Dogs And Children

Dogs and Children - one very dangerous myth that exists is the assumption that, in some mysterious way, all dogs will automatically be gentle and loving with any infant or a child.

The reason why this is dangerous to predict is because unless a dog has grown up with small children surrounding it then the animal may not be accustomed to children's sudden moves or frantic noisy behavior.

Kids unwittingly scare dogs, especially when they are very loud and boisterous.

Ultimately, it is the parents whom are responsible for teaching their dogs and children to respect each other.

Approach all animals with caution, even a family dog.

The two basic rules that children need to know are;

  1. You never approach any dog or pet without having the owner's permission.

  2. When you do have permission, always treat the dog very gently and with kindness.

If your dog is not as comfortable with children as you would like, you can make the effort to ease this uneasiness by making it a point of taking it for walks near playgrounds and parks where dogs and children are playing so it becomes used to the sounds and noises that children's voices make.

Make this a positive experience, pairing food with children making noise and being active.

Also, allow your nervous dog to be pet by children but making sure to totally protect the dog with your arms so it knows that it is safe in the meanwhile.

If your dog has always been raised around other adult people then this may create a problem if you have friends and family with children that come to visit your house.

Regardless of how well trained and well mannered your dog is, it can prove to be quite opposite when exposed to noisy and flamboyant kids. Your dog could become confused and frightened which may cause him to strike out in self defense, even though the children are just playing.

But to your dog's point of view, these noisy little strangers whom are playing with its toys, chasing his tail around, and messing with its food bowl, are actually invading his territory.

Should the above situation occur, simply remove the dog from the area. Take him into another room while the children are visiting and make frequent stops into the room to pet him and offer treats.

Don't isolate him and make him feel punished, as this might have the opposite effect.

Teach your dog some tricks, like shaking a paw, using positive reinforcement techniques.  Then show the child how to get him to do the trick, with lots of treats as rewards.  Most dogs will look forward to interacting with children after this.

If you make the effort to practice a few simple steps in getting your dog acquainted with little children, then eventually you will not have any issues with mixing your dog and children.