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Dogs and Kids

Growing up with a dog can be a great experience! Realize the importance of Kids and Dogs Safety when you have young children at home. It is by popular opinion and many experts agree, that a child should be at least six years old before a puppy is brought into the family home. Most dog bites to kids occur from the family dog. All dogs have the potential to bite. Most dog bites are from smaller dogs.

There are myths about dogs and kids and how to make the best choice for your family. When it comes to toddlers or preschoolers, you may think that a puppy would be safer decision because they are smaller and easier to handle and care for. Puppies and the smaller dogs are equally fragile, and injury can occur easily. Kids can play rough and have a tendency to pulling tails, poking, sudden movements, and want to pick up the smaller dogs. Puppies play by using their teeth and the accidental bite can happen without warning. Constant supervision is a must with children and dogs which adds an extra burden to a parent.

Some large breeds like the Labrador or Golden Retrievers are favorites for their love of children. Perhaps, a friendly adult dog may be a better match for younger kids. Some can argue that a smaller breed dog would be the right choice because it's less likely to knock over the little one, and perhaps easier for your child to walk and play with. Whatever size, a dog can be a great way to teach children responsibility, just remember every dog has its own distinct personality and temperament.

Breed is just one component in determining its behavior. Every canine, no matter what the size, needs training and socialization to be a positive part of the family. Dogs need adequate exercise, veterinary care, and lots of love and attention. "The Raleigh Dog Trainer" would be happy to help you select your family dog.

We need to explain to our kids that dogs sometimes need their quiet time. Some dogs can become nervous or excited by kids running around playing or screaming. No tail pulling, poking, hugging, barking, hitting, and no teasing are rules to go over frequently with kids and their little visitors. Constant supervision is the best way to make sure dogs and kids are safe.

Teach your children to leave the dog alone if they are resting, eating or even playing with their toys. Let them know the signs the dog may give if they want to be left alone. Growling is a warning as well as lip curling. Snapping or biting should never be tolerated. Get a professional trainer to help you understand how to correct nervous aggression as soon as possible.

It's not realistic to expect a child to have full responsibility over the care of a dog. As kids get older they often get busier with school and social activities. That leaves little time to give your family dog the attention they need. That's not to say kids can't help take care of the dog. In fact, it is an excellent way to teach responsibility and love for another living creature. Even a young child can help by filling the water bowl, choosing a new toy, even helping out with giving the dog a bath. Make sure your kids know that the dog is a part of the family, and needs love and attention everyday.

Having a dog can also be an excellent way to teach children responsibility and commitment. Be sure you lead by example. Caring for a dog should be a positive experience for the entire family. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children who are raised with a dog can develop positive feelings for animals (not just dogs) and does help in developing trusting relationships with others. It can help kids develop empathy, compassion, and even non-verbal communication skills. Kids who help take care of the family dog learn the meaning of responsibility, and respect for all living things. There is none better than a dog for their unconditional love and loyalty towards humans. Now that's something for both kids and dogs to smile about!

Just click on *Kids Pet Safety Class, or call 919-600-1146.

"The Raleigh Dog Trainer" would be more than happy to help you with your "dogs and kids!" *(free with any lesson or groups)

Steve Wilson

"The Raleigh Dog Trainer"

Trainer and Behavior Specialist

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Free Phone Consultation (919) 600-1146

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