Dogs and children make a great team when they are both trained to respect each other. Dog training your dog before you introduce a new baby is important. Your dog should be well behaved before you baby comes into the house. But if he isn’t, you can work with him even after the baby comes. The important thing is to make sure that your dog knows what is acceptable behavior and what is not. That is where a parentís work comes in.
This work can begin as early as selecting the right dog and dog breed for your family. There are high energy dogs and docile dogs. While high energy dogs are wonderful buddies or your high energy children, they also require a lot of attention and work. In the same light, larger dogs are terrific to have on your childís side but they can be a bit rough by nature and that could be an issue for your small children. Small dogs however, also tend to be territorial and can nip and bite small children. It is best to find something that will work with you and your family. Proper training is the most important aspect of owning a dog.
Children need to be taught that dogs need to be cared for carefully and should never be pulled on or poked. This includes the ears, fur, tail, nose, and paws of your pet. Make sure your child knows not to tug on any part of the puppy. While hugging is a wonderful show of affection by your child toward your dog, it is something that should be carefully discouraged. Dogs can take this to be a sign of aggression and attempt to defend themselves.
Additionally, while your dog may relish a good hug from your child, it is not a good idea for children to think that walking up to any dog and giving them a hug, This could be threatening for some dogs who are not used to this.
Teaching children to respect the dog and understand that the dog has needs and how a dog relates actions to its well being is key to helping the child keep himself safe. This having been said, children should never be left unattended when in the presence of a dog. Even the most well meaning action on the part of the child, could be construed as something threatening to the dog.
Teaching your dog what is acceptable is equally as important. Your dog desires to obey and please you. By nature they are workers and need a job. If you are clear in your direction with your dog, you will gain his respect and therefore training him to respect the children will be equally as important.
Even when you have worked the magic of teaching the dog and the child to respect each other, they should never be left unsupervised. Dogs and children speak different languages and an adult should always be present to translate.This is for your safety and for that of your children and your favorite furry friend.
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