We have all seen the photos of toddlers cuddling with their canine best friends and been reduced to human mush by the overwhelming cuteness. Every child needs a doggy sidekick. They take the rap for missing homework and make broccoli disappear under the dinner table. Not to mention all those “Aww” inspiring photo opportunities! Want your kids to develop a lifetime bond with the family dog? Then read on!
Is your Baby on the way? Start planning today!
Nine months should be enough time to prepare your doggie for the much-awaited arrival. If your dog has not been through the basic behavior training, now is the time. You need to make him understand and obey some basic commands such as No, stop and off. Ask a new mom to bring her baby to the house for an administered test run. Evaluate your puppy’s level of nervousness around the child. Before bringing your new born home from the hospital, have your dog smell a blanket with the baby’s scent. Allow your dog to get used to the new scent, but make sure to “own” the blanket. This is going to let your canine know there is a new person coming and that you are complete in charge of it.
Before introducing your doggy to any kid, make sure he is well trained
A good long walk or a run through the dog park is going to help dismiss some of that pent-up tense energy. Your pup should be calm as well as submissive before any meeting with a child. This rule applies irrespective of who the new arrival is, the dog or child.
Let the dog go to the child
Kids love puppies and might rush right over to your pooch in enthusiasm. Speak to your kids before they meet your dog. Explain that the dog might be nervous at first and they should be very quiet and very still, so they do not scare him. When the dog begins to feel safe, he will make his way over to be introduced. This can be a long process, so do not force the issue. Make sure to administer, but try not to be too anxious or controlling. Your dog is going to pick up on your nervous energy.
Teach kids how to correctly touch a dog
Babies and kids are just learning about the world, and their instinct is to grasp everything that catches their interest. Even older children erroneously reach to pat a dog’s head or give a big, goofy hug. Dogs might see any of these signs as a potential threat and even snap at the child. Train kids that dogs prefer to be touched on the side of their face or under their chin. Also, make sure that they should never sneak up on the dog or touch him when he is sleeping.
Know your dog’s stress signs and body language
Tucked tails, firmed ears, and lowered eyes are all signs that your dog might be feeling flabbergasted. Get to know your dog’s particular body language so that you are aware when he has had enough baby time for one day. Dogs hardly ever bite without warning, so it is important that you understand their elusive clues. Teach kids to respect personal space and never go back a dog into a corner.