In showbiz, they say never work with animals or children. For some families, the prospect of having a dog in the same house as the kids is enough to put them off adopting a canine.
But dogs and children can live in harmony under one roof – and they both have a part to play in achieving that. Dogs and children both need to understand the boundaries with each other and what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour.
Not every dog will be suitable to live with children, but many are or can be with a bit of hard work, perseverance and training.
Make dog training a family affair
If the children in your household are of an appropriate age, get them involved in the training process. If you follow our training guidelines, teaching your dog should be a fun and rewarding experience – and this applies to children too.
This means your dog is learning to respond to commands and what it can and can’t do in front of the children, and even getting rewards from them when they are doing well. It will forge a strong bond between the young humans and your dog and build confidence in the kids and pooch.
Doggy do’s and don’ts
Make sure any children in the home know what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour around or towards the dog. For example, they should understand not to:
- Tug on the dog’s coat
- Startle the dog or run past it
- Antagonise the dog
- Stick their hands in the dog’s mouth
We believe teaching the value of the human-animal bond and an understanding of animal sentience and welfare from a young age is pivotal to reducing intentional and unintentional animal cruelty now and in the future. Find out more about our renowned educational work, which sees us engage with about 250,000 school children every year.