A dog and a child can develop a wonderful friendship and having a dog in the family can teach children valuable lessons about responsibility, care and respect for all animals, but both dogs and children can be unpredictable.



  • Discourage your children from rolling around on the floor with the puppy as this can encourage rough and tumble games and play-biting
  • Drawing back is a self-defense mechanism in us but is often seen as an invitation to play by puppies, show children how to keep still and to redirect the puppies attention onto their chews/toys
  • Try to avoid shouting at the children if a situation is getting out of hand as this will excite the puppy who may start barking (joining in).
  • Teach your children how to play with the puppy with his/her toys.
  • Encourage your children to be involved in the puppy’s training.
  • Always supervise puppies/dogs and children and with extra vigilance at mealtimes and playtimes.
  • If you are unable to supervise keep children and puppies/dogs apart. 
  • Do not allow children to treat the puppy/dog as a toy, he/ she is a living creature that deserves respect and understanding.
  • Giving your puppy/dog a crate or a den area will allow him/her to escape when he/she is tired or the children are becoming too boisterous. DO NOT allow children into the dogs area to pull him/her out or to torment.
  • Do not allow children to give dogs their sweets, human grade chocolate is fatal to some dogs.
  • Do not let children blow in a dogs face.
  • Do not let children wake a sleeping dog, tease, tail pull, poke or prod.
  • Do not let children try to take anything away from a dog.

(Download the above points on a handy pdf sheet.)


Recommended reading

The Canine Commandments £6.95. Written by Kendal Shephard one of the leading authorities on dogs and a mother. This book is written for parents and children, a must for your children’s bookshelf.

Useful links


The following useful reminders are all available from Dr Sophia Yin, The Art and Science of Animal Behaviour




Download the “How kids should not interact with dogs” poster.



Download the “How to greet a dog” poster



Download the “How kids should interact with dogs” poster