Here’s the thing. I think we need to be really careful about kids around dogs. I don’t think kids should be hugging random dogs. I know it’s adorable. And for the most part, it’s going to work out okay. But what if it doesn’t? Who are you going to blame?
I recently asked my friends, what do we need to know about your kids and my dogs?
Full disclosure. I never let my dogs loose around kids unsupervised, ever. Yes, they are perfectly appropriate around kids and I would trust them, but I still never let this kind of interactions happen without me there.
Number one, we live in a litigious society.
Two, I can only predict what my dogs will do, I can’t predict what a child will do.
Three, even my well-trained dogs are dogs, and dogs will be dogs.
I always put my dogs’ needs above those who are around and want to pet them. Normally we are coming off of a training workout. They are tired. I am tired. They want space, I want space.
But what if your dog is just hanging out? I asked my friends with human kids what they thought about me saying no to their kiddos petting my dog.
I asked my parent friends, what are you doing to teach your kids about dogs?
Ryan said, “Gotta train the kid to stop and ask first, how to hold hands, how to stand by a dog and not freak it out/choke it to death/fall all over it/etc. But OMG they’re so cute when they get to pet puppies and it’s all awww and squeee and hearts and googly eyes and smiles and shit.”
And yes, dogs and kids are ADORABLE. In the right space, supervised, with well trained and tolerant dogs.
I normally tell parents and their kids “my dog just rolled in poop” and they don’t approach but what if I want to just say “NO.” I asked Ryan and he replied, “I feel great about it. She deals with it well (now), but it was usually a big disappointment for a while. But being honest and saying no? Please. Please. Please. Save my kid from a bite/bark/whatever and your dog from its own possibly trauma.”
My friend Amber also weighed in and said, ” Oh and the only other thing I would say about kids and dogs, is prepping mentally for what expectations to have with both the kid’s boundaries and the dog’s. Kids and dogs shouldn’t be left unattended (no matter how “trustworthy” the dog may be.
Again, you can hear it right from me, a dog trainer, my dogs are never left alone with kids. Do I trust them? Absolutely. My three-year-old nephew was here causing havoc and we still didn’t combine kids and dogs. I don’t think they would do anything, but I couldn’t predict what he would do to them.
Now, don’t read this as kids and dogs can’t coexist. This is NOT what I’m saying. I’m saying be there, watch your kids, watch your dogs. Remove dogs if kids are being too much for them, remove kids if they are being too much for dogs. If you don’t know enough about kids and dogs, err on the side of caution and just keep them separate to keep everyone safe.
If you have a dog with a bite history or a dog who has shown you he can’t handle this situation, please don’t flood him and put him in a place where he can’t win. Also, if you’re a parent. Please, please, listen to the dog owners here. Most dogs are okay with kids… but always ask first if your kiddo can pet our dogs. We can prevent a ton of heartache with communication!
Pets Crave Love™
Professional Dog Walking Services in South Austin. Our service area includes 78747 as well as Ashbrook, Bluff Springs/Frontage Road, Bradshaw Crossing, Carrington Oaks, Chateau at Onion Creek, Colonial Grand at Double Creek, Congress, Courtyards at Onion Creek, Courtyards at Southpark Meadows, Crossing At Onion Creek, Enclave at Estancia, Farmhouse Apartments, Goodnight, Goodnight Ranch, Iron Rock Ranch, Legends Way at Onion Creek, Lennar, Meadows At Double Creek, Old California Apartments, Old San Antonio, Onion Creek, Onion Creek Plantation, Parkside At Slaughter Creek, Quicksilver, River Ridge, RSI Homes, South Grove, Southpark Terraces, Springfield Phase C, Springfield Village, Stablewood At Slaughter Creek, Stonecreek Ranch, Stonegate, Thaxton Place, The Bend At Nuckols Crossing, The Cottages, The Oak at Twin Creeks, Trails at The Park, Weber Hill, Yarrabee Bend and more.
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