Loving, loyal, and always looking to have a good time, a dog is a great companion and a great way to teach your kids about responsibility. Part of that responsibility, however, is in getting both your dog and your children adjusted to each other. To help you out, we've put together a few basic tips on how to help your dog bond with your children.
Involve Children in Their Care
One of the best ways to get your dog to trust someone is by having that person care for them. Even if only once a week, having your kids take charge of something like feeding routines builds trust in your dog, teaching it to associate good things with the person providing the care. According to the Sequoia Humane Society, it's also a fine way to teach your kids about responsibility. In this case, neglecting their duties has a real consequence for a creature they're fond of.
Teach Children When to Leave Them Alone
As important as play and care are in bonding a dog to people, it's equally important for those people to learn when to leave a dog alone. Something many children struggle with is the idea that dogs have their own wants and needs. The dog may not always be ready to play, especially if it is older. According to Dolman Law, children should give the dog space when the dog is eating or sleeping, sometimes even when it is playing with a toy. Additionally, if a dog has gone off somewhere on its own and moves away when approached, it likely wants to rest and isn't in the mood for human interaction.
Reinforce Good Behavior
According to Victoria Stilwell, positive reinforcement does wonders in setting a pattern. This is true for both the dog and the kids. Reinforcing good behavior from both of them makes for an easy way to get them to play well together. If a dog gets treats and fun out of behaving well with children, they'll continue to do so. Likewise, kids who are told they're doing well and given a treat of their own will handle dogs with consideration. It's a simple way to reinforce good behavior all around.
A dog can fulfill a family, but there's a lot of responsibility involved in properly adapting the family to the dog. If you're considering getting a new pet, try these three techniques for helping your dog bond with your kids. Before you know it, your dog will feel like part of the family.
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