This Article is About
dog training
playful puppy
litter mates
pack animals
faithful friend
greatest joy
puppies
outsider
Dog Training - Start With The Kids!
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Dog Training   -   Start With The Kids!

Our first dog was trained and doted on. She won awards as testament to her behaviour. She was three when our first child was born and they both grew older together. As ‘Inu’ aged we decided a new puppy was in order for our children to enjoy.

We had no idea what we were in for. Training a puppy was a whole different ball game when children were involved.

When people buy a new puppy for their children I’ve learnt there is a fair bit of romanticism and not much reality involved. We believe that our children are going to have a faithful friend and playmate who will be the greatest joy and delight.

What is impossible to predict is the difficulty of owning, and training, an exuberant puppy when children are involved.

There are some basic problems with combining children and puppies.

Puppies are pack animals. Puppies are exuberant. Children are difficult to train.

Children are difficult to train?

Yes, you heard me right. Puppies and children are both babies. From a puppy’s point of view your children are just another litter mate.

Sit back and watch a playful puppy interacting with its fellow litter mates. They jump on each other. They roll and roughhouse. There’s lots of biting and chewing involved in their play. They are, after all, preparing for the grown up responsibilities of hunting and protecting. This is how they will treat your children.

Puppies grow very rapidly. One year of their life is worth seven of ours. It stands to reason that very quickly this cute little rolly polly puppy is going to become ‘of age’ and begin to question the family pack’s hierarchy. While your children are stuck in the litter stage, the juvenile dog is going to quickly work out that it’s ahead of them in growth and pack intelligence.

This puts the dog in the role of boss and protector. Might sound good if your children are threatened by an outsider but not too helpful in a back yard when your young dog is playing and interacting with them. By this stage, the dog has likely learnt the dynamics of its relationship with your children.

What Can We Do?

If your children are very young there is no substitution for supervision. Parents need to set the tone of all interaction between the dog and the child. All dogs have their own unique personality (and breeding) that makes them more, or less, tolerant with children.

Many dogs that can’t be trusted with children have had a bad experience with one. I have taught my children respect and gentleness with our animals. I don’t assume a visiting child has been educated in the same way.

I believe it’s my job to protect my animals and not put them in a situation that may cause them to react in a way that we would deem unsuitable. It’s a two way street. I also want to protect my children from a dog’s exuberance or unexpected aggression.

Be A Good Example

Children, regardless of age, will imitate how they see an adult treating an animal. Be a role leader in a good way. If you don’t want your child to hit, yell or confront your dog with aggression than it’s wise to learn alpha behaviour, hand signals and simple commands to use consistently with your dog.

Regardless of whether the breed is big or small I think every owner benefits from taking a dog to training classes. This benefits, and socializes, the dog although I honestly think it benefits the owner more.

Practical Actions to Teach Your Children

There are some very practical and necessary things to teach your children. We learnt this the hard way and finally had a lady come to help us. It made a huge difference.

  • Exit the house (our dog is an outside dog) and stand still. Allow the dogs excitement to settle before interacting with the dog.
  • Keep your arms beside your body or folded across the chest (rather than flapping around with excitement).

  • Turn your body from the dog if it wants to jump or get over excited. Exclusion from the pack is punishment to a puppy. Tell them through your body language that it’s behaviour is not appropriate.
  • Walk slowly into the yard. Running will cause the dog to get excited, nip at heels and jump up.

  • Sit beside the dog but don’t roll around on the ground. A dog standing over you (especially over your head) is funny to a child but dominant to the dog.
  • Use simple and short commands with authority. “Sit!” with a strong hand signal is more effective than flapping hands, squealing or “Sit! Sit! Sit! I said Sit!”

  • Tug of war is not a game. The winner is the boss and the dog will usually win. If you want to play fetch with the dog ensure it drops the ball at your feet or places it in your hand. No ball given freely: No game!
  • Have the children feed the dog but only with supervision until it is done correctly. The dog must sit, wait and eat on command. A dog will respect the people who feed it. The dominant dog eats first and 'allows' the other pack members to eat.

Be patient. I would take the time to sit in the yard while my children played. The dog was too rough and disruptive to join in. She didn’t like the restriction but it was a good opportunity for me to enforce her to ‘drop’ and, with my foot firmly on her lead, she knew her place was lying at my feet.

If you are someone who doesn’t like unruly children in the supermarket than you’ll relate to how important it is to have a well behaved canine as well.

The time and energy you put into your pup will pay great rewards in future years. If you don’t honestly have the time, or the knowledge, to train your dog then you need to find some, make some or give up on the romantic notion of dog ownership.


Street Talk

Excellent article, Heather. Your insight and understanding is wonderful. I, too, am very protective of my pets.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Sensible Georgia! One negative experience can change a pets behaviour for life. I always am aware that it's their home too and they have the right to feel safe.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I really liked your style for this article. I have both kids and a dog. Our dog was estimated to be 1 when we rescued him. I had a 2 and 4 year old and a baby born about a week after he joined our family 7 years ago. It is interesting to see the dynamic change as time passes. Well done ;)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Our current dog is a rescue dog Rebecca and was also over one when we got him. It was the best decision we have ever made. He is happy and gentle and best of all past all the puppy stage. Our kids all got to meet him and interact with him before we brought him home. Simba showed us that it's impossible to know a dogs personality from such a young age. She had a huge prey drive and unfortunately an aggressive streak with anyone outside our family that no amount of training and love could change.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I agree, one of the great advantages of having an older dog is that you can see their personalities right away. The great thing about our dog, Tigger, is that he was already trained in many ways. His only flaw is that if the adults aren't outside enough, he'll jump (climb) an 8' privacy fence looking for an adventure. Otherwise, he is great. My kids can take him for a walk without incident. side note: He's a golden retriever mix that is quite short compared to a pure-bread.

  
  about 6 years ago

Heather, Wonderful information! I've never had a dog. I know they're pack animals. So I'm aware of a little bit. But training a puppy sounds so straight forward (though time consuming!) the way you explain. thanks - blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Cynthia we found training our first dog to be interesting, a joy and very bonding. We thought the next one would be just as easy. We didn't bargain on the different personality of the animal and how difficult it would be with 3 children involved.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Heather, Hmm. Well, introducing 3 people only takes a few interactions... introducing 6 takes *lots* more. Probably grows the number of times puppy receives a confusing message. Pack of folks doing, "Oops! Didn't mean to reinforce That" Then add to the complexity that they're children:-) blessings, Cynthia

  
  about 6 years ago

Good points. I never looked at interaction between a puppy and baby like that.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
C4rmen  

Whats the photographers saying? "Never work with kids or animals" LOL. Absolutely agree with parents setting the tone of every interaction - very important advice I believe.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Yes, C4men. It's time consuming but many good things in life are.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I wish I had this knowledge sooner. My brother-in-law has a dog and we have two young children so this is valuable information. Thanks for writing it and to you too Rob for suggesting it.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Glad it was helpful Martin. Unfortunately we didn't know it either and had to learn the hard way!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Wow Heather your good at this, I did not realise I was opening an expert's response when I suggested you might write an article or two. Now here I have an expert expounding great knowledge and advise for us to learn from. Thank you for a great article that has taught me so much in a short note. What else should I suggest you write about, what other subjects have you hidden talents in? Can you give advise on how to train a wife? I've been trying for 38 years unsuccessfully. Or how to eat lots of chocolates without gaining weight? What of smoking and being accepted as a smoker? I am going to keep suggesting till I discover your weak spot.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Roflol... oh the gauntlet is thrown!! Hehehehe.... love that you put the smoking one in there! Wondering what topics I should throw back your way!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Bring it on, I have so many that I can't write about I'm going to keep you busy.

  
  about 6 years ago

Rob, started at the most important place. There's an article pending on How To Train Your Wife. I hope you find it beneficial with Linda and that she agrees with my advice. Not all women go for this type of thing but I think if you play it right you'll finally have great success!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Can't wait.

  
  about 6 years ago
You May Also Like
In Home Dog Training - Basic Steps To Get Started Training Your Dog
Dog Training Your New Family Member Have you just brought home a furry new family member and not quite sure how to begin their dog training? You are not alone! New dogs, whether they are puppies or full grown, bring lots of joy and companionship to any home and in home dog…
By: Carol Smith in  Pets  >  Dogs   Oct 02, 2011  
2
  Likes: 2

Dog Training Aids - The Best Dog Training Methods Revealed!
With A Little Bit Of Help Comes Success If you have a hard time teaching basic commands to your dog when using traditional dog training techniques, then try using dog training aids. Many frustrated dog owners choose dog obedience training classes to achieve the desired results, but there are some…
By: frank rijkers in  Pets  >  Dogs   Feb 10, 2013  
0
  Likes: 1

Prison Based Dog Training Programs
Dogs in Prison?...Well not becasue the dogs did anything wrong. You may have heard about the prison based dog training programs . The state of Florida offers several dog training programs that involve using prison inmates. Several things get accomplished with these programs. Dogs are saved from shelters that could…
By: Jennifer F in  Pets  >  Dogs   Apr 14, 2013  
0
  Likes: 2

How To Use A Dog Training Program That Really Work - Part 1
Are you frustrated trying to use a dog training program that haven't worked for you in the past? As a proud and loving dog owner, you want to be able to have your dog be on their best behavior around you, family members, friends and others who come along. You…
By: William Chase in  Pets  >  Dogs   Mar 13, 2012  
11
  Likes: 2

Dog Training Tips
Training your dog is not difficult if you know what you are doing. Without an understanding of your dog, you and your dog might get frustrated. Following is a list of tips you should familiarize yourself with before embarking on dog training. 1) Dog should be given clear commands, and…
By: SUE EKAN in  Pets  >  Dogs   Aug 05, 2013  
2
  Likes: 2

Dog Training Comands
Dog lovers who have brought home their first puppy will be thrilled with just how cute and cuddly they can be. Puppies are great fun, but they can turn out to be difficult to take care of when they grow older if they are not trained properly with good dog…
By: Jason in  Pets  >  Dogs   Aug 31, 2011  
2
  Likes: 2

Follow These Dog Training Tips on How to Train Your Dog!
Would it interest you to become "in the know" on how to train your dog in addition to some dog training trips and also make your pup not only just your obedient dog, but your genuine buddy for life? But your really hectic timetable just won't give you enough time…
By: Jason in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 12, 2011  
1
  Likes: 0

Dog Training - Important Techniques
So you've brought a new dog into the household, you've decided what the right breed is for you and you've taught the dog the basic obedience rules. You think everything will fall into place from here but this is just the starting point for your training. You have to make…
By: Chris Evans in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 30, 2011  
2
  Likes: 0

Dog Training At Home
A lot of people feel very guilty and hate to leave their dogs at home when they are out at work for the day. It can be very expensive to pay for certain daycare facilities or dog walkers every day of the week. Using these facilities may also result in…
By: Chris Evans in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 15, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Dog Training - Dog Obedience
So why train a dog? Is it not easier to have fun with your dog and 'shout' at it when it does something wrong? I wouldn't recommend this. A well trained dog will develop a very close relationship with it's owner and that relationship will last for the duration of…
By: Chris Evans in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 29, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Dog Training Donts
I’m no dog whisperer, I admit that. But I have successfully trained enough dogs in my time to know what doesn’t work, and it pains me to see again and again, people remonstrating with their dogs, chastising them, yelling at them and even smacking them because the poor dog doesn’t…
By: peter farr in  Pets  >  Dogs   Nov 04, 2011  
1
  Likes: 2

Dog Training Tips - What Ive Learned
Need dog training tips? I have always been a huge dog lover ever since I was a kid. I grew up around animals; horses, cats, dogs, reptiles, and all sorts of little rodents. I have a half Labrador Retriever and half Golden Retriever I have raised and she is a…
By: Ben2 in  Pets  >  Dogs   Mar 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Dog Training - Puppy Biting
Puppies are cute, no doubt about it. When a new puppy is introduced to a household it is surrounded by excitement and attention. In the weeks that follow you will go through toilet training and general behavior issues and the attraction may start to wear off. When the puppy reaches…
By: Chris Evans in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 22, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Dog Training - What Is The Best Dog Training Treat
Training your dog is an integral part of it's development and is a positive thing to do for your dog and family. You want a well trained and obedient dog that will be well behaved in any number of public situations. It is important not to start training your dog…
By: Chris Evans in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jul 01, 2011  
2
  Likes: 1

Dog training
Dogs are the most exciting pets you agree with me,they can also be the most annoying and frustrating pets you should also agree with me on this too.Dogs need training to improve on their weaknesses and the best trainer for your dog is you.Some of the main problems of your…
By: Jayson peterson in  Pets  >  Dogs   Feb 02, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2022    Report this Article