Simple But Powerful Ways to Ensure Your Family and Your Dog Get Along
Dogs and children need your guidance and supervision to live together happily ever after. Here are some tips that will help your family get along.
One of the best ways to introduce your new dog to your children is to ask your children to help you to massage and pet your dog. This will help getting your children used to having the dog around and becoming responsible for having the dog or puppy in the house. Soon it will be second nature and your children will be less unsure of having the dog around in their space. It will also help the dog to be more comfortable when having different people handling her.
If you don't have a dog now, but are getting one soon, start exposing your child(ren) to dogs and how to act around them. Help them learn to respect each dog's space and preferences. Teach them not to approach unleashed dogs. If a dog is leashed always ask the dog's owner first, and then to move slowly. Explain that the dog will want to sniff them, and explain that's how a dog identifies you. Experts recommend keeping hands down along the sides of the body. Dogs have such a keen sense of smell that they don't' need us to hold hands out. Warn the child that if a dog has been abused in the past she may snap at a hand coming towards her.
Just as you will establish house rules for your dog (stay off the couch, etc.) it is important to establish boundaries for children in regards to your pet. Teach your child(ren) to never take a toy from your dog. Dogs are often especially possessive about their toys. Kids and dogs make great playmates, but teach your children that if they play roughly, the dog will respond in kind. Even though the dog doesn't mean to hurt your child, accidents happen. Playing fetch is a better game than wrestling between kids and dogs.
An excellent way for your child to bond with your dog is to take part in training her. Giving her treats as a reward for correct behavior is a delight to kids, and it raises the child's position in your dog's eyes. Just as your dog develops respect for your child, help your child do the same. Teach your children that dogs are living beings with likes, dislikes, and fears of their own. Help them see their pet as more than entertainment, but as a cherished member of the family.
It is important that your child(ren) respect your dog or puppy and respect her as a member of the family and do not see her as a plaything. While petting and playing with the dog is acceptable, and helps the dog exercise, you should not let children abuse the dog by pulling its fur or hitting it, or harming it in any way. You should also make sure that your children do not tease your dog at feeding time. The dog will become ill-disciplined and will not respect you or the regular feeding times that you have established.
While these suggestions might seem negative, you should emphasize to your children the great companionship and love that they can expect when a child and a dog have a good relationship.
From Best Pet Health Information, a resource which will help you find infomation, hints and tips to keeping your dog happy and healthy.