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Family Paws: Five kinds of supervision for homes with kids, dogs

Jennifer Shryock, a Cary mom of four and owner of Family Paws, talks about the best ways for parents to supervise when young children and dogs are in the house.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Jennifer Shryock, a Cary mom of four and founder of Family Paws, returns today with another tip on keeping baby and young children safe when a dog is in the house.
Family Paws offers workshops and one-on-one consultations for expecting parents and families with dogs and babies or young children. Shryock, who has four dogs too, has built a program over the last decade that now includes 120 licensed presenters in the United States and Canada. She is a certified dog behavior consultant and a recognized expert on child-dog interactions. Read more about Shryock and her program in this earlier post.

Today, Shryock talks about the five levels of supervision of kids and dogs that parents use. Shryock says dog trainers often tell parents that active supervision, when both dog and child have a mom or dad's full attention, is key.

"I really feel like it just goes in one ear and out another," she tells me. "We always say we're supervising. Of course we are, we're responsible parents."

But as Shryock knows from her own experience as a parent, lots of things can distract us for just a moment, from the load of laundry that needs to move to the dryer to email to the phone.

So she created the five kinds of supervision - absent, passive, reactive, proactive and active - to make parents more aware of the need for the right kind of oversight. Learn more about each level by watching the video.

Go to Family Paws' website for more information about the programs she offers and check the box above for another tip from Shryock. Check back here next Wednesday for more.

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