Dogs are wonderful pets to have. They can guard, play, and be faithful companions. When you have a family with children, a pet dog adds another dimension to the clan that no other animal could do. Even so, having a pet dog and children in the same house could come with some risks. While you should teach your kids how to play with pets, you might also benefit from these tips on training your dog to play with kids.
Tips for Training Your Dog to Play with Kids Safely
Training your dog to play with kids should start as early as possible. Just like human beings, dogs can form lifelong habits through early experiences. Puppies should encounter as many people, things, and situations as possible to help them acclimate to the world, including kids.
Exposing to Objects, Sounds, & Smells
In your socializing training, you could also narrow it down to baby and child-related objects, such as things in the nursery, the sounds of children and babies, etc. If you are introducing a new dog to your family, you could introduce your kids’ clothing and other belongings with their scent before introducing the children themselves.
Respecting Your Dog’s Feelings
Whatever you do, do not force your dog to feel comfortable around kids. If your dog is not ready or willing, you should take its cues and respect its feelings. No matter how much you want your pets and kids to get along, you have to let a positive relationship form naturally.
Rewarding for Good Behavior
When your dog has positive interactions with kids early on, you can encourage the behavior with praise and treats. Your dog will know that it is doing something right in how it relates to children through your positive reinforcement.
Providing a Safe Space
A dog will feel more comfortable in any situation, including interacting with kids, if it has a safe place in which to escape. Its crate can be its safe space in your home, a place where it can retreat in peace if it wants.
Not Sharing Toys
Kids and pets not sharing toys is another way to establish order. Kids could share with other kids and pets with other pets, but it is best for dogs to leave children’s toys alone and vice versa.
It is best to supervise when your kids and pets are together. Anything could go wrong on either side, so it is necessary for an adult to be there to guide each party in the right direction.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!