Learning to Live Happily Ever After

What Parents Need to Know

This is the period of time I focus on – pregnancy to preschool.  When you build a good foundation, kids and dogs are more equipped to build their own “happily ever after” relationships.  Elementary school age programs that promote respect for animals are always a good thing, but they come too late for many dogs and their families.

You’ll be hard pressed to find detailed guidance on how to manage toddlers and dogs because it requires a unique combination of parenting and dog training skills.  That’s the gap I aim to fill with my book project and resources for parents to be added to this section.  If you have kids, you already know that projects like this one get done in bits and pieces as space opens up in family life.  For now, this website remains a work in progress and I’ll add to it as I can.

You are always welcome to use the Contact page to propose topics for the Q&A section or contact me directly.


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Deborah

    I’m serious here, Madeline. If you have a client that is going to give birth in 2 months and her Mastiff has been aggressive towards small dogs over food and toys,
    how do you approach this person with the news you know she doesn’t want to hear. Such as: The dog may or may not be suitable for your home?

    • Madeline Gabriel

      Hi Deb – As a nice coincidence, I happen to have a blog post draft related to this! I need to go back to it and finish it up, but it was a write-up I did for a (not) client, outlining why I was not comfortable working with her dog in her home with her baby. Only once before did I come to that conclusion without seeing the dog — I pretty much ALWAYS err on the side of, “Let’s take a look…” but I didn’t want to take someone’s money to tell them there was too much risk (for me – she was in discussion with another trainer colleague who was willing to work with the dog in a childless friend’s home). Anyway, I think it’s important for everyone involved (trainer + parents) to know where and why they draw their line and be able to articulate the rationale. There are a lot of factors to consider!

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