|Discuss with your kids how they plan to help your dog manage the transition from summer, when they were home all the time, and the fall, when they are at school most of the day. Will they take him out for a walk as soon as they get off the bus? Will they set aside some early morning time for play and fun? Will they promise to throw the ball in the backyard every night before dinner? Enlisting children’s natural empathy for animals will help family-oriented pets make a better transition from summer to fall. (Q. How do you know a dog’s depressed? A. He just lies there.)|
You are viewing all 'Dogs & Children entries.
|Your dog was your baby, until the human baby arrived squalling on the scene. Assuming your dog is gentle, trustworthy, and family-oriented, a new addition to your family can become the love of your dog’s life. Take care to foster an environment where this can happen. Avoid isolating, scolding, and ignoring your old baby when the new baby comes home. For the first weeks after baby’s arrival, make sure one family member is always the “designated dogger” to play, walk, and love your dog generously so the transition doesn’t have him feeling left out, causing him to act up and get in trouble.|
|Often dogs who are naturally shy feel overwhelmed by the activity and energy of small children. Although they may tolerate kids, this dog personality type would be better off in a different environment.
Radio show host and pet expert Tracie Hotchner is the author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible. Click here to follow her on Twitter.
|As we approach the holidays, many people are considering giving a puppy as a special gift. Keep in mind a few important factors when making this decision. If there are kids in the house, take into account their ages and ability to care for a pup. Many dogs end up in shelters or second homes as children may not be capable of giving the necessary care. Is the new home ready for a puppy? Are there places close by to walk him? Special consideration must be taken for renters as dogs may not be permitted. Does the person’s schedule mesh with a new pup? The more time that a new owner can give up-front, the better off both the dog and his new family will be over the long-term. A dog is a priceless gift but a good deal of careful forethought is required.
L. Hope Hesano is a co-founder of the all-natural online shop FidoDogTreats.com
|Kids – Ask your parents for a book on clicker training or to take you and your dog to doggy school! You can teach your dog a bunch of cool tricks!
Parents – I generally tell my clients to find one hour long or two half hour long television shows they like and use commercials for training breaks. Average time spent training each day? Fifteen minutes.
If for any reason you are concerned about your children’s safety around your dogs, consult a well-qualified training professional or behaviorist immediately. Need help finding a good trainer or behaviorist? Try the Association for Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants.
|Kids – never approach dogs that are sleeping, chewing on toys or bones, in a crate, playing with a tug toy, playing with other dogs, hurting or in obvious pain, or mother dogs that are with their puppies.
Parents – 3 components to safety in dog-child relationships:
1. Educate yourself. Learn about canine body language, stress signals.
2. Manage the situation – do not allow your child to approach unfriendly dogs, be unsupervised with dogs, or approach dogs in the situations listed above.
3. Train your dog – this means socializing them well, training behaviors like “leave it,” “go settle on a mat,” crate training, a recall, and a reliable sit and down.
To learn more, go to www.doggonesafe.com.
|Kids – learn to “be a tree.” When a dog is chasing you or jumping up at you, cross your arms and turn your head down and away from the dog and wait for him to walk away. Dogs don’t chase or jump on trees! This is useful when you are around a frisky dog or a dog makes you nervous.
Parents – reinforce your dog for looking away from a child who is “being a tree.” Learn the “be a tree” posture and demonstrate it to your children (for more on “be a tree’” check out www.doggonesafe.com).
|Kids – most dogs don’t like people to hug them (in fact, many dogs hate hugs – crazy, huh?), or to reach over their head and give them pats on the head. I know it’s hard not to hug a new dog when you meet him, especially really cute dogs! If you would like to meet a new dog, have permission from your parents and his owner. The best way to make friends is to turn your body sideways a bit, look slightly away from the dog while crouching down and holding your hand out (lower than the dog’s head). Wait for the dog to come visit you. The best way to make friends with a dog is to scratch him lightly under his neck and on his chest.
Parents – Teach your children the appropriate way to interact with dogs and NEVER leave dogs and children together unattended. Children and dogs should never play roughly together. Do not encourage or allow chase games between your children and dogs. Physically intense games like tug are great for dogs, but are best left for adult dog owners and should not be encouraged in children. Hide and seek is a great game for kids and dogs to play and also builds a great recall – it’s a win/win! Kids can also make scavenger hunts for dogs, hiding favorite toys and treats in the yard or home for the dog to find. Many dogs like playing fetch, chasing after bubbles, or even a simple game like “which hand is the treat in?”
|Kids – never approach a strange dog without first asking your parents, then asking the dog’s owner for permission. Check back in next time for tips on how to make friends with a new doggy!
Parents – don’t assume any strange dogs are friendly or that they all know how to behave appropriately around children of any size. It is up to you to keep your child safe!
|Children should be taught how to behave when they encounter a service dog team in public. We suggest teaching three simple rules that are worded in a positive way:
1. Always approach a service dog team from the front.
2. Always respect the working space of a service dog team by not getting too close.
3. Always remember that a service dog is working and should not be petted unless you are given permission.