Most kids love dogs. And I must admit, often they love them almost too much and it’s easy to see why. Dogs are wonderful. They love humans. They kiss. They smile. They come to you to get stroked. And when it comes to cocker spaniels… Well, that’s the top level of “irresistible” isn’t it?
Unfortunately, according to research by The Ohio State University, “nearly five million people” get bitten by dogs and kids are at higher risk than adults.
And I don’t believe that in most cases it’s the dog’s fault. In fact, I think the problem comes from parents who do not teach children how to communicate with dogs (and some parents who simply push their kids towards a dog in a park and say “oh, go stroke that nice doggy!…” without asking the owner if that’s ok and, worse, not even watching the kid during the process) This can be very traumatic for the dog and both traumatic and dangerous for the kid, isn’t it?
I think it’s a very delicate subject to touch, but if you plant to introduce a dog to your family with little children, or have a dog who isn’t particularly “into your kids”, show your child how to treat a dog.
Here are a few simple ideas:
Ask your children to treat the dog with respect and remind them that a doggy is not a fluffy toy, but a living creature.
Explain to children that they must not disturb (or touch) the dog when he is asleep, eating his meal or chewing treats.
Teach children not to take away dog’s toys or treats while the dog is enjoying them.
Show the kids how to pet the dog correctly.
Do not leave your child and the dog in a room without supervision. Dogs can react VERY fast and if you are not there, the child can get insured.
Remember that children are constantly watching you and learning from your actions, so treat the dog with love and care at all times.
Last but not least, if you are introducing a new puppy, remember to show your children how to hold and lift him correctly, explain that the puppy is like a baby and needs his sleep and rest, show your kids how to play with the puppy without injuring him, do not let your kids walk the pup unless they are grown-up enough to do it safely and responsibly.
Photo source: image by StockSnap from Pixabay