Children & Dogs

“This breed of dog is family-friendly and loves children!” Advertising slogans like this give inexperienced dog lovers a completely wrong idea of ​​a dog’s social qualities.

Dogs are not born child-friendly, they learn from experience. For these to be unreservedly positive for both dog and child, adult instruction and supervision in respectful handling is crucial. Dogs need rest breaks and retreats, don’t always want to be cuddled or even bossed around, and aren’t “dress-up dolls”.

Dogs don’t suffer in silence, they talk with their body language, which children hardly recognize. Dogs are only taken seriously when they become “clear” and show their displeasure by growling or snapping – and portrayed as “evil” and “dangerous”. Instead of restoring trust and recognizing the dog’s concern, it is usually punished.

Because dogs learn through association, they associate the punishment with the child’s presence. This is how a dog learns to fear children. It is therefore essential, especially when living with children, that we learn to interpret dog language and behavior and respond to it.

To gain security in everyday life, on the one hand, experiences with many different people and, on the other hand, with as many different environmental situations as possible are important:

Encounters with children, including strangers, should take place as soon as possible. The dog should get used to being attacked by children early on. It is essential that this (also to protect the children) has to be done in the presence of adults. Care must be taken that the children do not annoy or torment the dog – the more positively the dog perceives the reality of children, the easier the contact between them will be. The dog should also get to know babies, especially if their offspring are planned.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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