a bit more experience and confidence in this whole mom thing, I’ve got a good system rigged so I can walk all three of the boys together.  We all love it!

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Are they still running the household like they were before?  Definitely not.  But they are still very happy and get lots of love.  Another perk is that they used to actually act somewhat independent of each other, but now they have totally joined forces.  They are such a team, and I can’t even think about what it will be like when we only have one of them (which will, I guess, eventually happen). 

Last but not least, I mentioned before that one of the best ways I’ve gotten the dogs to warm up to Cullen has been through positive reinforcement.  FOOD is their biggest motivator, so after many months of work leading up to it – I finally taught Cullen to give them their daily treats.

We used to give them treats by just dropping them into the dogs mouths, which resulted in them leaping and trying to bite your fingers off (not on purpose, but ouch!).  Our vet showed me a better way – put the treat in the palm of your hand, face up, with your hand closed.  Let the dog sniff you hand, and then slowly open your fingers to reveal the treat.  The dog will gently use a soft mouth to take the treat without any pinched fingers.  Works every time!

I did this myself for months, getting them used to using soft mouths and being gentle with taking food.  Eventually, I guided Cullen’s hand into the process.  And now?  Cullen gives the dogs their treats himself, and there has never been a single tear or hurt finger.  And they associate Cullen with getting treats, which is their favorite thing EVER! 

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All families and dogs are so different.  Our dogs have been moved to a new home every year of their lives, and they have transitioned from the midwest to the south, and from the east coast all the way to the west coast!  They are very adaptable and loving pups.  So I knew that even if bringing home a baby wasn’t an instant success, we would just need do a bit of extra work and give a lot of extra love until we were one big happy family. 

After losing my inlaws’ dog a few weeks ago, it was a sickening reality check that my dogs are starting to get older.  They have been through so many of the formative events in my adult life, and I hope they are here for many more!  With that, I’m off to give a few extra kisses and snuggles before Cullen wakes up from his nap, and we all head out for our afternoon walk.

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93 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 3:07 pm

Great post. This is so funny because Ada and I were — for the first time today — giving treats to the cats ;)

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Brittany @ Kitchen::Candid     at 3:11 pm

I’m so glad they are getting along and adjusting well. My husband jokes that when we have kids I will still love my dog more! He’s my fur child and we’ve been through so much! I know I will love my kids when I have them…but my dog will always have a special spot in my heart.

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Sarah     at 3:11 pm

Great post!
Dogs provide unconditional love everyday that we take for granted!

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Andrea     at 3:20 pm

awww… what a sweet post. So glad it worked out with Cullen and the pooches.
As for the nail-clickety/clackety thing… OMG!!! I totally get that! It’s the one thing that makes me wish I had gone for more carpet. But then when I swiffer and sweep- I realize ewww… um no…It’s a trade off. Some days it just grates on my nerves to no end, especially when my dog is in velcro mode.

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Emily Malone Reply:

It is the WORST sound ever!

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Kelly     at 3:21 pm

Cullen is such a well-behaved little pup! I love that he is the only one that stays when you go to get the treats. Such a doll!

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lisa fine @ vermont vittles     at 3:23 pm

Such a sweet post, and I liked hearing about the transitions. My fiance and I talk about getting a dog that loves kids. It sounds like it’s a lot about training the dogs properly.

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lindsay @ prettylittleparadise     at 3:23 pm

i love this post! my boyfriend and i have two dogs, a puggle and a black lab, and they are seriously like our children. they are so good with each other and with kids, i reallllly hope they are both still around when we have a kid, i think they would all be the best of friends! cullen giving the treats to your pups was so cute and such a good idea!

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Melissa     at 3:24 pm

I LOVE that Cullen kept trying to sit down when you told the dogs to sit. So cute!! My little guy just turned 16 months and his new favorite game is “UP…..DOWN”. He throws his arms up in the arm, then crouches down into a low squat. It’s so amazing to watch then learn and understand new things. Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah     at 3:29 pm

We reinforce our dominance by making our dog wait for treats. She sits and we drop it on the floor and say “waaaaait”. Then we release her by saying, “OK!” and she knows she can eat it then. I do the same when I feed her regular meals too. It is MY food until I say she can have it.

In the wild, dogs would never take food from the pack leader. We never feed her directly from our hand because this would lead her to believe she is the dominant one.

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annie     at 3:30 pm

Adorable!! Love the videos of little cullen!
Strange question, but I love your jeans! what brand? :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Levi’s!

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Cynthia     at 3:34 pm

So nice to see this!! We are thinking of children and we have a labrador retreiver so this is always in the back of my mind :)

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emily     at 3:38 pm

Love this! So nice to hear how you integrated all your babies.

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Lindsay     at 3:54 pm

Love this post, Emily!

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Chan     at 4:00 pm

This was not our reality, but I’m still so glad to read it. I would have loved to have succeeded with two little ones and a dog under the same roof, but I felt split in so many directions that the dog was getting the short end of the stick every day, The poor pup was so used to fawning attention that getting none turned him a bit aggressive. He got rehomed when our littlest was an infant, almost three years ago, and it still hurts to think about. How dare I give away a member of our family?! I started hearing then about how common that scenario is, which helped me feel better, but it’s still nice to know that it can work out, and work out well. Looks like you’ve got quite a system down there. Enough energy for two daily walks AND giving them lots of attention after Cullen’s bedtime? Lucky pups!

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Monique Reply:

Chan, I’m sorry to hear about this … It’s never easy to lose a pup, no matter the circumstances, no matter the amount of time that lapses. We had a similar situation in our house. I hope you feel comforted by the fact that to made the best decision for your family, your dog included! I’m sure he misses you, but is probably happy to be in a place where he doesn’t feel aggressive.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Agreed! Well said, Monique!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I think this is VERY common, and you shouldn’t feel guilty. I’ve had some bad days with my dogs where I’ve seriously considered it. You have to do what is best for everyone!

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 4:02 pm

I very much appreciated this post! We have two labs with two very different personalities and are expecting our first little one in early April. I’m sure they will do fine, but I’m a little anxious about the whole transition. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us! :)

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Lesley T.     at 4:03 pm

OMG, Cullen sitting on command was so cute and funny! And his giggle at the end–ADORABLE!

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate     at 4:19 pm

We have two dogs and a 10 month old, and the exact same thing happened with us– the dog we were more worried about (an Australian cattle dog) has been pretty great with the baby, while the dog we thought would be fine (a rat terrier mix) has actually growled at her a few times, snarled, etc. Same exact thing, too– she touched him out of nowhere when he clearly wanted space, and he snarled. It’s an adjustment, for sure– glad to know we’re not the only ones who didn’t have a totally smooth transition. Dogs are so aware and emotional– I guess it makes sense that they (just like us!) need a pretty lengthy adjustment period to something as crazy as a new baby in the house.

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Jomammy Reply:

Ditto! We have a cattle dog (with some aggression issues like your dog, Emily) and worried about him in advance, but he’s done quite well. Our younger dog doesn’t stick around for the hugs from our son, but she tolerates him quite well.

Emily, I would love to hear any tips/solutions you’ve found for walking your dogs with the stroller. I’m so impressed! I still wear my son in an Ergo on my back (so my hands are free) when I walk the dogs but I know some day soon he’ll be too big for that.

Yet another great post. Thank you!

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Emily Malone Reply:

We have really short leashes (only like two feet), and I clip them to the stroller with a big carabiner. Then I use a loop to secure the stroller to my arm, so that there is no way they can pull the stroller away from me (since they are strong when they work together). It takes some of the pressure off my arm since they are tugging on the stroller instead, but I still ultimately have control over the stroller!

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Jomammy Reply:

Thanks for the details! I do have a giant carabiner somewhere around here so may try this out. My challenge is compounded by living in a third floor walk-up and then 4 steps down from the front door, but I still would love to make leash/stroller dogs happen!

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Heidi     at 4:24 pm

Just discovered your blog! I’m pregnant, so it’s been fun reading some of your old pregnancy posts. We also may be (somewhat) neighbors…..we live on phinney ridge. Maybe I will see you running the lake sometime! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for saying hi! We actually live in Kirkland now (we were in Fremont before), but we are thinking about moving AGAIN…back to the city. We aren’t suburb people! :) So we are over in Seattle all the time. Hope we bump into each other. When are you due??

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Heidi     at 4:38 pm

Okay, and even weirder…..my husband is an actuary too. He works for Milliman. Maybe they know each other!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is so weird!! Casey works in the Life Consulting group. What does your husband do there??

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Heidi Reply:

His name is Charlie and he works in the health care group. I asked him and he doesn’t think he knows your husband. Big company! I bet we were all at the Xmas party though. You guys should definitely move back….Kirkland is cute but city is better. :) I’m due in July and planning on some hilly summer stroller walks around our hood. If you guys move back, let me know and we could perhaps meet up sometime!

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Lee     at 4:53 pm

I love this post. I’m so glad that everything is going well with the dogs and Cullen and I’m very impressed that you can go for a walk with the three of them yourself. I can barely walk just my dog without falling over!

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That Girl     at 4:57 pm

I think if you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, then it means they need a nail trim. My pup hates the process, but we have to take her in to the groomer every two weeks because her nails grow so quickly! We always preface it with an hour of fetch so she’s tired out & that helps a lot. Hopefully you can find a good groomer who can help out, because that sound is SO annoying!

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Mai     at 5:19 pm

loved this post. that video was SO cute too. i kept lol-ing at cullen sitting haha.

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Heather     at 5:26 pm

I laughed out loud when you mentioned the dogs clicking nails on the floor. I have two toy poodles that “prance” all over our hardwood floors and it drives me nuts! esp in the morning int he bedroom b/c that means they are awake and want me to be, too!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 5:37 pm

I loved this post Emily. I have 2 older dogs and want to start a family soon and have been wondering how they would adjust. Especially because one does not like children. I appreciate you sharing your experience and the great tip for treat giving! :)

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Laura     at 5:51 pm

I really needed this post! I have a brand new baby at home and a dog that initially did not like him. Now she’s moping and sad that we keep them separate. This gives me hope that we’ll get through this!

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Emily Malone Reply:

You will! Adjustments take time for everyone! Congrats on your baby – how fabulous!

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Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)     at 5:54 pm

I love this. I often feel guilty that Koda doesn’t get as much attention from David and me as she used to and that I snap at her sometimes when she barks during Hailey’s nap. I always end up snuggling on the couch for an extra long time to try and make it up to her because I feel the same way- Hailey is my baby, but Koda was my furry buddy who has never left my side for 5 years.
Luckily Koda is awesome with Hailey and now they are best buds because Hailey feeds her off her tray (ughhhh), but I love that they’ll snuggle each other. :)
Ok, ending my novel here. I love those crazy furry pups!

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nicky     at 6:56 pm

Hi Emily :)
I recently cut dairy of all kinds out of my diet and have felt GREAT but I was wondering what brand of almond milk you buy and how you find additional sources of calcium in your diet?? love reading your blog and you inspre me to improve my diet to eat cleaner! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

I buy Trader Joe’s almond milk. Tofu is a great source of calcium!

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Heidi     at 7:01 pm

I think you kind of read my mind with this post! Like the other Heidi above(!) I’m expecting our first child this summer. We’re also parents to a very sweet German Shorthaired Pointer, and as I was walking her this morning, the thought crossed my mind to email you about how yours reacted to having a new family member.

One question – our pup loves to swat her paws at us for attention, and I’d like to break her of this habit before the baby arrives. Have you had any issues with that kind of behavior from your guys? Thanks for sharing your experience!

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Emily Malone Reply:

No swatting here, really. Although Indy likes to have his paws IN my lap. I just have to move him over and over again until he finally gets it!

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Kristi     at 7:29 pm

Whats your secret for walking everyone together? We have a mid-size hound mix who is a crazy leash puller and squirrel hunter and a small boston terrier who is so easy on a leash. I can’t take the boston only because the oher freaks out! I also stay at home and would love to find a way to walk both dogs and the stroller. Our dogs have adjusted well from the start but the baby isnever on the floor around them yet. I am curious how they will act when he is on their level and mobile!

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Hallie@ChasingHallie     at 7:35 pm

Such a great post. Our dog Paisley will always be our first child and we do the best we can to give her as much love as before Molly came.

They had a rough start to their relationship, Molly had colic and Paisley was scared of her but now they are buds.

And we taught Molly how to feed Paisley, she loves it!

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sarah     at 7:44 pm

brilliant and sweet. At least I’ll meet ONE of your boys soon!

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Karherine     at 7:51 pm

Awesome post. We ended up taking our German shepherd/poodle mix to private dog training when our little one was about one month old. She even went with us every time. I had to get him under control on a leash to be able to walk with the stroller. Now, 18 months later, we walk daily. We had a few snarling incidents like you mentioned, but I felt a lot more relaxed about it; we didn’t separate them…we actually had them spend more quality time together. I feel like our pup was helping set some boundaries for himself. Now the furry child occasionally knocks over our toddler, but it is all from a place of love. Dogs are amazing members of our families and I am so grateful to pass on my love for them to our children.

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Gwen     at 8:21 pm

I want GSPs (and a baby!) so badly! I LOVE our Condo, but we can’t have pets. Otherwise we would DEF have a GSP (much to my Hubs’ argument!). Such wonderful pictures. <3

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Elise @ Expeditions of Elise     at 9:17 pm

I must admit I am SO not a dog person, but that video was just too cute. Thanks for sharing!

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Lisa     at 9:33 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post. I remember all the posts you used to do about the dogs getting into trouble..turtles in NC?
The video is so adorable!! I’m glad you’ve all worked out a way to get along together :)

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Carrie     at 11:36 pm

I commented yesterday for the first time about the cloth diapers and I feel compelled to comment again today too! We have a very similar dog dynamic here, two large dogs, the alpha was my husbands before we met, the beta we got together. I love both dogs and they were the center of our world until our twins came home. The beta is amazing with my 13 month old boys but the alpha is clearly uncomfortable and not sue what to make of them. We did not have growling, but I have seen the elvis lip on two occasions, forcing us to keep the boys separate from our dog until he grows more comfortable with them. I liked your post because it highlighted that as the boys change, so too will the dogs opinions about the boys. Also, it is a good reminder that some designated snuggle time during naps is a must. Thanks for the reality check.

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Danielle     at 12:12 am

Hi Emily!

I’m a longtime fan of your blog. Your writing is so accessible and your family is adorable! This post warmed my heart, and that video – OH MY!

I know you didn’t write this looking for training tips and I’m sure you get a LOT of unsolicited advice, but I felt compelled to share anyways! I have a Catahoula puppy who is rambunctious (understatement) and needed loads of obedience work when I adopted her from the shelter. One of her biggest work-ons was leash pulling, and I tried everything to correct it. I used to look at other dogs walking on a loose leash and think to myself, “That will just never be Lua”. Wrong! Our trainer showed us a method that works wonders.

It pretty much consists of walking back and forth and in zig zags. Well, actually that’s really all it consists of. You literally just walk the dogs back and forth, and in zig zags – switch it up, do it fast and slow, make u-turns and sudden stops. Start small, like walking the street in front of your house for ten minutes before moving on to walking the street in front of your neighbor’s house. Little by little, they’ll get it; It teaches the dogs that they HAVE to pay attention to you, otherwise they won’t know where you’re going. They start to think of it like a game really! You can say “turn” every time you do so and they’ll start to really pay attention. After months of trying other methods with my puppy, this started to work within a week.

Just thought I’d share :)

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Ali     at 2:01 am

I was wondering about the pups! Glad to see them back on the blog! My dog is getting older as well and it’s starting to make me sad. I adopted her 5 1/2 years ago when I first moved to Korea. Now we’re preparing to move to Cincinnati (my hometown) and she’s already 9 years old as well. She’s a Cocker Spaniel and they don’t tend to live too long compared to other breeds so I’m pretty sad.
My family is beyond stoked to have her come to Cincinnati though. Everyone has only seen pictures of her. Dogs are amazing. I’m glad to hear they’re adjusting.

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Emily Malone Reply:

CINCINNATI!! I am headed there this weekend – so excited! My hometown too. :)

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Ali Reply:

So excited for Cincinnati things! I’ve been gone so long… Skyline, Graeter’s, Union Terminal, Mt. Adams, Jungle Jim’s! I can’t even contain myself!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

So fun!!

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Lauren     at 3:53 am

Care to elaborate on your system of walking the pups with Cullen? I’ve got 2-month-old twin boys and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. I’ve started taking the babies out for walks, but haven’t had the guts to attempt it with a double stroller AND two dogs! Any tips?

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Emily Malone Reply:

I clip the leashes to the stroller, and then wrap the wrist strap of the stroller around my arm so I’m still in control of the whole system, but I don’t have the dogs tugging directly on me.

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Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes     at 5:12 am

Your family is gorgeous!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks, Elizabeth!

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Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 6:40 am

I love the picture of Indy and tiny baby Cullen sleeping together :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is one of my absolutely favorites!

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Tiffany     at 8:00 am

I loved reading this post! We just brought our daughter home a month ago, and our chocolate lab has been adjusting. We have the opposite problem, though. She loves our little munchkin and wants to be super close to her all the time. We have to remind her to keep her distance. 65 pounds of dog is way too much for a newborn. I worry that I’m creating a separation between them, and am trying to figure out how to do supervised bonding time. I’m slowly letting her get closer, lick her hand, her head…but when she gets too excited and wants to lay right with the baby I have to tell her to “go” and show her where to lay.

I worry that I’m creating a problem between them!

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Emily Malone Reply:

It’s crazy how scary your loving pets seem when they are suddenly next to a newborn baby, but it’s so true! I’d just give it time. It’s definitely good to create respectful boundaries, and it sounds like you are doing just that!

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Kerry     at 8:34 am

Thank you for not being the kind of human who dismisses their loving pets once the baby is born. I see too much of that and it saddens me deeply. You are so right, your dogs are your first babies. You have done so well integrating your fur babies and your human baby! :) This is a really sweet post.

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Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 8:56 am

Isn’t it funny how all of a sudden kids and dogs become BFF’s when babies start eating solid foods haha. My dogs LOVE my kids for that reason.

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Lara     at 9:44 am

We are going through a similar adjustment with Lulu and Pippa! Lulu is kind of like Indy. I trust her in 99% of situations (unless licking is a crime). Pippa is more like Huey. She’s kind of a weird–more reserved, timid, and hides a lot. She’s actually the one with leash aggression in our house. She’s pretty neutral about G right now but I am nervous for when he starts crawling (soon!).

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Emily Malone Reply:

Once he starts eating solid food, they will warm up a bit more. :)

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Christine     at 9:58 am

So sweet how Cullen sits too! Great post.

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Kelli     at 10:28 am

Omg I loved this post and loved the tip I handing the treat I’m definitely going to try it!

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Gabrielle     at 12:05 pm

You’re a saint! Good for you for taking the time to make sure all three of your sons could get along. So many would have taken Huey to Animal Control with that first snarl. Happens all the time. You’re not only a loving mom to Cullen, but to your furry boys too. So good to read this!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I understand why it happens. The need to protect is such an intense part of parenting. But I knew he was not an aggressive dog by nature! Glad he’s come around. :)

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mollie     at 3:05 pm

this post was adorable in every way! :) we just got a dog last week, and kids are on the radar, so these kinds of posts are very interesting!

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Susan     at 5:39 pm

This was such a nice post….I’m wondering though about the dog walking. Have you ever had them in training for walking on a leash? Maybe a stupid question, but I see so many dogs walking their people, and I wonder why?

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Emily Malone Reply:

We have – several times. I think the main issue for us is that there are TWO of them. I think we could probably train them individually, but together it turns into a competition, and all training instantly disappears.

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Mary     at 6:38 pm

Cullen sitting when you give the “sit” command to your dogs is HILARIOUS. He looked so confused like, “are you talking to me too??”

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha he’s never done that before! I was shocked!

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Tricia     at 10:26 pm

I am pretty sure that that was my favorite Cullen video by far, aside from the one of him moving in your belly! And the best baby video ever!!!

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Jen     at 3:53 am

I can’t decide which is more adorable: Indy jumping clear off the floor and arching his back as if he could jump into the box of treats or Cullen sitting down when you tell the dogs too! It is so fun to hear Cullen starting to talk in these videos! AWESOME post!

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Emily Malone Reply:

You should see him jump when he’s really motivated. He can go over a six foot fence with a running start! I joke that he is half kangaroo. :)

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Emily @ www.main-eats.com     at 5:52 am

Ha ha-so many sweet boys at your home!!! I’m glad you have all made the transition!

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Haylee     at 9:39 am

I loved this post! Animals are so great to have in the family!

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Holly     at 5:04 pm

Interesting post. I like how you mentioned the importance of teaching a child to respect the dogs too. I’ve experienced first-hand kids who think it’s OK to kick a dog. What parent allows that? Anyways, good post. Did you do any prep/plan for dog/baby interactions while you were preg? Most of your points sound like they came post-baby.

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Charlie (the runner beans)     at 2:55 am

I LOVE Cullen sitting down when you tell the dogs to sit and stay. also what cute pjs!!

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Mary     at 4:32 am

Great post! I have a two year old German Shorthair and he, too, is scared of everything. Aren’t they just the best and funniest dogs ever?!? He’s always been a little “iffy” around kids. I worry a lot about how things will be when I have my own. AND my sister is bringing her sweet little ones in town next week, so this post was perfect timing to remind me to be cautious, watchful, and prepared. Thanks!

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Sarah     at 6:10 am

Thanks for this post! I have two dogs too and we’re expecting our first baby in May, so I’m a little anxious about getting everyone to love each other. The two dogs get along great even though we’ve only had the second one for a few months and they are both very sweet and docile (beagles). Our oldest has been around kids and babies before and never had a problem so hopefully the other one won’t either. And they already stand next to the table while we eat, so I can only imagine how much they will hang around once this little one is eating solid foods ;)

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Kate     at 6:20 am

Thank you for this post! We have a 11 month old and a shitzu. The situation is getting better but we also had some growling and snapping once the baby started moving around. I think with small dogs it is easier to ignore behavioral issues and just pick the dog up. We have recently started to let the the baby and dog get closer…mostly becuase seeing the dog makes the babes so happy and she yells “dog!” over and over while craning her neck to look for her. This post inspired me to work through the issue rather than just keep them apart. I have been using a lot of praise but will get a bag of dog treats on the way home!

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Katie     at 7:26 am

This post just melted my heart :) I’m due in March & I can’t wait to see how my dog interacts with our little guy

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 11:35 am

I really loved this post because I was actually just thinking about the doggies when I read one of your other posts a few days ago. I’m glad they are all coexisting peacefully now!

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Shannan     at 1:47 pm

Great post! I have two (very small) dogs and always wonder/worry what it’s going to be like when we start having kids! Your approach is great! The video of Cullen feeding them is way too cute!

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Amber     at 6:47 pm

SO CUTE! Omg. I love how Cullen wasn’t even phased about the dogs getting super excited and jumping either!

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Christina     at 8:57 am

Aww poor Huey is getting all gray. My best friend has two German shorthair pointers. I love the breed but they can definitely be a little odd! When she brought her first born home from the hospital one of them would stand there and “point” at him for hours on end, she was completely neurotic about it. They eventually warmed up and now there are two little humans in the family.

Look at those feet sticking out, they would be irresistable to me as an adult, I can only imagine how tempting they are to a toddler! Cullen must think it is the coolest game of hide and seek ever, while Huey just wants alone time. Story of my life.

I adore this post. That belly and big diaper booty crack me up every single time I see them.

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Molly     at 12:18 pm

Thank you for posting this! My hubby and I are thinking about kids soon and were just having this convo about our current furchild!

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » February.     at 11:53 am

[...] Cullen arrived, we worked really hard to incorporate the dogs into life with a little guy, and we were appropriately cautious with their level of interaction [...]

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