Safety and Friendship
for Dog and Baby,
Peace of Mind for You.
Keep your whole family safe and happy
from pregnancy through preschool with
our online courses, personal coaching, and a friendly community!
When it comes to preparing for life with dog and baby, you need to know your bases are covered.
Let's go from "What if..." to "We've got this!"
Typical Advice is Failing Families
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about preparing dog for baby? It's something about sniffing the baby's blanket, isn't it? Or playing crying baby recordings. Or carrying around a doll. Or restricting your dog's joy now so he doesn't "blame" the baby later. There are a lot of myths out there!
Some of the random tips are outright dangerous, but the main problem is that everything focuses on bringing baby home as the end goal. As long as you can do that, you're golden.
But are you golden? Historical bite statistics predict that 50% of our children will be bitten by a dog before turning 12 years old. This has nothing to do with baby blankets and everything to do with inappropriate societal expectations of how dogs and babies and toddlers relate to each other.
Your family deserves better than a coin flip's chance of a bite so let's not do what everyone else is doing.
Clear-Eyed Optimism Leads to Success
Safety cannot be contingent upon unrelenting 24/7 vigilance or perfect dog training because we all know that is not what happens in real life.
Families need a plan that plans for mistakes.
I know no one want to think about their dog biting their child and, of course, no one expects their dog to bite. That's why it's important to take a clear-eyed look at what "might" happen in different situations so you can sidestep common trouble spots as your child moves through developmental stages.
Baby Safe Dog Training's Preparing for Life With Dog and Baby online course will show you the path from pregnancy through preschool so you can confidently avoid risks and claim opportunities to build friendship and peace in your family.
What If You Could Have It All?
What if you could undo a bite before it ever happens? Dog bites to children are almost entirely preventable when you know what to do -- and what NOT to do. Let's not do surprises with your dog, or anyone else's dog.
Won't it be nice to know you've got this?
From pre-baby advance prep to the day-to-day routine, you'll know exactly how to guide your dog and baby to helpful habits that free you from micro-managing.
Want lasting friendship for your dog and child?
Help your baby be a kid dogs feel safe with, so your family can sail through the toddler years free from the chaos that unnerves dogs and derails friendship.
The Baby Safe Dog Training approach
We Win As a Team
The Nine Shields of Safety
Baby Safe Dog Training takes into account the whole team: parents, dog and baby, with a clear framework to assess and build up each member of the team. Each piece of the puzzle puts another layer of safety in place to cover your family. The more shields you have installed, the less chance a mistake is going to cause any actual harm. And, best of all, your dog and baby get to build a strong foundation for a beautiful friendship.
meet your trainer
Certified, Experienced, Friendly Help
I know you need peace of mind when adding a baby to your family with dogs. Everyone has to feel safe and relaxed or it gets too hard to manage everything. I want you to stay best friends with your dog as you raise his or her next best friend. That's why I've focused my dog training career on helping families just like yours.
I'm Madeline Gabriel and I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and mom who has helped over a thousand dog-loving families prepare for baby or resolve conflict between dogs and toddlers - first in my work running the Behavior and Training department at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA and later bringing my dogs and babies expertise to major hospitals as popular prenatal programs beginning in 2002.
I know the way to happily ever after with dogs and babies, and I've already cleared a straight and easy path for your family. Let's work together!
Baby Safe Dog Training is for Everyone
Over 1,000+ Families Helped
Ugh, I missed my target date due to family obligations upending my schedule. So, the current plan is to run some "behind the scenes" groups for those who are ready to start right away. These will be a hybrid of private/personalized guidance and early access to recorded material and community participation. Announcements will be sent first to the no obligation waitlist so please join us!
When I first started teaching my Dogs and Babies class at San Diego hospitals, most of the attendees had babies arriving within the month, if not mere weeks. I used to think, "Oh no, you're all way too late and should have done something a long time ago!" But then I adjusted my class to make sure my recommendations were flexible enough to cover all sorts of situations. After all, "preparing" is not a one-and-done sort of thing. It's more of a mindset and gaining the confidence that you can address any situation and build skills on the fly as you see what's needed. So, take the class as early as you can - some people like to take it even before they are pregnant or starting an adoption process - but you are never too late. If I had to pick a best time, I'd say six months before baby is set to arrive.
Yes! Let's make sure you can keep your good dog good. So many of my bite clients start their explanation with a variation of, "He was always so good with the baby..." and then something happened that was entirely preventable. Let their hindsight be your 20/20. Keep in mind, too, that your child will also be around other people's dogs who may not be as comfortable as your dog. Come learn what to look for in body language and worrisome situations to make sure your family does not fall victim to "The Curse of a Good Dog." Besides safety concerns, this class also addresses how to enhance your bond with your dog and help your dog remain a welcome companion to you as your family grows. It's not just about bites - it's about making everything easier to manage for parents, too.
Most people who come to class worried about their dog leave relieved and confident that they can set up for success. Usually, it's a change in expectations that does the trick. Sometimes there are pre-existing circumstances that are making it unsafe or difficult to manage the dog even before baby. This class isn't going to fix long-standing gaps in training and coping skills, but it will give you a system for identifying and prioritizing what you can work on and a clear picture of how to structure your home and routine for safety and comfort of all involved. It may be appropriate for you to work with a qualified trainer to assess your concerns in-person, and this class will give you a great starting point to direct your training plans.
Yes, class covers pregnancy (or adoption) through preschool ages. It's not just for coming home that one day. You will be able to incorporate the preparation training right into your real life with baby and certainly the "baby training" sections will be of immediate use! Your classmates will love having you in the group as sort of their "advance scout," too. :-) If you are experiencing problems or conflict with your dog and baby/toddler, you may identify the problem and find solutions by backtracking to where things went off course and choosing another path going forward. If you are experiencing an unsafe or urgent situation, please contact me first to help determine if you need more immediate guidance.
Short answer: I'm a positive reinforcement based trainer. If you already know that's what you want, you're in the right place.
If you're coming from a different background or perspective, you are very welcome here! It is, of course, always your own family's choice of how to train your dog and teach your child. Regardless of what's worked for you in the past, adding a baby presents an opportunity to take stock and evaluate what might or might not be considered "baby safe," particularly in the context of a small child mimicking adult actions - with your own dog and with other people's dogs. Baby Safe Dog Training addresses so much more than just the dog training piece so you're sure to learn plenty to keep your family safe and happy while you mull over training options.
My training recommendations are all going to be based on training from a point of success.
Every dog’s got one! It doesn’t matter how “bad” your dog’s behavior is — well-done reinforcement-based training empowers you to “claim” the good responses and shape them into new habits. Whenever you start from what your dog CAN do, you’re in a good position to build the behavior you want. Somehow, dog training has narrowed in the public perception to only being about trying to make the dog stop once he’s already doing what we don’t like.
Personally, I don’t choose to work from a point of failure.
Let's Get Started!
Join Prepare for Life With Dog and Baby Waitlist
It's never too late or too early to get started! Online course starts Spring 2022 and includes 8 weeks community support so you can feel confident as you set up for success. (P.S. Last minute crammers welcome to move at a faster pace!)
Start the Class at Your Convenience from Home
No more hours in a hospital classroom on uncomfortable chairs! Set your own pace as you make your family plan and start training your dog for life with baby, with personal in-lesson Q&A to address your concerns and guide you along the way.
Lead Your Family to
Happily Ever After
You've got this! Every dog and baby can learn better skills and every situation can be made safer and more manageable. Confidently assess and adjust to whatever life brings - from pregnancy all the way through preschool.
Waitlist Forming Now
Due to unexpected family obligations, the official launch is postponed probably at least until Summer 2024. Until then, I am working with interested families in a "behind the scenes" combination of personalized support and early access to recorded lessons and community participation.