Your children have been wanting a dog for a long time and you would also like to have four-legged families? With sufficient planning, it is not that difficult to get dogs and children used to each other.
Choose a family dog carefully
It depends to a large extent on dog training and dog personality how well dogs can be addressed to children, but some dog breeds are considered particularly family-friendly. Large family dogs are for example the Labrador, the Golden Retriever or the Belgian and German Shepherd. If you prefer to take in small family dogs, the pug or the Maltese are a good choice. Medium-sized breeds that are suitable as family dogs are beagle, poodle or bobtail.
Ideally, the dogs have been used to children since they were born, so that the offspring are not completely new to them when they come to your home. You can look for family dogs both at the breeder and at the animal shelter. The best thing to do is to look for a breeder who has children of your own, or ask the shelter if they have any dogs with child experience in their care. Dogs that are used to dealing with small human beings are friendly, patient and want to please their people.
These ten cute family dogs love children!
Prepare children for dogs
If your children are already two to three years old, you can involve them in the search for the perfect dog for your family. From this age, the little ones are usually ready to understand simple basic rules for handling the four-legged friend and to abide by them. Explain to your children that dogs are not soft toys and that they can feel feelings of pain or fear. Pulling the poor guy by the tail or ears, yelling at him, dressing him up, taking away his toy or climbing on it should be taboo from the start. The little ones should also respect that dogs need to rest when they eat or sleep.
Teach your children the dog's body language so that they can recognize the warning signs in good time. If the dog yawns or licks its muzzle, scratches or looks away, these are the first signs of insecurity and stress. He growls, puts his ears on and bares his teeth, it's often too late and he's about to bite. Therefore, it is safer to leave dogs alone and not to bother them if they are only slightly unsettled.
Do not leave the dog and child alone
Even if you have brought up your children and the dog well, dangerous incidents can occur. For example, dogs can be afraid of something and then behave abnormally. Or an accident happens to your child and it accidentally hurts the dog. Therefore, do not allow dogs and children to play with each other unsupervised and accompany your offspring on joint dog walks.
From around twelve years of age, you can usually trust your child to go for a walk alone with the dog. Then you can actively involve your son or daughter in dog training. In this way you strengthen the relationship between your child and the four-legged friend and your offspring learns in a playful way to take responsibility and to feel compassion for other living beings.