Class Schedule

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Dogs and Babies — Play It Safe!

I offer my lecture classes in San Diego through the Women’s Education department at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital and Scripps Community Health programs.  Currently, it is a 2.5 hour multimedia workshop for people only (no dogs).  See separate tab for my other classes where we work specifically with the dogs on real life skills.  (Classes can be taken in any order.)

Dogs and Babies – Play It Safe helps expectant parents prepare their family pet for baby’s arrival with an eye towards everyone living “happily ever after.” Problems that put young children at risk and cause family dogs to lose their homes are more common than you think (even for “good dogs”) but are completely avoidable.

Class includes a detailed personal profile of your dog(s), redefined expectations for dogs and babies together, training tips and lots of “what to do when…” situations from first day home through toddlerhood. A detailed handout and further resources are provided for your reference.

This class is designed for expectant parents and those with babies up to the crawling stage and should be taken as early as possible to best address the needs of your dog(s) and your family.  However, you’ll still get a lot out of it if your child is older or even if you are not yet pregnant.

NOTE:  Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is required.  Classes often fill up about two month in advance.  Your best bet is to register for whatever class is open and request through the hospital registration process to be put on a waiting list for earlier openings.   Sharp will add additional classes as needed to keep the wait down so you may get in earlier than you think.  Also, anyone can come to the classes — you do not need to be having a baby at either hospital.

Scripps Classes (held at Well Being Center at UTC Mall)

Contact:  1-800-SCRIPPS

Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at Scripps Well Being in UTC

Sunday, February 12, 2012 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at Scripps Well Being in UTC

Sunday, May 6, 2012 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at Scripps Well Being in UTC

Sunday, August 12, 2012 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at Scripps Well Being in UTC

Sunday, November 4, 2012 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM at Scripps Well Being in UTC

Sharp Hospital Classes (held in Kearny Mesa area)

Contact:  1-800-82-SHARP or

10/12/2011 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM Wednesday at Sharp Mary Birch – Knollwood Bldg

10/15/2011 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM Saturday at Sharp Mary Birch – Knollwood Bldg

11/15/2011 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM Tuesday at Sharp Mary Birch – Knollwood Bldg

12/17/2011 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM Saturday at Sharp Mary Birch – Knollwood Bldg

Private Groups

Upon request, I can also tailor presentations to small groups and include more tailored interaction and even some hands-on dog training.  This can be a fun option for a group of friends — you don’t even have to be pregnant (!) and it will still be incredibly helpful if you’re already had your baby.



  1. Madeline, I live in CT and am enjoying your blog. I’m obviously WAY too far away to take your class. Do you have a book or materials I can purchase (the contents of your classes)?
    Allison in CT (with 3 border collies and planning a baby soon)

    • Hello Allison – I’m a bit behind on going through the comments! I don’t yet have a book but it’s been “in progress” for a long time. Having that second child took the place of many projects! I’m putting more and more of what I discuss in class onto the blog. The class materials by themselves are not that informative b/c there’s a lot of discussion that goes with it. The main points I currently teach:
      1) How not to magnetize your baby to your dog
      2) How/why to make “deposits” – give treats the dog in response to things the baby does (I’ll write more blog posts about that and put together a video to show it in action)
      3) Use only “baby safe” positive reinforcement training methods
      4) Learn/understand dog body language and how to respond before the dog has to “shout” with a snap or growl
      I can recommend Barbara Shumannfang’s Happy Kids, Happy Dogs book and Colleen Pelar’s Living With Kids and Dogs. Barbara’s book is as close to the book I was in the planning stages to write several years ago. Feel free to e-mail me directly if I can help in any other way.

  2. Hi Madeline,
    Do you know of any classes like this offered in the Lake Elsinore/Temecula area?

    • Hello Mary – No, I don’t know of any other classes in that area. Dogs and Storks is an organization started by Jennifer Shryock that has a number of presenters across the country. It’s not exactly what I teach but it’s a good program. It’s hard to know if other classes are good or not because there are so many myths perpetuated about the whole dog and baby thing. It can be a “trendy” topic but I think someone has to really know it if they hope to do more good than harm.

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