The bond a child can grow to have with a puppy is one of the most magical bonds there is, and part of this is because puppies and kids have so many things in common. They’re curious, inquisitive, excitable, impatient, caring, investigative and chock full of energy. But while these personality traits will no doubt see them become the best of friends, each cherishing their bond as much as the other, it is also these personality traits that you have to be cautious of, at least to begin with.
Bringing a new puppy into your home requires careful consideration, and everything should be questioned and planned. You need to think about the age of your kids, the breed of dog you go for, and whether you will be able to supervise their first encounters together; absolutely everything. But trust us, this little bit of work at the beginning will be totally worth it because the rewards are so wonderful, so beautiful, so heartwarming.
To help you achieve this bond, we have come up with a set of tips and tricks, little bits of advice to use a guideline and help your puppy and your kid embark on a happy relationship together. Like we said above, it will be more worth it than you can ever imagine.
- Be There At The Beginning
This is possibly the most important thing, for both of them. But until you are absolutely sure that your new puppy and your little one know how to behave with one another, know how to enjoy one another and just be with one another, you need to be present. You don’t have to be right there in the middle separating them. In fact, we would urge you not to do that. Just linger in the background. Let them get comfortable, let them play and inquire, while you observe from a distance. Just make sure you are ready to step in should you need to.
- A One Way Street
This can be quite a tricky thing for a child to understand because, well, they are just a child, but only let your puppy be the one to make the approach. Let them nuzzle into your child’s body, or nose their cheek, not the other way around. You see, kids are excitable, we have already ascertained that which means when they see your new puppy they will want to see them desperately. They will want to rush to them as fast as their body will let them. That’s the problem because puppies can be a bit on edge, and if something rushes them they can react. So just let your puppy come to your child, that way they will become used to them.
- The 3 Zones Of A Dog
Puppies – and dogs for that matter – have three zones: public, social and intimate. The first two zones are perfectly okay. The latter is not. The intimate zone should not be breached unless your puppy has, well, indicated that is cool with them. What we mean by intimate is the immediate space around them. This is something that you really need to teach your child about because it will help them build a bond with your dog and learn how to approach other people’s dogs.
- Patience Is A Virtue
Unfortunately, there is what dog experts call a fearful period in a puppy’s life. This is wholly natural and lasts about eight to ten weeks while they explore the world and all that is new to them, and it can be quite the daunting prospect. That is why you should really encourage your kid to have some patience with your puppy. We get it, this may not be the easiest thing to do, but try you must because it will make them happy and healthy. The reason you should try is because of the natural personality trait they both possess; excitement. Mutual excitement can result in a misunderstanding where both puppy and child can become a little defensive, and that is where patience will help. It will allow them to understand each other a bit more, work out how they interact and what both of them see is enjoyable and safe and fun. Yup, patience really is a virtue.
- Your Child The Ring Master
Just about everyone learns by doing, but this is especially true for children and puppies. That is why it is such a great idea to get your kid involved in the whole training process, and helping them to understand some of the top dog tips. These simple training tasks include things like gently patting your thighs to get them to come. The reason this is such a great training step to start with is because you can get an understanding of what your puppy’s temperament is like, which is exactly how professional dog trainer’s do it. It is a sort of personality test. If they immediately run, they are likely to be a dominant dog. If they are shy but slowly warm to you, then they are likely to hold a gentler disposition.
- Child Care Service
Another great way to increase that bond between child and canine is to get your toddler involved in the care of your puppy. That’s one of the huge benefits of having a dog; you can use them as a way of teaching your kid about rules and responsibilities and use them to set out guidelines that they should adhere to. Of course, if your kid is still very young, then they may not be able to take on many – or any -of these responsibilities, but if they are a little bit older then get them into a habit of feeding, walking and cleaning up after the puppy. The walking thing is a great exercise to include your kid in. They will get used to each other, both in presence and in calls and commands, and that will serve to strengthen their bond, and also help both of them to mature.
By following these six little tips, you will be laying the foundations down of a healthy and happy relationship, one where they love and trust each other totally, and always will.