Unfortunately there are many unpleasant experiences with dogs and kids. Some kids don’t like dogs; some dogs don’t like kids; and sometimes the feeling is mutual. If you have kids and also want a dog, you may worry that they won’t be compatible which is why training a dog for children is key. Since the last thing you want is a bad-tempered dog that isn’t safe to be around kids, you might consider giving up the idea of obtaining a dog altogether.
Of course, in most cases dogs and kids get along great! After all, they seem to be on the same level and most develop a strong bond, but one can’t be too careful and an unfortunate incident can have long lasting effects. For this reason you want to take some extra steps to err on the side of caution.
It is not difficult to train your dog to be both great company and a great playmate for your child. In fact, training a dog for children involves little more than teaching it not to bite and not to jump on small kids. However, both your child and dog will need to learn some basic behaviors for living and playing together.
Picking a dog that does not show inappropriate aggression is critical if he will be living with little kids. If he has a nice disposition, the dog may be taught to play nicely and cooperate with your kids as well as with you. It is also important for the kids to realize that a new dog is not a toy; subjecting a new dog to rough play right away may cause him to be nervous or aggressive. You wouldn’t want your dog to bite you kids believing that he must protect himself, nor do you want the dog to fear them.
If you are bringing a new pet into your home, it would be good to have a series of talks with your children beforehand to let them know how to treat a pet and how to be gentle and considerate of the pet’s feelings. If they have had pets before they will understand this but you can still let them know that a new pet will be a little scared and unfamiliar with them and so they should take it easy with their new pet. It would also be smart to supervise the children and the pet at first to make sure neither one is too aggressive or hyper.
When deciding on a dog your prospective dog’s personality should play an important role if you also have young children. Training a dog for children is easy if the dog has a sweet personality. If you have really small children, you might want a smaller dog. A dog that is both energetic and can be controlled is a good match for a home with older children.