With the HEART of a Golden and the LOVE of a Cavalier

Seat the Kids

Staring is a challenge in dog language that can stress some pets, especially kids that are eye-to-eye level. But when ignored, pups are more likely to be intrigued enough to investigate on their own. So challenge your toddler or older child to an “ignore the pup” game, and see how long they can pretend the puppy is invisible. In most cases, a confident canine will eventually approach.

Ignore the Puppy

High pitched screams could potentially prompt puppies to be aggressive toward the child. Challenge children to a game, to see if they can talk in an inside voice that entices puppies to come near for pets. You can explain that just like children can get frightened of scary sounds, puppies can be scared and it takes very talented kids to know how to be pooch-friendly.

Practice Quite Puppy Talk

Teach Kids Limits

Ask toddlers to practice petting a stuffed toy or the child’s own arm or head. Young kids take time to learn that dogs aren’t stuffed animals, and can be hurt and lash out from pulled tails or ears.

Provide A Safe Retreat

Puppies take turns playing chase-and-tackle games with each other, so when chased by toddlers they may get too rough without meaning to. So make it a dog rule that young kids must sit before they can pet the dog, and that the dog gets to approach. That also lets the pup to control interactions and move away when the puppy has had enough. Forcing a dog to sit still for a child’s unwanted attention may cause the puppy to avoid the child in future. This instead makes it the dog’s choice and a fun, rewarding experience. Once seated, the child can lure and entice the puppy with a toy. Playing builds a positive relationship that can grow into love.

Be sure your puppy has a canine sanctuary that’s off limits to kids. Even pets that adore children need private time and a place to go that they know they won’t be pestered. Make a bedroom, or the puppy’s crate and bed off-limits to the children, and supervise to enforce the rule if the children are too young to understand.

Introducing Your Puppy to Children