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Children & Dogs: Make it a Success

Mar 2, 2008
Having a dog seems like a great idea before the dog arrives but if you have children any number of problems may arise with the arrival of a new dog to the household. Whether the dog is a puppy or a more mature dog there are potential problems. The relationship between a child and a dog can be a life changing event. You can help ensure that this is a great time for your family by preparing your family properly for a new addition.

Supervise your children especially if children are very young or there is a puppy involved. Even very rowdy children should be taught to treat a dog gently and with respect. A dog is not something for them to boss around. The dog will need to learn to obey them with a few simple commands but this should come later. Some children will see this as a chance for them to finally be the boss but this should not be the case! If your child is excitable then allow them time with the dog in small doses as they can handle it.

Proper supervision of children and pets is the key to lifelong happiness for both. Young children should never be left alone with a pet. Many a pet has bitten a toddler because the toddler got rough and twisted its ear or any number of other things. This could lead to having to put down a favored family pet. To avoid this grief, simply supervise your small children at all times when any dog is present.

Children should be involved with obedience training of the dog; however a child should not be allowed to use commands just to be bossy. Commands for a dog should clear and consistent. Children should be taught to use the correct commands for each situation. Having children use consistent commands with your dog will help the dog be clear on what is expected. Dogs like consistency and will learn to trust their family when everyone is working together for the happiness and safety of the dog.

Your dog will learn to trust the children more if the child is given age appropriate chores to help with the care of the dog. Children can feed, water and clean up after a dog. Be sure you check up to ensure that your child takes the responsibility seriously. Helping with the responsibility of your dog can help with bonding between your dog and your child as well as increasing your child's self esteem.

When you go out in public be sure that your children understand that it is important not to rush up to dogs they do not know. They may be so delighted with your dog that they fail to realize that some dogs are not as tolerant of strangers or children. If your child wants to greet a dog they do not know they should ask permission of the owner first and then proceed quietly and cautiously as the owner allows contact.

Proceeding with these few simple steps can ensure a lifetime of happiness for your children and your pets. Your child will remember these times in his life when he is older. Make sure these are treasured memories.
About the Author
Annette Phillips owns ACE Barkery which makes and ships a variety of healthy dog treats nationwide. They also offer a FREE Newsletter with dog health and training tips. Visit them at: http://shop.acebarkery.com/main.sc
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