Almost every child wants a dog, preferably of course a cute, cuddly puppy to play with. But a dog is not a toy, it is a living being that has its own needs. However, so that your child can experience a peaceful life with the dog, there are a few things, especially for parents, that must be observed from the outset for both sides to grow up in a relaxed and safe manner. You can find out here what you have to pay attention to in detail.
Important In Advance
A friendship between child and dog can be a great experience for both parties. Small children who have close contact with dogs grow up more emotionally stable and generally healthier. In addition, various statistics show that dogs make children happy and cause closed, shy children to come out of themselves.
When the new addition to the family moves in on four paws, explanation and supervision are essential so that the child and dog become a great team. Therefore, discuss and explain these rules to your child and thus ensure better and safer interaction with four-legged friends.
Fear of the dog
The fear of the dog can also be developmental. This in turn seems to be closely related to the fact that many people today no longer have any experience in dealing with animals.
What you don’t know can scare you. However, even in preschool age, many children suddenly show a developmental fear of dogs, which usually disappears as quickly as it came.
To speed up this process, it makes sense to offer the child as much knowledge as possible about dogs and contact with peaceful dogs, because this will make them feel safer and get their fear under control more quickly.
How dog and child develop a close friendship
The basis for friendship is the right “language” between humans and animals in order to avoid unpleasant incidents caused by mere misunderstandings.
A dog needs food, water, exercise, activity, care and plenty of rest. A child cannot and must not bear responsibility for this alone. But a bigger child should help out at an early age and gradually take on more tasks in dog care.
Under your guidance, he can brush the dog, clean and fill the bowls , hide lost property in search games, throw balls and do a lot more with him. Care and responsibility strengthen the friendship between dog and child.
Make sure that you are always nearby so that you can answer questions, provide assistance and intervene in an emergency.
Learn the dog’s body language and manners
The child should quickly learn the dog language and how to handle the dog appropriately. This is the only way to ensure that the dog is not tortured and the children are not injured.
The dog’s tail is a good way to start learning because it is an eye-catching mood barometer. If the dog feels uncomfortable or if he is afraid, he pulls in the tail. If he is particularly happy, he waves.
A wagging tail initially only shows the level of excitement and does not have to mean joy. Your child should also know that a dog will feel threatened if you stare at him or suddenly grab his head from above.
Teach your child to respect that eyes, nose, ears and tail are particularly sensitive body parts of the dog and not handles or even toys.
If your child now understands that a dog that is eating or sleeping must not be disturbed, nothing stands in the way of the dog-child friendship.
10 rules for children’s safe handling of dogs
- Never approach without being asked
You should always ask the owner for permission before approaching a dog, no matter how harmless it looks.
- Do not disturb dogs
Dogs that are drinking, eating or playing with toys should be left alone. In no case should you try to take anything away from a dog. It is also better not to wake sleeping dogs.
- A dog doesn’t want to be annoyed any more than you do
The child needs to know that they are not allowed to tease animals. Pulling on the tail or ears or blowing in the face is not fun for the dog and can make him feel attacked and fight back.
- Always approach carefully
One should never approach a dog from behind or run towards him head-on. It is best to approach slightly from the side and, above all, calmly so that the dog does not get frightened.
- Never get involved in a brawl
Dogs in scuffle should only be separated from their owners, preferably in such a way that everyone grabs the other’s dog. A child must be taught that under no circumstances should they interfere in the brawl.
- Don’t provoke
Dogs try to clarify the hierarchy, among other things, by constantly looking themselves in the eyes. So children should learn from an early age never to look a dog directly in the eyes.
- Leave alternative options
A dog must not feel that he is being cornered. So avoid that the dog and child are together under the table, for example.
- Respect the dog’s language
A dog can misunderstand some things. This includes waving the arms, but it also includes running away or playing catch near him.
- Still objects are boring
When a dog is racing at you, it is best to just stand still, even if it is very difficult. As long as you’re moving, you’re much more interesting.
- Only let a child play with the dog under supervision
When playing with a dog, an adult should always be nearby who can intervene quickly if necessary.
Pay attention to the safety and health of dogs and young children
Most dogs do not accept small children as social partners and are very sensitive to pinching and pinching. When children and dogs are romping around, it can be rough at times.
Make sure that the situation remains comfortable for both playmates. In the case of minor mishaps, you should not scold the dog or the child, but have disinfectants and plasters ready and then discuss the situation with the child.
However, playing with a puppy that is extremely sensitive should only be done under your supervision. In addition, puppies never belong in the inexperienced hands of young children. After all, the little dogs themselves are new to the world and have a lot to learn.
What should you watch out for when going for a walk?
The children should learn how to lead dogs for the first time. Therefore, note that children should never go for a walk with the dog unaccompanied.
It can therefore also be dangerous for everyone involved with a small dog in traffic or when the young dog-child team meets an aggressive four-legged friend. In such situations, all children and dogs are overwhelmed and at risk.
Important rules when going for a walk. If you see your child running towards a strange dog, call them back. Because many have already been bitten.
When the dogs are sniffing the meadow, don’t move away. You need a place for your business.
But if they sniff at garbage, it can have very dire effects. Therefore, in these moments, the children can exceptionally tighten the leash and pull it.
Extensive education to protect the child
Children should never touch a strange dog without first asking the dog owner for permission. Because there are also dogs that react defensively to children.
Dogs are very sensitive to noise and can react to hectic, sudden movement with barking, growling or jumping. Children should therefore learn to behave carefully around a dog and to adapt their temperament to the dog, not the other way around.
This is especially true in public places where dogs can run. Absolute taboos for children are cornering dogs, kicking them or throwing objects at them.
What should be considered when choosing a dog?
On the part of the dog, it is not the breed that is decisive for the suitable playmate, but the individual character of the dog. One should not choose a dog who does not like to submit or has a general problem with jealousy or stress.
On the other hand, a gentle dog that is balanced and calm and thus copes with different situations is ideal. It is also important that he already has the necessary basic obedience.
Having a puppy and baby at the same time is a double stressor to avoid. It becomes easier with a puppy when the child is at least three years old.