How to Introduce Dogs and Kids

Follow these guidelines for a smooth introduction.

Whether you’re having people over for a special family gathering, a holiday party, or even just a low-key hangout, you’ll want to make sure your furry family member gets along with the rest of your guests – especially the little ones. Kids and dogs are very similar in that they are both curious and easily excited. Here’s some things you’ll want to consider before introducing dogs and kids:

Exercise with your pup (a lot) before the introduction.

A tired dog is a good dog, so before your guests arrive make sure your pup gets a lot of exercise. Run him or her around in the backyard for a while or play a long game of fetch before the little ones get there. This way your dog will be nice and mellow.

Supervise first encounters.

Make sure you are in the room to carefully supervise and immediately jump in, in case anything goes wrong. Kids and dogs are both inquisitive and can push their boundaries at times, so it’s important to be there to monitor these first encounters. Don’t leave the room until you feel confident that both the child and dog know how to act around one another.

Let the dog come up to the child first; not the other way around.

Dogs needs to feel comfortable first. If the child starts petting him or her right away, the dog may become startled. By letting your pup sniff his or her way around first, you will avoid provoking a reaction if the child makes a move too suddenly.

Lead by example.

Teach the child how to play with your pup by showing them. If you show your little one how to be gentle with the dog, he or she will model your behavior. Demonstrate where your pup likes to be pet and where he or she doesn’t.

Don’t let the little ones share their food with your dog.

While it may be tempting, it is in everyone’s best interest not to share foods your with dog. There is already a lot of excitement going on that can easily upset your dog’s digestive system. Instead, you can have the kids give your pup his or her favorite dog-approved treat to reward good behavior.

Spend some quality time with your pup after the party is over.

Entertaining guests brings a lot of chaos, and your pup will probably be exhausted after hours of running around with the little ones. Once you’re back in a quiet home, get in some quality snuggling time on the couch as a treat to your pup for being so good!

How to Introduce Dogs and Kids

November 18, 2015

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