A dog is the perfect pet for many families and is often the long-awaited playmate for children. No doubt your child will be overjoyed with the new family member, but it is very important to teach the children how to handle a new pet. It is important to support both the child and the dog in getting to know each other. In the following, we will explain how it is the best to bring dog and child together.
There Are Rules For Both Sides
If you want to bring dog and child together, it must be clear that rules apply to both sides. For example, the child has to learn not to press or hit the dog. You must explain to your child in detail what is the right way to communicate with the animal and also to address the subject of dog body language. This will ensure that your child learns to understand the possible warning signals while playing and having fun.
Of course, the dog is also subject to certain rules that he must follow when communicating with the child. For example, the dog is not allowed to bump into the child, jump on or carry food and toys. As with children, you are also responsible for following the rules in your daily life with dogs.
Do Not Leave Your Child Alone With The Dog! This is probably one of the most important rule. Never leave your child or dog unattended. Young children can sometimes become quite noisy and come up with a variety of things that can’t be done. Especially when the puppy is young, they are very sensitive and can accidentally injure themselves due to child misconduct.
Pets are a great way to teach your child about responsibility. From a certain age, your kids are welcome to help take care of the dog. However, a child is not able to take full responsibility for a dog. It is up to you to ensure that your puppy is provided with everything that is important.
Golden Rules For Children and Dogs – Five Steps to Success
- Be gentle
Teaching children to behave gently is very important for the future relationship between a child and a new pet. Take time to show how to treat animals properly – keep calm (do not make noise), show the dog that your hands are not a threat, such as allowing a lowered hand or an open palm. In this way (sniffing) the animal will get to know you. children should not pull on the animal and should try not to touch their ears, eyes or mouth while stroking or playing.
- Use caution
Whether the first acquaintance with the animal takes place in your or your friends home, it is important to allow the animal to maintain a personal space. Remind children to be a little further away from the animal, not to pinch it (children tend to immediately put their faces to the animal, put their fingers in them) as new pets can often be frightened and timid. If the pet is not yours, children should always ask the owner of the pet if it is possible to caress and touch the animal before approaching it.
- Stay calm
Explain to the children that animals meet and enjoy differently than humans – noise or sudden movements can confuse the animal, provoke unwanted behavior such as biting or running away, avoidance. An animal will feel calmer if a person behaves gently, attentively, rather than noisyly and overly enthusiastically.
Recognize the warning signs. Adults find it easier to assess the behavior of a dog or other animal and recognize when the animal is not feeling well. Young children, meanwhile, tend not to catch joy and wait to pat and play with a new family member, and fail to notice obvious warning signs. Many animals will reach calmly and curiosly to the lowered open palm, after such acquaintance they will be stroked. If an animal turns its head to the side, walks away, squeezes its ears, hides, squeezes its tail between its legs or brushes its teeth – the child must understand that the animal is not really ready for games, at least not yet.
- Take care
Animals can serve to instill in children a sense of responsibility. When purchasing a new pet, encourage children to help care for the animal by feeding it, adding clean water to the bowl, combing, cleaning, disposing of the mess, and playing with it.
Rules For Children
- Avoid fast, hectic movements and loud noises;
- Always approach a dog calmly;
- Avoid things that the dog may perceive as harassment or threat;
- Do not pull or step on the dog‘s tail;
Of course, there will happen some mistakes. This is normal situation, not only for beginners. What matters is how you deal with that problem. When your child is old enough, talk together about what happened and how you can prevent this problem in the future. This is the only way to be aware of mistakes and to get rid of risks.
The Power of First Impression
How a child will react to dogs and how a dog will react to children is often determined by their first meeting. this is the simplest process of socialization. It is always worthwhile to „rehearse“ the future situation before a new member appears in the family.
If you are raising a dog and planning to have a baby, first try to „borrow“ the kid from friends or relatives for a short time and see how the dog will react to his presence at home. And, if you already have a child, bring a puppy you know to the guests – let the child play with it and get used to it. By seeing their communication, you will be able to decide what‘s going on not very smoothly, where new friends need help.
If you are buying a puppy, make sure that the child is already there when you take him home. This way the dog will realize that he child lived there before him (and the dogs always respect the old ones of the house). If you are bringing a newborn baby, bring it to the dog, the first meeting is very important!
The child and the dog enrich each other in the family, there is no doubt about that. But above all, it is the duty of parents to turn them into a real dream team. Be prepared, set clear rules for people and dogs from the start, and be consistent on both sides.