Dogs and kids can be perfect together and play well together. In order to keep both your kids and dogs safe, follow these quick steps.
The younger the kids, the more supervision they will need, as young children are very curious and do not understand boundaries yet. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our kids how to interact with dogs.
Teaching children early on to not squeeze dog’s faces, pull tails, sit on, and ride on them is important as is to let dogs eat or drink without bothering them as this can startle dogs. Also, we want to make sure to not take treats or bones away from a dog.
These signs tell you not to approach or touch a dog as they are fearful or could be aggressive.
Dogs give off all sorts of body language and the easiest ones to let a child know not to approach or touch a dog are:
~ Showing teeth or growling
~ Tucking their tail between their legs
~ Ears go back
You have kids and dogs and want to make sure they play safely together. Here are some things to help:
~ With infants and toddlers, never leave them unsupervised with any animal.
~ Show how to pet your pup safely, not pulling the tail, fur, ears, or poking the eyes.
~ Keep dogs away from kids during snack or meal times
~ Don’t push dog out of the way or off furniture
~ No teasing the dog with food
~ Wrestling the dog is not a way to pet. You do not want kids to think it’s ok to lay or sit on their dog no matter how “fine” or “content” your pup may seem at first.
~ Teach dogs to not jump as this can hurt a child if they get knocked over
~ Help puppies learn not to bite or grab (will take training but will help when the pup grows up)
Additionally, there are so many fun things for kids to do with their dog, aka best friend. A few fun things for kids and dogs to do are:
~ Playing fetch
~ Dog tricks/training
~ Agility course (can make one right inside your house or outside)
~ Hide and seek (can hide toys or treats for pup to find)