4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
It’s no secret that kids love dogs. They always want to cuddle us and give us as many hugs and kisses as possible. While it might look cute in pictures and videos, people need to consider how dogs feel in these situations. As sweet as kids can be, they can also be intimidating for a dog. That’s why it’s important for all kids to know how to properly behave around animals.
Introducing a Dog and Child
Similarly to when you introduce two dogs or a dog and a cat, introducing a dog and a child should be a slow transition. All their early interactions should be supervised to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Before your kid even meets the dog, make sure they know to give the dog space. Teach them about common dog body language so they can know if the dog has had enough interactions. If a kid doesn’t know about boundaries with a dog, it’s likely that they’ll smother them or stress them out, which will likely put the kid in danger.
Remember, if a dog bites or nips at a kid, they’re not trying to be mean. It means that they’re stressed and the child isn’t picking up on the warning signs. If you have any kids, always make sure they know to be patient and careful around dogs. We don’t want any kids or dogs or get hurt!
How Should Children Behave?
It’s okay for kids to pet dogs and play with them. In fact, we like healthy interactions with kids. It’s just important that they know when to stop. If a dog starts avoiding them or running away from them after a while, it’s important for a kid to give the dog a break.
If your kid wants to spend more time with your dog, let them help with dog training. Training can be a healthy way for a dog and person to bond without stressing the dog out. Just make sure you’re around to monitor these interactions.
Also, make sure kids are gentle when petting a dog. Demonstrate how to nicely pet a dog, and make sure they keep their hands away from the dog’s face. Dogs will be more relaxed if they are pet properly instead of being poked at.
This doesn’t just apply to your own dogs either. Kids should behave this way around all dogs, even more so around dogs they don’t know. If your kid wants to pet a stranger’s dog, make sure they ask first. After they ask, make sure they’re cautious and gentle. Unfamiliar dogs are more likely to get provoked by small children.
Parents are quick to blame a dog if something goes wrong, but knowing warning signs can help kids avoid getting hurt. Unfortunately, dogs cannot talk to their humans, so we can only rely on body language for communication. Keep that in mind next time your kid wants to interact with a dog.
Which Breeds Are Best Around Children?
Every dog is different, so if you want to know if a dog will be good with kids, spend some time with them before you adopt them. Any dog can be good with kids, but if you already have kids at home, it’s important make sure a dog is family-friendly before adopting them.
Before you bring a new dog home, you should also make sure the kids have met them first. You should want your dog to be as used to your kids as possible and make sure your kids know how to properly behave around the new dog.
That being said, there are a few dog breeds that are especially good around kids. Remember, it’s not a guarantee, it’s just a general observation:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Bull Terrier
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Again, it really depends on the specific dog more than the breed, but these are just a few breeds that are commonly known to be good with kids. Don’t go out of your way to pick one of these specific breeds, but instead, spend time with the dog you want to adopt. Also, make sure your kids always know how to behave around dogs to make things safer for everyone.
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