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How Kids Should And Should Not Interact With Dogs

Child patting dog

Are you planning on adding a dog to your family? While your children will certainly be over the moon about this decision, there are some things you need to do to prepare them for this life-changing moment.

Sure, your pooch might seem calm when your child is climbing on him. He might not even mind occasional ear pulling or muzzle touching. Then, when a bite happens, you might think it occurred out of the blue. How could your beloved companion do this to your child?

The truth is, no matter how well you train your dog, you also need to teach your kids how to behave around their four-legged companion. Young kids don’t understand boundaries, so they might be surprised to find out their Fido won’t tolerate everything.

Here is how to teach your kids how they should (not) interact with their new pet:

Make a Proper Introduction

Your child will be overwhelmed with excitement once you bring your puppy home. However, the introduction is very important. This step is stressful as it is for your pup, and having a screaming child that wants to smother him with love will only make everything harder.

This process is important as it helps your child learn how to respect your pet’s space and free will. A dog will not always be in the mood to deal with kids, and your children need to respect that. Also, this introductory process will prevent your pup from becoming fearful around kids, as he’ll know no one will force him to do anything.

Teach Kids to Understand How to Play

People and canines don’t play the same way. This is difficult for both children and puppies to understand. While you probably know all about training your pooch, you also need to teach your kids how to behave during playtime.

You should also teach your kids to participate in taking care of your pooch. Try explaining to them that brushing and cleaning after your pup is also a game. This way, they’ll learn to be responsible, which is important in every life aspect.

What NOT to Do

Of course, you also need to teach your child some things they should never do around dogs. These actions include:

Teaching a child how not to behave around animals is likely even more important than teaching them what to do. Any of these actions can make a dog behave aggressively, even if he is calm otherwise.

What if Your Kid Meets a Neighbor’s Dog?

Another important step is teaching your child how to behave with other dogs in your neighborhood. This is an essential step even for families who don’t have pets of their own. While you can know how your dog behaves, other people’s canines are a whole different story. This is why there are many precautionary steps needed.

No matter how well-trained a dog is, you can never know whether he is used to interacting with kids. Your children need to know to respect that.

Don’t Forget Supervision

Finally, never let a small child be alone with a dog, whether that is your pet or someone else’s. No matter how well behaved both the dog and the child are, accidents can occur, and they can be unpredictable. All it takes is a second and a disaster can happen.

Still, don’t make your child afraid of dogs. Kids and dogs make amazing companions and they can have a great time together. Children can give dogs the playtime they need, and dogs can help kids have fun.

However, as a parent or an adult family member, it is your responsibility to keep both the kids and the puppy safe from one another. By teaching them these rules, they can learn how to have a blast in a safe way.

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