Children and dogs / how to introduce children to your puppy / how to teach children play with dogs / how to avoid dog biting children / first puppy advice cocker spaniel puppies / first published on Perfect cocker spaniel blog (C)

Dogs & children: avoiding problems & building the bond

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

Fred, my chocolate and tan cocker spaniel puppy with his organic dog toy / best toys and chews for teething puppies / first puppy advice and tips / first published on perfect cocker spaniel blog (C) Natalia Ashton

Q&A | What makes a perfect chew for a teething puppy?

There is a piranha in every puppy! Yes, even the sweetest puppy can release the hidden demon that will shred the legs of your sofa or a pair of favourite shoes.

How to avoid this?

Give your pup a chew!

And not any chew, but a puppy-friendly chew.

Here’s a check list that can help!

Pick a chew that has “a give” – you can bend or flex them, and the toy is not rock hard.

Choose toys made of non-toxic rubber, natural cotton rope or suede.

Apple slices and carrot pieces make fab chews.

Avoid any chews made of nylon, latex, plastic, rawhide, or hemp (hemp is ok for playing but a heavy chewer can pull it apart and swallow too much).

Never give your puppy antler chews or rawhide. You can consider antlers once the pup is over 12 months old, but personally I do not recommend them, especially for heavy chewers due to high risk of injuries.

Roots and special wood stick can be an option for pups with permanent teeth. Never leave your puppy unsupervised whilst he’s playing with his treat.

What are your favourite puppy chews?

Photo source: Fred at 3 months old, photographed by me