Allow children to play and bond with the dog as often as you can so that they can develop a close and healthy relationship. They will soon form very strong bonds. Children learn to interpret canine body language, and dogs can become very protective of children.
Looking after a dog also teaches children responsibility and respect. It can also develop their social skills, and encourage them to get more fresh air and exercise.
Best of friends - kids and dogs
Teaching Children How To Behave Around Dogs
For the safety of kids and pets alike, children must be taught to treat the dog with respect. Most dogs, even the most docile breeds, don’t enjoy having tails or ears pulled, but most children find amusement in this, regardless. Unless you bring an end to this behavior the dog will eventually snap.
Children should also be taught to respect the dog's space, which means leaving him alone when he is sleeping or eating his food. When playing with their dog, your children need to avoid shouting and screaming, as this can confuse, scare or anger the dog.
Two friends watching the world go by
Children need to be careful when playing with the dog, too, as rough and tumble games such as jumping up, tug of war, chasing, and play biting are all things that tap into a dog’s wolf instincts. They can be fun if supervised and controlled, but may escalate to the point where your child becomes afraid. It is a good idea to make sure all such play sessions are supervised.
Children also need to learn to keep their toys out of reach. The dog will think that all cuddly toys are meant for them, and will make short work of any small toys, such as Lego, which are lying around. Keeping these out of reach is for the dog’s benefit too, as he can easily swallow things, resulting in trips to the vet.
Unfortunately, many children are allergic to dogs. The dander from the animal's fur can cause reactions such as sneezing, wheezing and the hives. In bad cases it can lead to asthma attacks.
A dog allergy is nothing to be sneezed at
The good news is that there are plenty of hypoallergenic breeds, and we list them here.