Are you a parent looking to become dog owners? Or are you a dog owner looking to raise a child and add another member to your family? No matter what category you belong to, childproofing your dog is now a crucial step, as important as house training, to ensure harmonious relationships in the house.
Dogs and children are possibly the cutest combination if they both have learnt how to behave around each other. While some dogs have a natural ability to love kids, others may actually also be scared of being around them. The latter category of dogs need training and socialization.
Here are some of our tips to keep both your children and your pet doggo safe and happy in each other’s company.
1. Socialize your dogs – Between ages of 8 to 16 weeks, pups go through a critical development phase. That is the time they are more likely to learn to accept and be comfortable with different people and in a variety of situations. So, if you have a young pup, introduce him/her to your children as soon as possible. Make them meet the children in variety of situations. Also remember to tell your children to behave well around them and not get involved in tail-pulling and the likes. A good experience will result in the dog feeling positively about the child. If there is even a slight situation of stress, remove your dog from there.
2. Don’t leave the dog and child alone – No matter how well you may have trained your dog, do not leave them alone with a young child. There is no way to predict how an infant, toddler, or dog will behave, and so accidents may happen.
3. Stick to a schedule-We understand that having children around can throw you off your schedule significantly, but try your best to not let it affect your dog’s schedule. Stick to their walking and eating schedules specifically, and do not deprive them of their daily exercises and pooping times as well. This is important so that they don’t perceive the children as someone who has disrupted their lives in any way.
4. Teach your kids how to handle dogs-No matter how well-behaved your children might be, sometimes they might be tempted to sit on the dog or put their arms around him. Prepare your dog for this before he bites the child or runs into them. Try giving him lots of praise while you gently tug at its tail or hold its paws, or even hug him. Teach your children to be delicate around them, too before you attempt any of this.
5. Introduce dogs to your children’s toys- And do this in your children’s presence. This is when commands like ‘drop it’ will come handy. Moreover some dogs can be very sensitive to toys that make noise or bikes that children own. They may start fearing it and associate the same fear with your children. Some dogs might even be tempted to chew on toys, which can lead to them tippin over your children if they come back for it. Redirect your dog to dog toys instead.