DOGS IN THE FAMILY
Child able to walk dogs
Child feeding dogs
Mutual Trust and Confidence
Dogs in the Family (Children and Dogs)
Creating an environment of CALM,STRUCTURE and BOUNDARIES in the home will achieve a calm, relaxed and contented dog.
It is critical with dogs in the family that the dog sees the family well structured with the dog knowing its place, which should be at the bottom of the hierarchy. So specific rules need to be put in place for the dog without compromise.
Building mutual RESPECT between children and dogs in families.
Children and dogs can enjoy and support one another and build self confidence in children. It's great to see the growth in children's maturity as the bond between children and dogs grows.
Children and dogs can relate to each other better in many circumstances than adults as they both move through very formative periods together.
Parents must firstly put in place and teach the dog and child negotiated household rules and structure. The rights and feelings of the dog must also be understood and respected by the child. The dog is not a mere toy to be played with.
All following suggestions MUST be with parental attendance and assistance:
1. The child with parent to teach the dog to sit and wait for it's meal to be prepared and served up.
2. The child then tells the dog to "WAIT" or "LEAVE IT", and places its bowl, waits for a moment and then says "OK". ( Reinforcement to the dog initially may be necessary.)
3. The child makes the dog follow established household rules, always with parent backup.
4. The child calls the dog to them for pats - not to go after the dog to pat it.
5. Child and parent control of the dog getting in and out of the car.
6. Child attaches and removes dog's collar and lead if able to.
7. Place 2 leads on the collar and take the dog for walks with handler and child each side of the dog. Eventually just the child can hold the lead in tandem with parent.
8. Have the dog wait until the child walks through a door first, and then invite the dog through.
9. Practice being able to take things from the dog and then return them. Ensure you control this closely and that adults can do it successfully first. It's good to also have an alternative to offer the dog.
10. Praise, praise, praise the dog for any attempt at the desired behaviour.
When children find they have some control over the dog, ensure they don't abuse it.
When a child does the wrong thing, don't correct the child in front of the dog. Make the dog do what it was told to do by the child, and then instruct the child separately.
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