top of page

Little Hands and Paws

Many dog owners wonder how to build a healthy and safe relationship between their fur and human babies. This doesn't just apply to those with children but also to family members or friends with children who will be in your puppy's presence at some point.

Supporting your dog to feel at ease and comfortable in the company of children doesn't happen overnight and, in some cases, isn't always achievable; however, it's down to us dog owners to do our best and be committed to ongoing training, being respectful of our dogs needs and always having safety at the forefront of our mind.

1.      Be your dog’s voice

Whenever we introduce anyone to our dogs as owners, we are responsible for advocating for them. Dogs can only tell us what is wrong and when they are uncomfortable or distressed using their body language.

If your dog is stressed, nervous, uncomfortable, or experiencing negative emotions when in the company of others, remove them from it and allow them time to decompress. Do not force interactions, as it may cause an unwanted or dangerous response.

2.      Boundaries are your best friend

As a safety precaution, we recommend you create boundaries to prevent children/ dogs from having instant access to one another, which reduces the risk of an unsupervised interaction.

This can be achieved using baby or dog gates and putting your dog in an undisturbed safe space outside or in their crate.

3.      Safety first

Never leave your dog in the presence of a child without supervision!

You may also wish to muzzle-train your dog as an extra precaution. Click here to see a blog for further details on how to muzzle train your dog.

Children can unintentionally provoke dogs by being too rough or engaging in an unwanted interaction. If this occurs, remove your dog from the situation, comfort them (if they permit this) and give them time to decompress in a safe space where they will not be disturbed.

All initial interactions should occur with your dog on a leash. You should slowly introduce children through a baby or dog gate, boundary, crate, etc. If your dog displays signs of stress, stop the interaction and ensure they are left alone. Over time, you can increase the interactions by removing gates or boundaries and continuing the engagement on a leash in the same room for a short time. Work on increasing the engagement time as your training progresses and the dog is comfortable.

Only progress to physical touch once there have been several positive interactions between your children and dog, and your dog’s body language displays they are comfortable and not distressed. Encourage gentle stroking and avoid touching sensitive areas such as the head or where your dog may be experiencing pain from an injury, medical condition, or procedure.

We do not recommend allowing children to hold your dog's lead or walk them without supervision for safety reasons. Although your dog may be well-mannered and walk nicely on a leash, we cannot predict their response to unwanted situations, i.e., being approached by an off-leash dog.

4.      Let sleeping dogs lie

It's essential never to disturb a sleeping dog. Just like us, they need their rest, and it's critical they are never disturbed when sleeping.

Finally, if you are having challenges with the relationship between your dog and children, keep them separate and contact IdaBoss to discuss the best course of action.

In summary, creating a harmonious bond between dogs and children necessitates careful attention to their interactions and proactive measures to maintain safety. As responsible dog owners, it's crucial to advocate for our pets, recognising and respecting their cues of discomfort or stress. Setting clear boundaries, such as using gates or crates, can prevent unsupervised interactions and mitigate potential risks. Supervision is paramount at all times when dogs and children are together, and additional precautions like muzzle training may offer extra security. Gradually introducing children to dogs under controlled circumstances allows for positive experiences to build trust, while respecting the dog's need for rest ensures their well-being. For those facing challenges in this relationship, seeking guidance from professionals like IdaBoss Dog Training can provide valuable support and guidance. By prioritising safety, understanding, and patience, dog owners can cultivate a positive environment where both dogs and children can thrive together.

24 views0 comments


bottom of page