So far so good here, we're getting Saskia out a lot more, playing ball and things more instead of just taking her to places where she can run and play with other dogs, working more on reinforcing basic obedience, making sure she sees the baby as a positive influence ("Look, Saskia, Walter's awake! Now we can go for a walk!"), etc. She seems calmer and her self-confidence seems a bit better again.
Meanwhile, the trainer told me to stop letting her on furniture, to not make a big deal out of the baby handling her things, and to let her know how things are going in about a month. She also said something I wanted to run by you folks.
Saskia yawns when we rub her cheeks. She yawns when she's been being a butt head (like not wanting to come in after a potty trip) and we tell her firmly to do it (she yawns and comes in), she yawns when we call her over, and after the growl incident at the baby she yawned at him and looked away. Now, I thought this was a submission gesture, meant to indicate non-aggression. The trainer, however, said it means stress, that Saskia is always under high stress when she does it. I asked, "What about if Saskia ambles over, leans against my legs, wags, and solicits petting of her side, and when I do pet her side like she likes, she yawns?" Trainer: "Stress. She doesn't really like it. She's stressed out."
Now, I'm not so sure I buy this. What do you folks feel about this one? For the record, if I wasn't keeping an open mind about it I would not be posting to try to explore it.
Katrina
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Well I don't don't buy the whole yawning thing as being a sign she is under stress. Lady does this quite often when I take her out to play and I tell her it's time to come in. She will deliberatley run out into the yard lay down and put her head on her teddy bear and yawn then look away at me. To me it's like an kid saying "aww mom I don't want to come in yet" Usally I just tell her come on and raise my voice just a bit and she then comes in.

Everything else sounds like you are on the right track. Although I don't get why it's not OK to allow her on the furniture. This can be very confusing for a dog who has been allowed on the furniture in the past. Unless you are having a growling issue when you tell her to move or get down I don't see the reason for it.
Celeste
Well I don't don't buy the whole yawning thing as being a sign she is under stress.

Sometimes dogs yawn because they're stressed, sometimes they yawn for other reasons. I don't see how it's possible to know which is which unless you're savvy enough to tell the difference but especially not unless you've observed the dog.
Although I don't get why it's not OK to allow her on the furniture.

I've found that disallowing dogs on the furniture even when they've been allowed up in the past can be part of sending a very clear message about how much latitude the dog does or does not have, as long as the new rule is applied
consistently. I have one dog who could be counted on to start a fight with one of the other dogs within a day after jumping up on my bed. Denying him bed privileges was one piece of putting a stop to his fighting.
Unless you are having a growling issue when you tell her to move or get down I don't see the reason for it.

The reason is to teach the dog that she doesn't have the prerogatives she seems to think she has.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

The total national debt is now $7,932,709,661,723.50.
Well I don't don't buy the whole yawning thing as being a sign she is under stress. Lady does this ... a growling issue when you tell her to move or get down I don't see the reason for it. Celeste[/nq]The trainer stated that "dogs allowed on furniture feel equal to or dominant over their owners" and that they become confused. She says that allowing her on the furniture is the "most damaging" thing we have done in bringing her up, and directly related with the two incidents involving the baby. We don't really buy it as such, but are following the advice because it can't hurt. We're not shocking her with it, though. The couch she was allowed on has been thrown away because it was in bad shape and wasn't coming with us to the new address in 8 days anyway, so there's only the Forbidden Sofa left.

The bedroom is too small for a dog bed, so we're waiting until we move to add one to the room, and will tentatively allow her to come onto the bed to get some love before having to sleep on her bed. The trainer seemed to feel that allowing her in the bedroom at all is dire she said that the dog in such a case "feels like it can sleep in the alpha den" and thus feels "superior" to anyone who does not "sleep in the alpha den" but we have never seen any dog have problems with just being allowed into the bedroom, so we are cautiously not following that piece of advice.

Besides, she is shut out between hen the baby goes to bed and when my husband goes to bed (I go to bed somewhere in the middle), and then more than half the time she decides not to follow him in anyway.
I've been referred to a trainer in the US who apparently has a great deal of experience in this particular area (babies and dogs, not dogs and furniture), and will be contacting her tomorrow to see if she does phone and e-mail consultation, since our trainer basically doesn't want to hear from us for a month, and then we're supposed to "let her know how it's going".

When we tell Saskia to leave the furniture, it goes like this (using the bed at +/-5:00 a.m. as an example; this is when we shut the bedroom door to keep the cat from deciding everyone should be Up Now): I touch her shoulder while she is asleep. I whisper, "OK, Saskers, time for you to go out now". She gets up immediately, gets off the bed, stands there looking really, really sleepy, stretches, and walks out to the living room where she used to get onto the sofa but now lies down on her blankets until I and the baby get up anywhere between 6 and 8:30.
Katrina
She says that allowing her on the furniture is the "most damaging" thing we have done in bringing her up, ... incidents involving the baby. We don't really buy it as such, but are following the advice because it can't hurt.

Why don't you buy it? You've given her a special space the baby can't hoist himself to, literally elevated her status over him, and she feels she DESERVES it, rather than has had to earn it.

Don't get me wrong, my dogs are allowed on some furniture. You can bet that even the slightest argumentative nature towards any other living being, would end that so fast they wouldn't know how their feet hit the floor.
I've been referred to a trainer in the US who apparently has a great deal of experience in this particular ... doesn't want to hear from us for a month, and then we're supposed to "let her know how it's going".>>

No trainer is as good as one who can SEE what is going on. A lot of people HERE have a ton of baby/dog experience as well. It's undoubtely one of the more common problems I get called for. It's almost always the adults' doing..

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
The trainer stated that "dogs allowed on furniture feel equal to or dominant over their owners" and that they become ... thing we have done in bringing her up, and directly related with the two incidents involving the baby. We don't

I agree with Melinda that denying furniture privileges is just one part of showing the dogs that they're not in charge. It's the whole "humans control the resources" thing.
Zoe can be a pushy little character and makes occasional attempts to take over the household. She's been fine for quite a while now, but I really had to make a lot of the rules clear for her. I just do a modified "nothing in life is free" program she has to do something for me before I give her things, like sitting or shaking my hand before getting a treat or some pets. When things are going well I ease up on this somewhat. When things are going badly I add stuff, like throwing her off the furniture unless she is invited. But mostly I maintain a pretty consistent structure in which it is clear that I am the boss.

This did not come naturally to me, as people here can attest. But I will tell you something that may alleviate some of your concerns about trying it: Zoe became much happier when I took firm control of things. And so did I.
Wrt the yawning question, I've always heard that yawning is calming for dogs so they might do it to calm themselves down when they are stressed (I've seen both of my dogs do this) but they might also do it when they're relaxed and are kind of reveling in that relaxation, kind of like how a human might let out a big sigh when soaking in a hot tub.

Also I think they might do it when they're tired!

Catherine
& Zoe the cockerchow
& Queenie the black gold retriever
& Rosalie the calico
She says that allowing her on the furniture is the ... such, but are following the advice because it can't hurt.

If you have a dog who doesn't have resource guarding tendencies, then no, letting them up on the furniture does not turn them into some type of "dominant" dog. Letting a dog up on furniture from puppyhood, IMO, isn't damaging within itself, the problem comes IF the dog starts resource guarding his space.
Your dog does have resource guarding issues. So she shouldn't be allowed up on the furniture.
Wrt the yawning question, I've always heard that yawning is calming for dogs so they might do it to ... out a big sigh when soaking in a hot tub. Also I think they might do it when they're tired!

Primates threat-yawn, but I've never seen anything similar in any of my dogs.
Pretty much the only time I see them yawn is while lounging on their big fluffy beds in the living room. If they happen to notice you watching, it's usually followed by a backward flick of the ears and a couple of tail thumps - the canine equivalent of a sheepish grin - followed by flopping down flat and sighing happily.
Kathleen
The trainer stated that "dogs allowed on furniture feel equal to ordominant over their owners" and that they become confused.

Nonsense. I know many, many dogs who are allowed on furniture and/or to sleep in the bed, and have no confusion over who's in charge, nor do they "feel equal or dominant" to their owners.
IF you have a problem in your relationship with your dog, the problem may arise over the issue of being on the furniture, and/or not being allowed on the furniture may help to clarify things for the dog. But the problem isn't caused by being allowed on the furniture.
The trainer seemed to feel that allowing her in the bedroom at all is dire she said that the dog >in ... can sleep in the alpha den" and thus feels "superior" to anyone who does not "sleep in the alpha den"

And that's an even BIGGER lump of - sorry, but I'm going to drop the euphemism - horse ***. I know far more dogs not allowed in the bedroom who have relationship issues with their owners than vice versa. Same as with being on the furniture, being allowed on the bed may become an issue IF you have an existing issue in your relationship with your dog, and not allowing it may make the relationship clearer. But it doesn't CAUSE the problem.
I don't recall ever reading that "alphas" in wolf packs sleep all alone, and in any case, dogs are NOT wolves.
My dogs not only sleep in the bedroom, they sleep in the bed with me. Far from making them "feel dominant", it actually reinforces to them that I'm the leader of the pack.
In fact, Rocsi, who has been with me since she was 14 weeks old and has always slept in the bed - she was never crated at home - is about the most non-dominant towards humans dog you'd ever want to meet. She also consistently asks my permission before getting up on any furniture with me (she's tucked under my arm asleep at the moment), which is not something I've ever trained - she does it naturally.
She's also is superb with children of all ages, and adores babies and toddlers - she seeks out toddlers at the park and gives her ball to them. Which is made even more interesting by the fact that she's a Jack Russell Terrier.
Finally, I think your trainer is missing the point - YOU are not the ones whose relationship with the dog is the problem. The problem is in WALTER'S relationship with the dog.
Reinforcing that you're "alpha", in fact, may make the dog more likely to start up something with other lower-ranking members of the pack - which Saskia clearly sees Walter as being.
IMO, you need to find another trainer - one who's not operating on outmoded theory based on flawed obsevations of wolf packs, and seems to have misunderstood it to boot.
Fortunately, you've had the common sense not to pay too much attention to the sillier parts of what she's telling you.
Something that nobody has mentioned here, btw: are you familiar with the concept of "puppy license"? It has struck me all along that part of what may be going on here is that Walter's "puppy license" with Saskia has started to expire.
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