LESLEY

LESLEY

Can My Child Be In Charge of The Family Dog?

Beautiful asian girl hugging siberian husky puppy on white background isolated with copy space on right
So now that we know that children usually can not be successful at being “in charge” of the dog, can we still help our child to learn to be a responsible dog owner and help care for the family dog? Absolutely!

It usually goes something like this… ”Mom, can we get a dog, PLEASE!”. Mom’s reply, “Well, if we get a dog you’ll need to take care of the dog; this means walking, feeding, picking up the poop, blah, blah, blah.” The reality is that if mom is truly thinking that the child will learn responsibility and be able to be the caretaker of the family dog, she most likely will end up being frustrated and disappointed, not to mention there can be issues of safety to consider.

Besides Mom’s disappointment your child will end up feeling frustrated too because dogs generally don’t listen to kids.

Dogs follow leaders and will gravitate to the most reliable, consistent person in the family who provides what they need in life to be happy and safe.

Children, since they are still developing, can be more emotional, unpredictable, unreliable and energetic. These qualities communicate to the dog that the child is not in charge, and therefore, the dog generally will not listen to the child.

So now that we know that children usually can not be successful at being “in charge” of the dog, can we still help our child to learn to be a responsible dog owner and help care for the family dog? Absolutely!

Here are a few suggestions to help parents encourage good and safe interactions, helping create a lasting bond between your child and family dog.

Include your child whenever you can with daily care, but you must lay the ground work first. Every task that pertains to your dog, such as daily feeding, providing fresh water, walking, grooming, and basic training, needs to be done first by an adult to understand how you want your child to help, and if they can assist with these daily tasks. You also need to learn about your dog’s personality to find out how they will respond to new things. You will find that some tasks work out better than others.

Read the Entire Article at Pediatric Safety – April 30, 2018

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About Kids-n-K9s

As a former elementary school teacher and now current dog trainer, I have seen the results of dog bites to children.

I developed Stop, Look and Paws as one tool that can start the process of understanding some basic canine body language and thereby prevent dog bites.

Search Our Site