Common child/dog issues

Dogs and children can be great companions.  Most of the time it takes a little preparation and forethought.  Children love puppies, but sometimes treat them like toys.  Puppies think children are giant squeak toys to chew on and chase.  Here are some safety tips for keeping puppies/dogs and children safe:

  • Never, ever leave children and dogs unattended.  They need to be supervised by a grown-up to keep them from causing discomfort to each other.
  • Children should participate in feeding their furry family member.  Age appropriate habits like, putting the food bowl down, or simply putting the food in the bowl before it goes on the floor are good habits to help children take care of the family pet.  The dog will perceive the child as an important part to his/her survival.
  • Teach your child to “Be A Tree” if the puppy or dog is becoming unruly.  Sudden movements caused by children can instigate even more excitement in a dog.  They are less likely to jump or nip when a child is very still.
  • A puppy or dog will learn a cue from a grown-up fairly quickly.  A child cannot be expected to train a dog, but the dog can and should learn to follow-through when a child gives a cue.  Let children participate in training their pooch.
  • Young puppies and dogs need gentle handling.  A child holding a dog may squeeze too hard causing the puppy or dog to retaliate.  By having a grown-up hold a puppy or gently restrain a dog, a child can gently pet and touch the puppy without incident.
  • Children learn by example and with supervision they can grow up to enjoy having a family pet to play with.