It’s a common belief that dogs and children get along like peas in a pod. You’ll always see them together on TV, Youtube, and social media. However, not all dogs are the same, and some require special training to tolerate children. Before you introduce your children to your new furry friend, make sure both of them are ready for it. Here we list some important steps to follow to ensure the safety of both your children and your new dog.
1. Make sure your dog knows a few basic commands
Your pup should know a few basic commands before they’re introduced to your children. Commands like ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ can be helpful so they know their boundaries. The more your dog knows their command, the easier your dog can socialize with others, including children.
It is also a good idea to include your children in your canine’s positive reinforcement training programs.
2. Always supervise your dog and children’s interactions
It’s important that you’re always on the lookout when your dog is playing with your children, especially if your children are under 5. Young children still don’t fully understand how to deal with their surroundings, especially with dogs. Children can be perceived as threatening to your pup and vice-versa. Make sure both of them are comfortable in each other’s company.
3. Teach your kids to be gentle with dogs
We all know that kids and dogs can get wild, so it’s important that your children know the dog’s boundaries, and treats them gently. You may want to let the two spend some time together under supervision. Bring them outdoors, to a park or a playground and let them have fun.
Teach your child that dogs should be pet gently and shouldn’t be played with when they’re eating or sleeping.
Until your child and dog are more acquainted, you should leave toys out of the equation. Dogs can easily become very possessive over their toys and may inadvertently harm your child.
4. Get your dog into a socialization class
If your dog is still struggling to be a ‘good boy’ around your children, it may be time to bring your canine companion to a professional. We at The Dog Stop have excellent dog training socialization classes that can help your pup be best friend with others, including children. Regular training will help them to behave better and respond better to commands.
5. Use a leash when introducing to children
If you’re unsure of how your dog will react when introduced to new children, it’s always best to keep them on a leash until they are more comfortable together. This ensures that you can keep control over your pooch if things start to go south. Keep the leash loose so they have room to move and play, but let them know that bad behavior will result in a short playtime.
Children and dogs really can be the best of friends, but it can be hard work to get there. Therefore, it’s important that you constantly supervise their interactions to ensure they have the best relationship possible. Using the above methods should keep everyone safe and happy.