Hey- that puppy isn’t a WWE wrestler!!
By Colleen White aplaceofgracepuppies.com
Nothing is sweeter than the relationship between a child and their dog… Let me rephrase that!! Nothing is sweeter than the relationship between a child who has been taught care and respect, and their dog!
Kids, like puppies, tend to be rough sometimes in their play. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, it just means the child needs to be taught to respect their pet. Just like puppies get trained to be pets, children need to be trained to be pet owners. First and foremost, that sweet puppy you just bought for little Johnny is an animal, and animals have natural instincts no matter how small or sweet they are! We can raise them to “tolerate” a lot, but every living creature has a breaking point.
Let’s talk “mouthing.” Puppies, like babies, naturally put things in their mouths! That could mean a stuffed toy, a stick, or your hand. It’s the way they learn about the world around them: smell, touch, taste. It’s really important for a new owner to teach their puppy that mouthing a human’s hand is not acceptable. When Spot starts the action, immediately replace your hand with a toy. When you gently take your hand away say, “leave it.” When they let go of your hand, respond with an emphatic “yes!” and give them their toy. Never play with a puppy by waving your hand in front of it’s face and letting him mouth you. That’s just teasing, and you’re only asking for trouble in the future!
Jumping for joy?? It’s just an accident waiting to happen when kids are involved! This can be a tough one! Dogs jump. It’s ok in some instances, but a dog should never jump on you without the command to do so, and small children should never be allowed to use that command. Kids can be knocked down, scratched, teeth knocked out, or a canine tooth caught on a child’s lip, which would leave a scar not only on her precious face, but in the child’s heart. Teaching your dog not to jump starts with diverting the dog’s attention by giving him another command such as “sit.” There are many training videos available online, as well as dog obedience classes in most areas.
Do you want to be carried around like a ragdoll by a giant? Guess what? Your dog doesn’t either! Teaching a small child to sit on the floor and hold the puppy properly in his or her lap is the safest and most respectful way for a child to learn. As the child gets older, teach them to lift and carry the dog properly. Some dogs will tolerate anything, but it doesn’t mean they like it! Be cognizant of what your small child is doing with your puppy at all times! Some pups may love playing dress up, or having tea parties, but some will not. Teach your child to respect your pup’s likes and dislikes. If the dog is tolerating it well, put a time limit on it, and call the party over until next time.
Boogie woogie woogie ‘til you just can’t boogie no more, but let your puppy quit when he’s over it! A dance party with the pups is always fun, but a little goes a long way! Swinging that dog around in a jitterbug? Not a good idea! Remember that chat about the giant and the ragdoll? That applies here too! Dogs can get hurt, or even reach their breaking point, especially if there’s fear or pain involved. The same goes if little Johnny is “wrestling” the pup, and that’s just teaching aggression! Prolonged “dancing” on pups hind legs while holding their paws can also cause hip and leg issues as it is not a natural posture for them! Now I’m all for a good dance party. I’ve been known to have them around my kitchen table myself, but just remember it’s best for your pups to dance with 4 on the floor!!
Adding a new puppy to your family should be a fun time, but not to the detriment of the puppy!! Please always teach your children to respect and honor your pets. If they do, they will have a special relationship, and make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime!