7 Tips to help your children around your puppy

What are the 7 tips to help your children love their new puppy?

child with pug

GoodPet offers Private training for families with children.

It is common for families with young children to adopt a beautiful puppy to allow the kids and the pup to grow up together. Much time and effort goes into finding the right size and temperament that suits the whole family.

Once the decision had been made to get a new pup, you go shopping and buy the right bed, the right food, the right toys, the right collar, a name-tag with his contact details…getting all ready for the new puppy’s arrival. All sorted!

But, in preparation for the new puppy, you also need to remember that your children will now need to learn how to interact with the little one. They will not instinctively make the correct choices because doggies are not humans.

So, let’s look at 7 tips that can help the children to interact successfully with their new canine.

1. How to greet the new puppy?

Soft eyes

Soft eyes looking at the dog’s nose, or the floor. Do not look straight into the puppy’s eyes; staring is very intimidating and you do not want to scare the puppy.

Let the puppy approach your side

Doggies understand you are not aggressive when you allow them to approach you from the side or when you keep your back to them.

This is which is why you stand facing a dog with arms folded across your chest when you want to discourage jumping…

Let the puppy approach you in their own time

The puppy must know that he has a choice whether he wants to say “Hello” to anybody that comes into the house; please make sure your guests also understand that the puppy must not be forced to accept affection. Offer a closed hand to the puppy to smell.

Stroke gently on the side of the face or back

Stroke gently on the side of the face or on the back. Avoid the top of the head and teach your children not to bend over a dog. Once you get to know your puppy, you will know exactly where his or her favourite spots are!

Keep your face away from your puppy’s faceHow Kids Should Interact With Dogs Poster

This is an accident waiting to happen!

Make sure that your children are taught not to put their faces in a dog’s face. The dog will be uncomfortable. And, if you failto understand the clear signals of it’s discomfort – flattening the ears, pulling it’s head away, cow’s eyes or half-moon-eyes (eyes staring with lots of white visible), raising of the lip and showing it’s teeth, growling… – it might well decide to nip in a last attempt.


2. How to hold the new puppy

Be very careful with your puppy, you do not want to hurt it!

3. How to play with the new puppy?

Observe your puppy

doggie body language

Click to enlarge: Doggie Body Language

What does his body look like? Relaxed and loose or stiff? How is he holding his ears? What is the mouth doing? What are the eyes doing? All these are ways your puppy is communicating to you.

Play games that are fun for both of you, like fetch or hide and seek

Adult supervision is imperative.

4. How to feed the new puppy?

How Kids Should Interact With Dogs Poster

Click to enlarge: How Kids Should Interact With Dogs Poster

Children should not be allowed to feed the puppy unless Mom or Dad is with them.

And even then, giving treats should be a calm and relaxed event. Open palm holds the treat and waits for puppy to take it.

If the child is too nervous and keeps jerking the hand away, rather let them drop treats on the floor for the puppy.

5. How to speak to the new puppy?

Soft voice when you speak

Keep a calm voice. Shouting will give puppies a fright. Angry shouting will make them very scared. Remember that shouting at your puppy will not make any sense to it – your puppy will only know that you are angry and try to avoid you…and, if you do this too many times, your puppy will be afraid of you and eventually rather avoid you – or even start displaying anger back at you.

5. Play with your puppy

This video has some really good ideas for attention games you can play with.  https://youtu.be/2GRTZEayoCk.  Once your pup gets the hang of these games at home you can start to generalize them.  See this video which explains very well the concept of generalization.  https://youtu.be/E-SX6H_9hPc

6. How to listen to what a puppy is saying?

You have to listen to your puppy’s language – his or her body language.

Doggie body language poster

Doggie body language tells us what they are thinking and saying in “Doglish”

Always look and see what your puppy is doing.

What does his body look like? Relaxed and loose or stiff? How is he holding his ears? What is the mouth doing? What are the eyes doing? All these are ways your puppy is communicating to you.

Use the Doggie body language chart to recognize the most common behaviours for our canine companions.

7. Train your puppy

You want to enrol your puppy as soon as possible in Puppy Preschool or get a trainer to give you private lessons to make sure they have the best possible chance of becoming well-balanced adults.

Training will benefit the whole family, as you will then be able to let your children train the puppy at home in between classes – this will strengthen their bond as well as teaching your children important dog handling skills as you guide them through the process.boy n bed with book and boxer

your children will improve their observational skills, learn patience and self-control, and come away with a greater sense of self-worth as they are able to succeed in getting puppy to sit, lie down, come, roll over, “Find me”, bring back toys, etc. In other words, training will provide a myriad of benefits for both your puppy as well as your children.

Remember to make sure you all ENJOY your new puppy while teaching your children how to raise a healthy, friendly, super-well-mannered dog!

GoodPet offers Private training for families with children.  Contact us now – space is limited.

CREDITS: Images derived from http://www.drsophiayin.com and http://www.doggiedrawings.net
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