Introducing Young Children to a New Puppy

Training Tips for New Puppies & Kids



introducing a new puppy to young children

Introducing Young Children to a New Puppy

Children and adults are very different in a puppy's world: Although adults are tall, they can be slow and very predictable. Children on the other hand, are quick and tend to treat puppy like a stuffed toy rather than a living being. Children smell differently, too, with milk and spit-up dried to their shirts, pee-pee in their diapers, and baby food between their fingers, it's a barrage of odors your pet can't ignore. Here are a few tips in teaching both your child and your puppy how to treat one another in order to form a long lasting relationship.

  1. Provide your puppy with a "hide out." If and when your dog needs a rest, he'll need to find a place of comfort and solitude. Provide him with that, whether it's within his cage or a comfy pad in the laundry room. You'll have to train the baby however that this spot is off limits.
  2. Teach baby or your toddler what the limits are. Let your toddler practice with a stuffed toy, gently stroking the puppy's fur, hugging the toy without squeezing too tightly, and definitely using an indoor voice. Loud squealing and screeching noises can cause puppy to react aggressively with a bite and/or a warning growl or just as easily send him packing to his "hide out."
  3. No steady eye contact. Direct and constant eye contact can be perceived as a threat by some puppies. Teaching your child to "ignore" puppy until his aggression subsides can prevent harm to your child.
  4. Petting while seated. Children tend to chase puppies and be chased by them. This usually ends in one or the other getting tackled and your child being too rough with the puppy. Train your child to only pet the puppy while the child is seated. The child can't move as quickly plus this gives the puppy control to move away when he's had enough.
  5. Treat puppy. Buy treats that your puppy loves but only comes to him from your child. You should only allow your child to toss the treat into the floor for the puppy and not allow the puppy to eat from baby's hand. This will avoid any eager and accidental nips and bites to baby's fingers. Treats should be provided only when your dog is displaying proper behavior.
  6. Puppy-proof the child's room. Don't leave toys lying around in the baby's room floor where your puppy can chew on them. The same applies to diaper containers. If the baby's room is to be completely off-limits to your puppy, an adjustable gate could be used in the doorway as long as your puppy isn't made to feel completely left out.

Using these tips to introduce and acclimate your baby and puppy can also lead to a long-lasting, healthy relationship. For more tips about pet care or for the continuing health of your puppy, be sure to visit our 24 hour dog clinic in Greensboro.


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