Help Your Kids Train Your Dog

Dogs and kids just seem to kind of go together. As one sage dog lover noted, every dog deserves a kid. It’s true. A dog’s life can be immeasurably enriched by living with children. And the same goes when children are raised with a dog. But it all depends on having a responsible adult teaching a child how to interact with dogs. Lots of kids are bitten each year because they don’t know how to behave around dogs.

 

There are a few basic Dos and Don’ts when it comes to what you should teach your kids about dogs:

 

  • Don’t let a child put his face near a dog’s mouth, especially a strange dog. When kids are bitten, it’s often on the face.

 

  • Teach children not to run from dogs – dogs will chase them. Even if they are playing, things can escalate and children can get injured.

 

  • Tell your children not to scream around dogs. If your dog has been raised with your kids, s/he probably won’t mind, but the sound of children screaming can be very upsetting for some dogs.

 

  • Teach kids not to bother dogs when they are eating. Some dogs guard their food and they can become irritable at dinner time.

 

  • Teach kids not to take toys or other treasured objects from dogs. Some dogs guard favorite toys and can become gruff if a child tries to take the toy.

 

  • Don’t let children tug on tails, pull ears, or otherwise do things to aggravate dogs. Some dogs will put up with this kind of play but others won’t. Teach your child to play with dogs appropriately.

 

  • Never, ever leave a baby alone with a dog. Although we love dogs and often consider them as family members, it’s important to remember that they are still animals. It’s not safe to leave a baby alone with a dog.

 

It’s recommended that all children under the age of 5-6 years old be supervised when they play with dogs, just to be safe. It’s very easy for running and rough play to get out of hand and someone – even the dog – to get hurt.

 

Along with these safety basics, you can teach your kids how to pet the dog gently. Show your children how to brush and bathe the dog. Your kids probably see you feed the dog every day but take time to explain something about the dog’s meals. As your children get older, you can tell them about your dog’s veterinary care and the other things that dogs need for good health. In this way, you’ll be teaching  your children how to properly care for a dog as a pet and setting a good example. These may be small things over the course of your dog’s life, but they’re important for children to learn. You would probably be surprised by how many kids grow up without knowing anything about dogs.

 

Another great way to teach your kids responsibility is by getting them involved in training your dog. Dogs need to be trained and it’s a wonderful way for a child to bond with a dog. Here are a few basic things that your child can train your dog to do:

 

  • Teach “down”: Show your child how to hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose, and then drop his or her hand to the ground. The dog will follow the food and drop into the down position. As soon as the dog is lying down, make sure your child gives the dog the treat and lots of praise.

 

  • Teach “sit”: Have your son or daughter hold the treat just about your dog’s nose and slowly move it back over the dog’s head. As your child does this, your dog will rock back into a sit. As soon as the dog sits, have your child praise your pup and give him the treat.

 

  • Teach how to walk on a leash: Your child can help train your dog to walk on a leash. To do this, have your child hold a treat or your dog’s favorite toy waist high. Have him or her tell the dog “Let’s go” and start walking. Your dog will watch the toy or treat and start walking along nicely.

 

That’s all there is to it! With a little assistance from you, most kids can train their dog to learn these obedience basics

| RSS feed for comments on this post

Comments are closed.