Paws and Parenting: Resources for Families

Babies grow. Dogs age. We help families adjust with each stage.

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Recently I had the opportunity to share my insights into consulting with families.  The article,
Entering a Judgment-Free Zone: Guiding Clients and the Public Through Compassionate Education (pg 50), discusses how compassionate education is a powerful tool to guide families.  I discuss how this approach guides, educates, and inspires, and avoids judging, blaming, or shaming people for their lack of knowledge and experience.  Compassionate education is the backbone of my consulting, and how I approach every family member that I work with.  I am incredibly passionate about helping families to learn and grow together as they move through chapters in life with their animal companions.

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. ―Brené Brown

I share this with you because one of the many hats I wear encourages this same approach: I have the honor and privilege of being on the advisory team for Family Paws Parent Education, and a licensed presenter of their Dogs & Storks® and Dogs & Toddlers™ programs.  Compassionate, judgement-free guidance is the heart and soul of Family Paws Parent Education.  We have Jennifer Shryock to thank for that.

What We Do

Our Family Paws Parent Education programs are uniquely designed and specialized to help families with dogs and a baby or toddler, in order to increase safety and reduce stress.

We offer ongoing support and resources for families with dogs.

How We Do It

I invite you to watch our newest video to learn from families sharing their personal stories:

We are ready to support you and your family as your baby grows, and as your dog ages.


We are here to help everyone adjust with each stage!

Dog and Baby Support Hotline

If you are a new parent and are considering re-homing your family dog, give us a call.

If you have a friend or relative who’s overwhelmed with their dog and baby/toddler, call us.

If you’re a shelter volunteer and would like information to support new and expecting families, give us a call.

(877) 247-3407

Reach out.  We are here to help.

Join us on Facebook! (Click here.)
Join us on Facebook for information and support dedicated to dog and baby/toddler dynamics. We help families and the professionals that support them! (Click on image.)


NOTE:  I know that not everyone who follows my blog is expecting a child or has a dog and toddler, but you may know friends, family members, and coworkers who do.  If you feel this information would be a benefit to them, please share this. I strongly believe that we can prevent heartache and stress by letting families know there is support and help available.  Education and sharing our stories and experiences with others is how we accomplish this.


Life is not a solo act.  It’s a huge collaboration. We all need to assemble around us the people who care, and the people who support us in times of difficulty and stress.


Dog Language

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So often we interpret dog behavior through our human thoughts and experiences.  But dogs do not communicate using our language.  Canine language consists of a large variety of signals using body, face, ears, tail, sounds, movement, and complex expression.  If we study the signals dogs use with each other, we increase our ability to communicate with, and understand dogs.

This picture is an excellent example of a dog that is stressed and very uncomfortable. How can we tell? Well, the dog is displaying at least 4 very important behaviors:

1.  Licking lips
2.  Showing the whites of eyes
3.  Panting when not overheated
4.  Turning head away

I would even dare to say that the dog might be thinking something along the lines of, “I am not enjoying this! Please make it stop!”.

It’s not just enough to make sure your dog is never left alone with a child; as the dog’s guardian, you must be able to recognize when the dog is uncomfortable or stressed and remove the dog from the child’s presence.  This is how we can be a conscious companion.

Please educate others by sharing this with your friends and family! You can learn more about how to understand dog language here.

Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs.