Interactions between your puppy and your children should always be supervised and they should never be left alone together. Miscommunication between dogs and children is commonplace and accidents can easily happen. It is therefore essential that you educate your children about appropriate interaction with puppies. Make it a rule that the children:
are polite and kind to the puppy, recognising when the puppy needs time alone.
respect the puppy’s personal space, don’t disturb him when he is sleeping or eating.
play appropriate games. Do not tease with toys or treats.
avoid pestering, puppies get tired and grumpy the same way young children do.
keep volume to a level that the puppy is happy with. If he is scared of shouting and loud noises then stop and reassure him.
It is important that you, the parent, lead by example. Don’t play rough with the puppy and expect your child not to copy you. Explain what you are doing and why you are doing it, children learn quickly and will understand why it is important to be gentle and why it is wrong to tease with toys or treats.
Make sure the puppy has space away from the children, he will tire easily and tired puppies get grumpy too. Be sure to explain to your child that “the puppy has gone to bed because he is sleepy and he needs to have a rest.” If he nips it isn’t his fault, he has more than likely had enough and your child pushed him one step too far. Puppies can be naughty but they aren’t bad.
Puppies aren’t perfect, they are learning all the time. They will make mistakes from time to time and how you deal with those mistakes will define how the puppy turns later in life. Puppies who associate children with positive experiences are generally more tolerant of children later in life.
To date we have helped thousands of rescue animals and our aim is to ensure we give them the best possible treatment while they are in our care and to find them their forever home. Your support helps us not only feed them, but to provide them with toys and treats and also excellent veterinary treatment.