In movies, TV shows and videos, we often see children playing with their family pet but did we ever wonder how did they introduce their pet to their child? This question comes to mind especially when we are in the same situation that is being referred to. To answer the question, what we normally do as parents and pet owners is that we put the child in the same environment as with the animal hoping that social instincts of both beings will kick in. This manner of introduction maybe easy but are we sure that everything will go according to plan? In fact, we really do not know but what we can know is that there is a better way of introducing pets to our children.
In our world today, we normally see in families that when a child is present, a puppy will be there to accompany him. Why a puppy you might ask? Well, they are almost the same with the child. They are both young, playful and curious about the world around them. But the question is, how can we make both beings comfortable with each other so that they may have a better relationship and so that none of the two parties will have accidents? There are many ways on how the question can be answered and here are some of the solutions:
- Provide a safe place for your puppy. Like humans, dogs also need their personal space. Be sure that your puppy will have his own sanctuary where kids are off limits.
- Teach your kids their limitations. Try teaching your kids the idea that puppies are not the same with stuffed toys. They have feelings and will defend themselves if ever they are provoked.
- Practice Quiet puppy-talks. High pitched screams can frighten even the biggest of pups. Teach your kids to quiet down so that the puppies will not have the fear of approaching your child.
- “Ignore the puppy”. This is with the use of reverse psychology. Letting your children play “Ignore the Dog” will help the puppy try to investigate for themselves helping the canine to eventually approach.
- Until you are sure that both the child and the puppy already have the idea of behaving around each other, you must always be present. This is to avoid unwanted things from happening.
- Study your puppy’s body language. When the canine already shows signs of dominance, its time to stop playing.
- Encourage patience. Within eight to ten weeks, the new puppy is in the stage of being fearful. Combine the idea of children and puppies being easily excited thus it might result in one or both parties being defensive when knowing one another leading to unwanted events.
- Be a role model to your child/ren. As we all know, children is good at copying someone. With this in mind, the adult must show the child the proper way to approach a puppy. This technique can also teach the child the safe way on how to approach the canine.
- When going for a walk, include the child. This will help you to teach the puppy about being obedient to you and your child. This will nurture a healthy relationship between the two parties as both grow up and mature.
- Have your kids help you take care of the puppy. This way will help you teach your child about the responsibilities being a dog owner brings. This will also help nurture the bond between the child and the puppy as they mature.
- Bring your kids to dog training. This will give the dog the idea that your kid appreciates the good things that the canine does. Another is that the dog will gradually become more comfortable being with your child and will be able to obey the child.
- Offer treats. When the puppy is still doubtful, afraid and reluctant to approach the child, find a treat that the puppy will love and let him get the treat ONLY from the child. This will build up comfort and it will also give the idea to the puppy that it is okay to approach the child for the child does not have the intention to hurt the puppy.
Although there are also many exceptions, the general rule is that strict parental guidance must be observed to avoid negative events from happening.