Training your dog to behave around children is necessary. Dogs are unpredictable, but so are kids. That's why it's equally as important to learn how to teach kids to behave around dogs.
When your child learns to respect their pet, it's a beautiful thing. The two of them will soon form a strong bond that will teach the child about love, loyalty and responsibility. Some dog owners assume that children who grow up with dogs will just naturally learn to respect them, but that is a sad misconception.
Kids need to be taught to respect dogs. They need you to guide them in learning how to play with a dog and the proper way to show the dog attention. A child's idea of affection is likely much different than your dogs.
According to dogbites.org about 1,000 people require emergency care for dogs bites each day in the United States. Learning how to teach kids to behave around dogs is the most proactive way to prevent a dog bite incident in your home.
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How To Teach Kids To Behave Around Dogs
The key to learning how to teach kids to behave around dogs is simple – they need to learn that dogs deserve respect, just like humans. No matter how big or small a dog is, he's still a dog. Small dogs should never be picked up and carried around. Just because a dog is a large breed doesn't mean he can support your weight.
Children need to be taught that a dog is a dog, no matter his size.
The same goes for a dog's temperament. Just because your dog will allow your child to pull his ears or squeeze his face, doesn't mean it's okay. Many dogs are unpredictable, and you need to teach your child that your dog will growl, snap or possibly bite if he doesn't like the situation he's been put in.
All dogs should have a safe place to go when they are feeling overwhelmed. This could be a crate or a dog bed. Wherever this area is, teach your child that it is off limits. Just like us, dogs deserve a calm and quiet place to rest when they've had enough.
Don't let raising dogs and children together overwhelm you. Learning how to teach kids to behave around dogs is a lot of common sense. Think about the things that your dog would like or would not like and teach your children about them.
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Dogs don't like to share
One of the leading causes of dog bites is resource guarding. This is when a dog becomes aggressive because a person or other animal gets to close to something the dog believes is their property. Most often the thing they are guarding is food, a special toy, or a bone/chew.
Teach your children that dogs don't like to share their food or treats. Children should not be anywhere near a dog when he is eating or chewing on a treat or bone. Never leave your children unattended when your pet is eating.
If you notice that your pet has a tendency for resource guarding, work with a professional dog trainer to modify the behavior.
This is not something that you'll want to attempt on your own, as your pup could become aggressive when provoked.
MORE INFORMATION: Resource Guarding In Dogs
Teach kids to keep their hands to themselves
No, I'm not talking about what to do at the playground. When learning how to teach kids to behave around dogs, physical contact is one of the biggest areas to focus on.
Children are just as unpredictable as canines. They aren't the most coordinated beings either. This is a very bad combination.
You need to teach your child the proper way to interact with dogs. Not just your dog, but all canines. Start by teaching your child the appropriate way to greet a dog.
Your child needs to learn that they cannot be rough with your dog. No tail pulling, ear pulling or sitting on your dog. Explain that even though the dog may seem big to your child, he is not strong enough to support your child's weight or deal with their rough housing.
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Teach the positives
It's not all about what your child can't do. You also need to teach him what he can do with your dog. Teach your child the appropriate ways to play with your dog and show him affection. You can also teach your child to help care for the pet.
Teaching kids to help take care of the family pet is a wonderful way for them to learn about responsibility. It will also help to foster the bond between your child and your dog. As the bond grows, so will the respect that your child has for the animal.
As parents, it seems that we're always saying “don't do this, don't do that.” It's easy to spend time hovering over your you child explaining what they can't do and how they should not interact with a dog. Remember to take the opportunity to show your kids the positive.
If you're constantly nagging them about what not to do, they may begin to form an animosity toward your dog. Make sure to point out all the fun they can have with their furry friend.
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