Taking care of a dog teaches children responsibility, develops empathy, gives them exercise away from the television and is fun! It is the responsibility of adults to make sure that the child/dog relationship is one that understands each other.
Dog and children dos and don’ts
- Did you know that children have to be 10 years old or over to be legally responsible for a dog outside their home?
- When you are out and about children will come see numerous dogs. As a rule it’s a good habit to nurture to teach children to ask a dog owners permission before they pet any dog – you never know the issues another dog has.
- Don’t play rough games with your puppy, it only encourages the same behavior when they grow up but they will be a lot more powerful when they are fully grown.
- Did you know that most puppies don’t like close face to face contact unless they have instigated it themselves? Teach your child to keep their face away from the puppies face so there is no risk of being nipped on the face!
- Don’t let your child ambush or force themselves on a puppy. If they want to play, invite the puppy over but don’t force play with the puppy. Children must understand that puppies need quiet time too.
- Puppies will steal, chew and swallow childrens toys and clothes to get your attention. To avoid unnecessary vets bills and uncomfort for your puppy, teach your children to tidy up after themselves – remember if a puppy chews up something that they aren’t meant to have it’s your fault for leaving it in their reach.
- Finally don’t play fight with each other or the puppy, it will make them unnecessarily protective or jealous an can backfire badly if the dog misjudges future situations.