Dogs
and
Children 

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At every exciting milestone for a child the environment changes for the dog. Each milestone such as reaching, grabbing, crawling and walking changes the relationship for the dog to the child. The dog may react differently at each stage. We must keep in mind that new movements, noises and equipment can bring new challenges. Here are a few things that can help ensure safety and comfort for the children and dogs.

Management 

Managing your dog using tethers, crates and gates or a combination of these tools can be a great way to include the dog in daily routines. Safety and comfortability for both the dog and the child are the main goals. Using these tools maintains a safe distance from the child and still gives the dog inclusion.

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Supervision 

Never leave a dog and baby alone, not even for a second. If you have to leave the room, take one with you. There must be fully awake, adult supervision between babies and dogs 100% of the time. Utilize the management tools to make sure there is no physical interaction between the child and dog. Picture number 4 and 5 below should be used at all times.

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Preparation 

Preparing your dog for the babies arrival or for the next milestone of the child will help the dog get ready for all these new challenges.

  • Know dogs body language

  • Know your dog’s sensitivities

    • Startles easily

    • Noises

    • Movements

  • Practice basic manners and tricks so your dog has plenty of cues they know well.

    • Sit

    • Down

    • Place

  • Practice with different management tools.

  • Replace unwanted attention seeking behaviors with desired behaviors.

  • Play novel sounds.

  • Allow dog to become familiar with equipment/baby toys.  

 
There is a lot to consider when a baby is brought into a house with a dog. Family Paws at familypaws.com can help parents create safer, lasting relationships between their dogs and their children. When you are ready to start the preparation with your dog for the new arrival, give us a call, we are here to help.

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Other Great Resources on Dogs and Children