Every day we see children on the street who come to pet dogs they do not know, with a very excessive confidence. Something that can not only scare the dog but can be extremely dangerous.
The same happens with homes where there are dogs and a child arrives, or with homes where there are children and a new dog arrives. You have to educate both dogs and children, since it is vitally important that both know how to respect and take care of themselves.
How to train a child to interact with dogs?
The first thing we must know is that it is not the same to educate a child to behave with a dog that we have at home, that is to say that it is part of our family, than for example, with a dog that can be crossed on the street and who does not know anything.
When we say “child” we obviously refer to boys and girls under the age of fourteen or fifteen, although above all at ages under ten, where they are still unconscious by their nature and can do something to harm the dog.
How a child should act in front of an unfamiliar dog
- It is not advisable to approach an unfamiliar dog, touch it, talk to it or look directly into its eyes. We must make our son / daughter learn this correctly.
- Before trying to pet a dog, you should ask its owner in advance. If your owner is not there, you should never approach the dog.
- If the owner agrees that our son / daughter can caress the dog, because how his owner knows his character and knows that it will not pose a danger, our son should bring his hand very gently and leave it still, so that the dog can smell him.
- Once the child’s hand has been smelled, you can stroke the dog very gently on its back and sides of its neck. You should never stroke its head, muzzle, or other parts that may bother the dog.
- Do not run towards the dog, yell or make sudden movements that may scare it.
How a child should act in front of a family dog
When the dog is not a stranger but is a family dog or our own dog, our child must follow the previous rules and also add new ones:
- The dog is not a toy, do not ride it or trick it how to pull its tail or ears.
- Never disturb the dog when he is sleeping or eating.
- Do not scare the dog, never hit him and obviously respect him as one more member of the family.
- Never put your face in front of the dog’s face, his muzzle.
- Do not hug him as if he were a person (that overwhelms many dogs).
- Never remove anything from his mouth (neither toys nor food).
- Do not play with the tug of war with toys.
Actually making a dog happy is very simple , you just have to follow certain guidelines so as not to disturb it and that there is a perfect coexistence in the family.
Can a dog attack a child?
Not only can it but it will, a scared dog can take a bite to defend itself. A vigilant but will attack if someone unknown approaches. Dogs are not bad, let’s not get confused, we also act the same on a different scale.
It is simply that children must be educated so that they know how to respect dogs as they deserve, as one of the family and not as a hobby / toy.
Never and under no circumstances should a small child be left alone with a dog, the child can innocently harm or provoke the dog, he will not know how to interpret the dog’s signals when he shows danger and may be injured.
From twelve or fourteen years of age, children already acquire some responsibility and knowledge about how to interpret these signals. Despite both the child and the dog, they are always the responsibility of an adult.
Dogs are loving, noble, loyal, and very familiar, as long as they are well behaved and respected by children. If our child does not respect the rules, we simply should not let him get close to dogs.
How to train a dog to interact with children?
Dogs are extremely intelligent beings, but obviously they have a limit and there are things that they cannot evaluate. How, for example, why a child is pulling his tail and ears and nobody does anything.
It is our responsibility, and only ours, to properly educate our dog or puppy to prevent it from engaging in inappropriate behaviors. A well-behaved dog is not only a guarantee against possible problems with children, but it is also a guarantee for ourselves.
How should I introduce my dog, my new son?
Ideally, while the child is in the hospital for the first few days, we bring the dog some used diaper or clothes used by the baby so that our dog can identify its smell.
When our son leaves the hospital and comes home for the first time, we must follow a very simple ritual to introduce him to the dog:
- The dog must have come from a long walk, where he has run and used up his energy. The more tired and relaxed you are, the better.
- We must go to greet the dog as usual, pamper and caress him but without exciting him too much.
- We must let the dog come to smell the child. It is something completely normal and necessary, since dogs know other dogs and people through their smell. Our dog must have the opportunity to smell it or even lick it. We must NEVER let this be done unsupervised, a responsible adult should be in charge of the child and another adult in charge of the dog, letting him smell and know him but with caution.
- Dogs detect our nervousness, we must be calm and happy, talk to the dog, etc….
Common sense is our main asset, if our dog is aggressive we must completely omit these steps. And whether or not the dog is aggressive, remember never to leave children and dogs alone.