It’s a bright sunny day, and your dog and kid are playing on the front porch. Isn’t it a sight to behold?
However, as magical as a bond between your child and dog sounds, it doesn’t come naturally. Dogs can be apprehensive around kids or worse, afraid of them. So if you have a toddler or young kids at home, you need to train the dog on how to behave and not hurt them.
In this blog, learn how you can help build a strong bond between your dog and your children.
5 Ways to Help Your Dog Blend With Your Kids
Supervise Early Interactions
Leaving an untrained dog and untrained children in the same room unsupervised can go wrong in a million different ways. Neither of them can understand or make room for each other’s needs.
Instead, ensure you introduce your dog or puppy to your children in a positive way. Puppies of about 8 and 16 weeks are comfortable with socialising. Try starting around this period.
Start With Obedience Program
Some dogs get comfortable around kids on their own. But others need to be trained to ensure the safety of your young ones. Command training is the best way to begin.
Teach the dog to follow the basic control commands: sit, down, and let go. For example, if your puppy jumps up around your kid or tries to kiss them, the sit command will help you direct more appropriate behaviour.
Teach Your Child to Behave Well
Empathy doesn’t often come naturally to young kids. They may see your puppy as a toy and behave like it’s not a living being. It’s not only wrong but can also aggravate the pup. So, set some ground rules, such as -
- If a dog is in a crate, don't disturb them.
- It's not okay to tease a sleeping or eating dog.
- Do not pull a dog's ears, tail, or any other part of its body.
- Don’t hug dogs without supervision.
- Never bother a dog while they’re chewing a bone or a toy.
You can also teach your kids your dog’s body language and vocal communication signs.
Provide Crate Training
Keep in mind that your dog might not always want to interact with children. So train them to go to their safe space if they want a break. Their crate is the most suitable option.
Teach your kids that the dog’s crate is off-limits to them. The bonus here is dogs often do better at bonding with children if they know they have an escape route.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Forcing your dog to accept your kids will never work. Instead, it can become a terrifying experience for your dog, and it may end up hurting others.
The best way to encourage interaction between your dog and your child is to use positive actions. Show your dog that good things happen when your kid is around. For example, when your dog behaves well around children, show appreciation by giving it lots of praise, treats, and attention.
You need to give your pup time to get comfortable around kids. Soon enough, it will happily seek out the love and attention of your kids and be on its best behaviour around them.
In the meantime, buy the best quality accessories for your pup to keep it safe. Bully Billows has a wide shop — explore our product now!