There can be nothing cuter and more heart-melting than seeing your little one(s) playing in the house or garden with their best-friend; their dog. Very quickly, you’ll watch them become the closest of companions, look out for each other, and make a bond like no other. However, there needs to be some responsibility when introducing a puppy or a dog into your home, especially with small children running about. The dog needs to get used to the children, especially as they approach life differently to adults: they scream, shout, run, and rarely sit still. As such, you’ll also need to teach your children how to care for a dog to instill a sense of responsibility as a new caretaker to their canine companion.
A Cautionary Tail: Making sure you create the foundations for a wonderful relationship can be dependent on the age of your children as well as the age of your dog. If you’re thinking of doing something fantastic and getting a rescue dog, you might want to wait until your little one is a bit older. If you’re getting a puppy, we’d suggest that you supervise the way it interacts with your tiny human by monitoring them at all times, at least at first. Of course, we all live busy lives and total supervision can be hard. So if you can’t supervise, keep your dog in a safe and comfortable place away from you kid(s), just in case.
Creating the Best Relationship Ever: When it comes to bonding, you’ll need to teach your kids how to be around dogs, especially yours! The first thing you should do is teach your children how to say ‘hey’ to a dog nicely, so that it doesn’t get spooked or scared. Basically, let the dog know that you are there and that you want to interact with him or her. A great way to do this is by standing side-on, getting your child to make a slightly bunched fist and invite the dog to come to you. If the dog wants to play, then great, but make sure your little ones stroke his back and don’t reach for his head straight away.
Another great tip is to teach your child that dogs need to be treated with care and that they should always be gentle with dogs. That means no hitting, no biting, no scratching, and no pulling ears or tails. As a parent, reading up is always a great thing to do, as well. Read up on the breed of dog, yes, but why not go one step further and educate yourself on dog body language. This is an excellent way to know if your doggy is getting uncomfortable and being able to intervene before anything happens. Make sure you’re always ready to intervene, like we said above; just in case.
On the dog side of things, a great thing to consider is training; professional training. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new puppy or a rescue dog, dog training services are a fantastic way of getting your dog to behave, know your commands, and learn how to act around children. We can’t stress enough how valuable this service could be, not just in terms of safety, but your stress levels too – dogs combined with kids can be quite hard work!
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