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10 Reasons Why Having a Dog Has In No Way Prepared Me For a Real Life Baby

By Lauren Hartmann |

My dog Marley...the reason I'm totally unprepared for a baby.

Almost 4 years ago, right after my husband and I got married, we got a dog.  An adorable, fluffy, little German Shepherd named Marley to be precise.

I had had quite a few dogs when I was growing up, but this was my husband Craig’s first and he was determined that she would be the best dog in the world and basically she is.  She’s been the easiest dog ever…so easy that I’m afraid to ever get another one for fear it won’t be nearly as well-behaved and awesome as Marley.

Just to give you an idea, we got Marley when she was around 10 weeks old and within a week she was crate trained, almost potty trained and could sit when told.  Now she has a plethora of tricks, including letting herself out to go to the bathroom.  I know.  She’s basically perfect.

BUT…because Marley is so great and easy, I feel like she has absolutely and in no way prepared me for a baby.  People are forever trying to compare having a dog to having a child and many consider a pet to be a “practice child”, but I have to say that I have no such illusions.  If we’d had a stubborn, ill=behaved dog, then perhaps I’d be a little more prepared, but as of now, I’m going into this whole having a child thing blind.  I mean…I know a lot about children, but actually having a baby 24/7 is definitely going to be an adjustment and I’m pretty sure we won’t have her potty trained within a week.  Just saying.

Check out my 10 reasons why having a dog has in no way prepared me for having a real life baby after the jump!

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10 Reasons Why Having a Dog Has NOT Prepared Me For a Baby

Babies don't sleep through the night for quite some time.

When we got our dog, she cried a little bit the first night and after that we were golden. Never even the slightest little whimper ever again. She'll stay on her bed until we wake up. Even if we happen to sleep for 12 hours straight, she'll just lay there patiently waiting for us to wake up. A baby? Not nearly so patient.

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About Lauren Hartmann


Lauren Hartmann

Lauren Hartmann is a wife, wardrobe stylist, and mama living in Portland, Oregon. She writes about her adventures in motherhood on Babble's Baby Channel. You can also find her blogging at The Little Things We Do or obsessively partaking in social media. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lauren's latest posts →

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23 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Having a Dog Has In No Way Prepared Me For a Real Life Baby

  1. Catrina says:

    Too Funny! I love it!

  2. leah says:

    We have two dogs – one is a heeler border collie mix, and like Marley the perfect dog – he loves to please you, was potty trained from day one (never once had an accident inside the house), slept all night, no tearing up stuff, no digging, not a barker – perfect perfect. Then, almost two years ago we brought home a lovable little Husky puppy – dog #1 had in no way prepared us for the stubborness, the night time crying, (potty training actually went well), the chewing, digging, the refusing to eat/walk/sleep because she wanted something else etc. She is now almost two and an absolute love, still stubborn, still “chatty”, still wanting things her way or no way, but so so much better. And I expect that she may have prepared us much better for soon to arrive baby than our first dog did…..

  3. DD Hartmann says:

    Correction….Craig and family DID have a dog for a bit while he was growing up. Although I can see why he might try and forget-there was a reason we called her “Dumb Dumb Dottie.”

  4. Becca says:

    Aww Marley is famous! This was the best post ever and Bennett agrees…now that I’m writing a comment and he can’t see the pictures he keeps saying “Marley bye bye” :) It’s true that you have been spoiled, she’s pretty freakin awesome!

    PS: you can totally train your toddler to do cool tricks, and I’m sure Bennett would be completely fine with me just leaving a bowl of peanut butter out for him to eat at his pleasure…he eats it with every meal anyways.

  5. Kat says:

    Very funny. Beautiful dog! I would like to mention you can clicker train your children (and husbands!). Look into TAG Teaching. Its the same basic principal. Reward what you like, ignore what you don’t. Many athletes use the process as well as education programs working with various levels of physical/mental capabilities. You already have the basic tools by having a knowledge of clicker training already :-)

  6. kiki says:

    Maybe your munchkin will be as calm, quiet, and easy as your dog. (You still have a fair amount of time for optimism) :-)

  7. nicole says:

    I just wrote a post on our dog on my blog…loved it!

  8. ceridwen says:

    So funny, so true!

  9. Brittany says:

    My dog has definitely prepared me for babies.
    She is 3 years old and still has accidents in the house. She has never asked for the door and I will take her out for a walk only for her to come in and pee on my floor.
    If she wants more food she will sit at her food dish and cry until I give her some. If she wants a toy that I put away (because it is too freakin loud lol) she will sit and whine at it until I give it to her. And she will remember where the toy is the next week!
    She doesn’t sleep through the night ever! Gets up at around 4 to bark for no reason.
    But even with all this I love her more than anything so I guess I am learning what being a parent is all about!

  10. Simira says:

    But you can clickertrain children! Not necessarily with the clicker itself, but with positive reinforcement you can get really far with kids!

  11. Rebecca C says:

    Enjoyed the article! Although you totally can clicker train kids, they just don’t call it that. ;) I think it is called TagTeaching, or something along those lines.

  12. Jason says:

    Great read…we started a website that helps out.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Oh Boy! I bare to disagree…. In a sense lol! Our first dog was Morkette the Princess of Princesses! She has been so easy in her 2 1/2 years. Well my husband & I are in the Army and right before his deployment I wanted another companion to keep me company for the next 12 months. LOL! We purchased a MALE Shi tzu…. He has been a terror and hard to train. He loves his toys and drags them out no matter how many times I pick them up or he’ll find them whereever I hide them lol, he gets into everything, he’s hard headed & if he gets in trouble he’ll get mad at us and not let us around him until he’s over it & god foorbid we take his toys.. He will sit there and bark at us till we pay attention to him and give him back his toys lol…. HE Mr.Ollie has definitely prepared me for a TODDLER not a baby lol!!!! I <3 my furry kids though ;)

  14. Brittany says:

    Oh my goodness Stephanie I think you own my Chloe’s brother LOL! Those are exactly the same thing my Shih Tzu does. If you take away a toy she will bark until I give it back too! And she does all the other things as well, it must be a Shih Tzu attitude!

  15. The Domestic Goddess says:

    Unless it’s a high maintenance dog, in which case it costs THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR A FREE DOG.

  16. Renee says:

    Marley is such a beautiful and sweet dog! She’ll be great help when the baby comes along, I’m sure. By the way, I don’t have children, nor am a I pregnant, so I rarely read stuff like this. But I enjoyed it :)

  17. Gretchen says:

    First, love your list. Hilarious.

    I always say, “can I just stick the baby in the backyard when he makes me mad/annoys me/when I don’t want to give it attention? no?”

    so no babies yet. only dogs and a cat.

  18. Brittany says:

    Your baby doesn’t have to be ill-behaved if you don’t want her to be. Babies feed off your energy. Just stay calm and your baby will follow suit.

  19. liz says:

    you mentioned that your dog has cooler tricks than babies, as a new mom of a now 3 month old little girl, i have to say wait till you get your first smiles they are way cooler than any dog trick

  20. souang says:

    OMG your husband is a PDX Blazers fan?!

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