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June 18, 2019 4 min read

Dogs and Children

Dogs can teach kids to be responsible and compassionate, and not to mention they make the best playmates anyone could ever ask for. But before you adopt any puppy, make sure you research the best type of breed for your children and your lifestyle. There are some dogs that do better with older kids, while others are more patient with the little ones.

Because of a child’s small size and their unpredictable behavior, there are several things every pet owner or parents should know about children and dogs. And this article will help parents to decide which dog breed is best for small children, as well as how to introduce a new dog to a family with kids. We will also discuss common behavior problems and health risks which can occur between dogs and children.

Right dog at the right time
Dogs can be a great addition to a family, because they can help teach a child empathy, patience, how to be responsible and compassionate. But first of all, ask yourself if you are ready to bring a new puppy into your home that is already too busy. Do you have free time or desire to spend hours of grooming or walking a high maintenance dog? Puppies also requires almost as much time as a child does. If you are not one hundred percent committed to caring for and training a dog, then we discourage you from acquiring a dog, otherwise it will be unfair to the people or the dog. No young child is capable of properly training or caring for a dog and the parent must always take full responsibility for the dog.

Bringing a new dog into a family with kids
If you decide that a new dog or puppy is right for your family, make sure to get your house puppy-proof and acquire necessary puppy items before bringing your new puppy home. Let your puppy adjust to his new surroundings before it is played too much. Also set some house rules with your children concerning the new dog and make sure they understand and will obey it. Educate yourself. Your new puppy will need to be trained but so as your children on how to treat the dog, so make sure you plan on spending lots of time training both the dog and the children. Training your new puppy at an early age can avoid unwanted behavior in the future. Dogs that are well-trained are a joy to be around and are a requirement if children are involved.


Bringing a new child into a family with dogs
Another common worry of new parents is how their dog will react when they bring a new baby into the house, but honestly most dogs do fine when a new baby is brought into the house. Sure, they are going to be curious and may even feel neglected, but these feelings will soon pass. The transition should go smoothly if the new parents take extra time out of each day to play, exercise and groom the dog before and after the baby is born. Most problem starts when the baby turns into a toddler and starts invading the dog’s personal space. A toddler will not be able to understand rules and should not be expected to just simply leave the dog alone. This is the time when you should make sure that your dog has his own space. Everyone, including the dog, will be happier with this arrangement. Also keep in mind that when the new baby comes home, everyone will have less free time, except the dog. So, make sure you make extra time for the dog and he should be fine.

The relationship between dogs and children
All dogs have a unique relationship with people. With more understanding of the “pack” mentality, it becomes even easier to see why dogs act the way they do. Altering a dog’s behavior revolves around understanding their behavior and the importance of dominance and submissions in the dog psyche. It’s very important to remember that in the dog’s mind, the family is a pack unit and everyone in that family has a certain “position” in the pack. While in most families, one of both of the parents are usually considered the pack leaders and the dog is a subordinate to them. This may seem very obvious to some dogs and it may not really matter much for some. But when small children are involved, most dogs consider the child equal or lower in the pack hierarchy than they are, and this is where the problem usually starts. It is important that the parent understands this hierarchical relationship and takes certain precautions to prevent problems from arising. If such problem can’t be avoided, then it’s an indication that a professional help such as your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist are needed.

It is the responsibility of every pet owner to make sure that their dog knows how to interact properly with the rest of the world. If you love your dog, train them.