Why teaching dogs to Respect your children is a good idea
It is very important that you teach your dog to respect your children early on in the relationship. While it looks cute when the puppy is chasing your children all over the garden, you will need to bear in mind the possible consequences if the behaviour becomes a habit. Think of the times when your children are alone with the dog; will there be a possibility of a mishap?
This brings us to the next point; refrain from leaving children and your dog alone unattended. Small children do not know not to touch the dog’s food or to leave him alone when he is sick. This is when your dog is most likely to nip or bite your children. Some dogs may be more temperamental and may not have the rationalisation skills to ignore children when they do this. Children also like to tug the tails and ears of dogs, and this is likely to elicit an unwanted retaliation from your pet. If you notice that your dog is becoming agitated in the presence of your children, call a timeout and remove the dog. It is not worth risking the safety of your children. If the problem persists, you may need to engage the services of a certified dog trainer to do some DS and CC on your dog.
Kids are kids and dogs are dogs – never blur these lines. Don’t let the dog eat from the children’s plates (or vice versa for that matter). This is unhygienic and will likely lead to illness. Small children love to put things into their mouths so keep them away from the dog’s toys. It is your responsibility to train your dog, not your children’s. If you must leave this important task to your children, it’s best to employ positive rewards based dog training methods to prevent the dog from associating the pain from corrections to your children. Also always be present to supervise; never leave your children to train the dog alone.
Note too that dogs can become overly protective and may hurt another child if they perceive playing among children to be threatening towards your children. The dog may believe that he is guarding a family member, but cute as this may sound, it could have severe ramifications if a visiting child is bitten badly.
Dogs are not designed to be crated up or chained to a tree for hours on end. This will only frustrate them, especially if there is a lot of activity going on around them. Ever hear of a child being attacked by a dog which has been chained up, escaped and perceive the child as trying to rein it back in again? If you intend to keep your dog tied up all day, you clearly have no need for a dog, so it’s best not to get one.
Finally, it’s a good idea to prevent a dog from developing the habit of resource guarding from the onset. Else, you never know when a dog may snap at you or your children. This is best done at puppy stage before the habit is developed. When feeding your puppy, make it a point once in a while to dip your hands into his food bowl and feed him by hand. This will get him accustom to your hands near his food bowl later on in live. It is also a good idea, while he is playing with his chew toys to cue “give,” remove it from his mouth and reward with a treat. Such forms of training during the puppy stage of his life will help prevent future resource guarding problems from surfacing.
At Dog Training Singapore, we provide top quality puppy training classes conducted by leading certified dog trainers. There is no minimum age requirement for our puppy classes as our trainers use only gentle, dog friendly and humane training methods. However, for your puppy’s own safety, do make sure that he has completed his full course of vaccination.