The best part about bringing home a new puppy is the joy it brings your children. Kids and puppies have a lot in common. They often lack patience, they are overly curious, and they get easily excited. While these commonalities are an excellent basis for a lifelong bond, they can also be the cause of problems when first introducing a new pet to the family. Here are some tips on how to teach your kids about their new puppy.
Like people, dogs need boundaries. There is a social time and a quiet time. Kids need to learn right away that when a new dog is quiet or sleeping, they should be left alone. They need to rest to prepare for the next round of playing.
Let The Dog Introduce Himself To the Child
It’s important to teach a child that the new dog needs to sniff their way to the child’s space rather than the child taking over the puppy’s space when they first meet. Puppies are scared when they come home, and allowing them this freedom will build a better bond in the weeks to come.
Teach Safe Handling
Gentle strokes are all that children should be doing when they meet their new pet. Teach them that pulling, tugging, kicking, and sitting on a dog is unacceptable from the very beginning. They need to ask their parents before they pet the new dog. Adults can read a dog’s emotions, and can use this an opportunity to teach about the dog’s personality. Children need to know that if the dog is yawning, showing his teeth, growling, or hiding his tail, they are not ready to be pet.
All Interactions Will Be Supervised
Kids are quick to want to take the puppy outside alone or retreat to their bedrooms for some personal playtime. Children need to know immediately that all playtime will be supervised by an adult to ensure safety for both the dog and child. Kids can get overly playful, and dogs can sometimes get too aggressive. It is important in the early stages that the dog and child feel safe around one another.
Give Your Kids Jobs To Take Care of The Puppy
While many kids promise to care for the new dog to convince their parents to buy one, most kids leave the daily care to the parents once the dog is home. Even so, they can be given small jobs right from the beginning. Joining in on walks to pick up dog waste, filling water bowls, and daily brushing are ways to teach your child about canine care.
There is nothing more fun than a new puppy. It is wonderful to watch your child and puppy grow up together and form a lifelong bond. Teaching your child the basics of canine care will create lifelong memories for your entire family.