Kids and dogs are so cute together. Having a pet can be a wonderful learning experience for kids, and of course, they are the best companions. However, it’s important to make sure the interactions are safe and mutually desired. Here are some sure-fire ways to promote positive and safe interactions between your kids and dog.
Ways to promote positive interactions between kids and dogs
Photo by Piscea via Unsplash
Find activities fit for both parties
Allow your kids to engage with your family dog in a way that benefits both kids and dog, such as running around outside or playing fetch. Both can get out energy and have some fun. Avoid rough play like wrestling because this type of behavior can escalate and potentially turn into a bite (even if unintentional). It also teaches your dog that aggressive behavior is acceptable.
Give dogs their space
Even if it appears that your dog is tolerating close interaction, avoid face-to-face contact, such as hugging and kissing. Dogs don’t it like when their personal space is being encroached upon. In fact, dogs usually don’t like hugs, and there are some telltale signs you can always look for.
Don’t let your kids tug at your dog’s collar, tail, ears, or neck. This is very threatening and could result in an aggressive reaction.
Be the cheerleader and protector of your dog. If you are stopping an undesired behavior, your dog will sense that you have it under control. If you let your children have rough or stressful interactions with your dog, your dog might take things into his own paws.
Remember to be patient with your dog and kids during this process! After all, any relationship is a work in progress. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or ask one of our fantastic trainers!
Cover photo by Alicia Jones on Unsplash
This post was updated on April 24, 2019.