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Most adults who grew up around dogs are well equipped with knowledge concerning what to teach children about dogs, but for those people who are new to dog ownership and also have small children, there are many things to be aware of when introducing a puppy or adult dog into your family.
Children and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly but as responsible dog owners we need to closely monitor how this relationship develops. The main thing we need our children to understand is the new member of the family is not a toy. This can be a problem for very young children to understand as they associate the real living breathing dog as the same as the stuffed doggies they have. To keep these younger kids from doing something that elicits a possibly very bad response from your dog it is recommended to never leave them alone together. Your dog has feelings much as humans do and when they are subjected to a young child pinching, pulling their ears, screaming at them, etc, the dog may do what is normal for them in these stressful situations and bite. No one wants this to happen so what to teach children about dogs is your responsibility for the safety of children and the dog. For children 7 years old and younger listed below are several good tips on the subject of:
What to teach children about dogs
1) Teach your child to never run up on the dog surprising the dog. This can result in a negative response from the dog.
2) Never let your child scream at the dog causing the dog to respond aggressively. As adults we should never scream at our dogs, and when stern commands are required try not to let your child see or hear this.
3) Never allow a young child to pull the dog’s tail, ears, fur, paws or nose.
4) Never allow your child to approach the dog when he or she is eating or playing with their favorite toy. The dog can interpret this as a threat and respond aggressively.
5) Do not allow your child to immediately reach for the dog’s head the first time they meet.
6) Absolutely NO kicking, biting, tease, hit, slap, or trying to ride the dog as this is going to endanger the child and turn your dog towards aggressive behavior when around not only your children, but all children the dog encounters.
7) Spend as much time as is needed to teach your child appropriate behavior when with your dog. Sit with both of them together and gently pet the dog while speaking in a calm voice. Give as much attention to your child at the same time so neither your child or the dog feels they are competing for your attention.
8) When doing #7 just above, also teach the child to pet and talk to the dog just as you’re doing. Soon you’ll have your child thinking of the dog as the family’s “fur baby”, to be loved and cherished.
Patience and love are the keys needed on the subject of what to teach children about dogs.
What has worked for you in teaching your dog and child to get along? Share with us below.