How to Prepare Your Dog for Kid-Friendliness

Young woman with her jack russell terrier puppy.

If your dog has been trained to act appropriately around youngsters, dogs and kids may be a wonderful mix. Some canines seem to have a natural affinity for kids and a sense of how to behave around them. These dogs still require socialization and training. They must be aware of their limitations.

Not all canines get along well with children. In actuality, some dogs are even frightened of kids. Some of these dogs may never be able to engage with children securely, but many of them can be trained to behave around them from a distance.

If you have children living in or visiting your home, it's vital to ensure they are always safe around your dog.

  • 01 of 10

    Smiling boy petting dog in living room

    Between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, a puppy's growth goes through a crucial stage. If kids are exposed to a range of individuals and circumstances throughout this period, they are more likely to learn to accept and feel at ease with them. Introduce your new puppy to kids in a pleasant way if you just got one. Make sure it can accommodate children of varying ages in a range of circumstances. Children should act nicely and gently around dogs. If your dog has positive interactions with children, it will feel positive emotions toward them.

    Even an adult dog can be socialized with young children. The procedure needs to move more gradually and gently. Offer plenty of praise and beneficial snacks. As soon as your dog exhibits signs of stress, remove him from the situation.

  • 02 of 10

    Start an Obedience Program

    The first step in safeguarding the safety of youngsters in your house is having a well-behaved dog. You may train your dog to behave around children by teaching it simple commands like sit and down. For instance, training it to lie down instead of jumping up to kiss guests can enable you to guide it toward more suitable behavior.

    You could choose to enroll your dog in training sessions to receive advice from qualified trainers. Dog training classes allow your dog to learn how to behave among other dogs and are more economical than one-on-one expert instruction.

  • 03 of 10

    Even the most well-behaved kid occasionally struggles to resist wrapping their arms around a dog's neck or yanking on its tail. Before your dog accidentally bumps into a youngster, have it ready for this type of attention. While you gently tug its tail, hold its paws, cuddle it, and examine its ears, give it plenty of praise and perhaps even some food. It may be better to keep the children at a distance if your dog displays signs of fear or nervousness in response to this mild pushing.

  • 04 of 10

    Not all guests to your home will share your tolerance for your dog jumping up on them to greet them. When your guest is a little child who may be hurt if your dog knocks them down, it can be very risky.

    The best course of action is to completely prohibit dog jumping. Asking your dog to sit will stop it from jumping up as you enter the room. When it leaps, try stepping straight back out the door if this doesn't work. When you go through the door, provide your dog plenty of love and praise for maintaining all four paws on the ground. The dog will quickly realize that refraining from jumping up on people is far more rewarding.

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  • 05 of 10

    Introduce Dogs to Children's Toys

    Consider all the things that kiddie toys are capable of. Funny, high-pitched noises are frequently made by dolls and toy animals. Bikes go by at a rapid rate. Across the yard, balls are kicked or thrown. Your dog may be greatly tempted by all of these things to steal, chew, or chase toys. In addition to children being bitten or knocked down, this can result in toys being damaged.

    Sensitive dogs may be afraid of some children's toys and then start to associate that fear with children as well.

    Without the kids around, introduce your dog to kid's toys. When this happens, directives like and remain are helpful. To prevent your dog from stealing or chasing after toys, use these commands. Make sure your dog is directed to the proper dog toys. If your dog is prone to anxiety, give him goodies as he approaches the toys.

  • 06 of 10

    Act Like a Kid

    Children behave differently than adults, let's face it. They move wildly and shout while running. Try to model some of these behaviors for your dog. Teach your dog to stay, then gradually go to asking it to remain still as you circle your yard or shout at it in a childlike voice.

    Taking your dog to a playground or park might also help him become acquainted to how kids act. Start out at a distance and gradually go closer to the playing kids. Take a few steps back and restart if your dog ever exhibits any signs of anxiety. Use plenty of praise and sweets, and keep things lighthearted.

  • 07 of 10

    If dogs have a way out, they frequently behave better with kids. Train your dog to enjoy being in a crate so that it will do so. Any youngsters who may be present in your house should be made aware that the crate is not for them. Your dog will be able to play with the kids when it wants to, and it will also have a secure area to rest.

  • 08 of 10

    Don't Force a Dog to Accept Children

    Some people believe that letting a youngster pet a dog while holding it is an excellent method to introduce kids and dogs to one other. It's untrue! Holding a dog that is scared of kids as a kid comes around and pets it may be a terrible situation. An anxious dog may turn hostile and snap, snarl, or bite in an effort to get away from the source of its anxiety, in this example, youngsters. Instead, give your dog as much time as necessary to become accustomed to children and give it the freedom to interact on its terms.

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  • 09 of 10

    Keep It Positive

    Pleasant reinforcement is the most effective strategy to foster a positive relationship between your dog and young children. Give your dog plenty of praise, treats, and attention when it behaves well with kids. Your dog will discover that while kids are present, nice things happen. It will soon be eagerly looking for kids and acting appropriately.

  • 10 of 10

    Give Children Rules

    Dogs are not the only ones who need training. Children also need to be given rules about how to behave around your dog. Be sure any child who enters your home knows the following:

    • The dog should be pet gently.
    • Attention should not be forced on the dog.
    • The dog's crate is off-limits.
    • Don't approach the dog while it is eating or .
    • Leave the dog alone while it is sleeping.
    • Make sure an adult is around when the dog is in the room. Children should never, ever be left unattended with a dog.