Adopting a dog when you have kids in the home is a big step. Whether you’re adopting a puppy or an older dog, you should always assume there will be a need for some training or socializing. Here are some tips for socializing your dog with children.
Create a safe environment
Part of socializing your dog with children means making sure all parties have a safe and calm environment. Start by prepping your home to accommodate your furry, new, family member! We have tons of tips on puppy-proofing your home and making sure it’s the ideal setting for introductions and socializing.
Educate your children
Adopting a new pet into the home often means a transition for the whole family. Make the transition easier on everyone by having a conversation with your kids before bringing home your new pet. Discuss any responsibilities your children may have and teach them how to respect animals. Kids should learn about the right way to approach a new dog and how to behave around a new dog.
Socializing your dog with children
Training your dog to be kid-friendly is a must for any pet owner, whether you have kids or not. A good rule of thumb is to always work on socializing your dog with children when everyone is in a good mood. Don’t attempt to force a meeting with cranky, tired kids or dogs. Let the kids know that a dog’s crate is their safe place, and that they should let the dog retreat to their crate when they need space. Overall, it’s important to keep the experience a positive one, and to allow the dog the come to the children when the dog is ready.
Small dogs and toy breeds are good companions for kids, but they can easily get hurt during playtime. Conversely, larger dogs are sturdy and can handle rougher playtime, but they can unintentionally hurt a child. A prime rule for socializing your dog with children is: always supervise children during playtime and never let your child pick up a small dog without your permission or supervision. Even the most gentle dogs can become stressed or scared by loud noises, sudden movements, or the occasional temper tantrum! Need help deciding what size dog may be good for your family? Read up on some general information here.
Take things slow
It’s important to go slow when socializing your dog with children. Even if the dog you will be adopting has lived with kids in the past, you should still make introductions slowly. The best way to socialize a dog with kids is to start early. When adopting a puppy, you can begin by training them to not jump up and to learn basic commands. This will set them up for a lifetime of good behavior.
If you want to adopt a pet, visit Getyourpet.com to adopt a dog or cat near you.