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.
DO’S AND DONT’S
- 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.
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.
- ‘Safe and Sound’ from The Kennel Club, teaching kids how to behave around dogs
Stop the 77: Dog Safety: Links to dog safety resources for children and parents
The following useful reminders are all available from Dr Sophia Yin, The Art and Science of Animal Behaviour