How to Teach Your Dog to Behave Around Kids
Socialization is not only for people – pet animals can also benefit from learning socialization skills. By introducing your puppy to children early on in life, he can learn how to behave himself around them and enjoy their company. If you have children in the family, it’s important that your dog learn to be sociable and friendly around your little ones. These skills are best taught within the first 3 months of your pup’s life.
Socialization Shapes Your Dog’s Temperament
Your dog’s temperament will determine his relationship with others, especially children. Early socialization can help your puppy develop a friendly temperament towards children. The first three months of your puppy’s life is the ideal time for forging his nature and character.
When taking your puppy for a walk, allow children to approach him and give him some attention. Try to make your pup’s interactions with children enjoyable and pleasant. Puppies easily attract attention – you can use this to your advantage to help your pup become used to human contact. Puppies who adjust to children early on will be less likely to bite or become agitated around them when they grow older. Both children and puppies must learn proper behavior in order to enjoy each other’s company.
Tips for Positive Child-Puppy Interaction
Puppies can be trained to behave around kids and adjust to their antics. This training begins with teaching children proper behavior towards your pet. Be sure your kids know how to act around your pup, with specific do’s and don’ts concerning playtime, feeding and overall care. Well trained children will make it much easier for your puppy to learn good manners and behavior.
Always supervise children when they interact with your pup. A feisty pup may cause young children to over react or become frightened, which could lead to an accident. Never allow children to tease, poke, slap or otherwise terrorize your pup, not even in jest. Keep initial contact happy and calm, so your puppy associates interaction with children as a pleasant experience and looks forward to their company.
Once your pup becomes accustomed to being around kids, introduce games and festivities into their interaction. Puppies love to play and children make perfect playmates. Let your pup romp in the yard with your kids, getting used to noise and activity. Through playtime, your pup can also begin to learn basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “come.” This will get him accustomed to obedience.
Establish Acceptable and Non-acceptable Dog Behavior
Teach your puppy acceptable and non-acceptable behavior around children. Your pup should be discouraged from such actions as jumping on children, nipping their heels, barking uncontrollably or destroying their toys. Use consistent words or phrases like “no”, “bad”, etc. to show displeasure with your puppy’s inappropriate behavior and place him on “time out” in a room by himself for a minute to indicate his behavior is not acceptable. Be consistent in your training to help your puppy understand what he’s doing wrong. In like manner, reward him when he displays good behavior and obedience.
It’s important you establish certain rules and boundaries for your pup from the very start. Make sure all members of your family are in agreement with the rules and are willing to reinforce them. This makes it easier for your pup to learn. Make training fun and enjoyable and be sure to reward your pup’s good behavior with lots of praise and treats. While training your pup, take time to establish a safe and happy friendship that you’ll be able to enjoy well into the future.
It pays to teach your dog socialization and behavioral skills as a puppy when he’s more open to learning. His training in this area will make it easier for him to enjoy children’s company as he grows older.
About the Author
Kaitlin Gardner currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking , hand with her family and friend and enjoy nature.