Kybra Kennels Blog


How to Introduce Dogs To Children


   When introducing your dogs to children, it's best to take your time and keep calm. Siberian Huskies and Portuguese Water Dogs are breeds that usually get on well with children, and these tips on how to introduce dogs to children will help improve the interaction.

When the Puppy Meets the Children

Do a little preparation work and role playing with your children before the puppy arrives. Use a toy dog to show your kids how to pet the puppy. The most instinctive way to pet a puppy is to pat it on the top of the head, but most dogs dislike it. Show your children how to squat or kneel in front of the puppy, with their bodies turned slightly sideways to the dog, avoiding intense eye contact. They should gently stroke puppy on the base of the neck, the shoulders and chest, bringing their hands in from the side and not over the dog's head.

Make sure kids understand that when the puppy arrives home, it's important to let the pup come to them rather than the children crowding around the puppy. Puppies are very small, and easily overwhelmed by all the new scents and sights of a new environment. If the puppy is inundated by kids, it may lead to defensive behaviour like snapping and growling. Let the children offer the puppy treats on the flat palms of their hands. 


How to Introduce Dogs to the New Baby

When a new baby is brought into the family, particularly if it's your first child, your dogs also have to adjust to the newcomer. If you've always spent a lot of time with your dogs, start to decrease this before the baby is born. This is not because you're going to intentionally neglect your dogs, but because you'll find it physically impossible to devote as much time to your canine friends when you're caring for a young baby.

Ensure that your dogs are still as obedient as when you attended puppy classes, and if necessary go for a refresher course. If some rooms of the house are going to be out of bounds, get your dogs used to that before the baby arrives.

Once the baby is home, allow the dogs to be in the same room with you and the child. Pet the dogs and offer them praise and treats so that the presence of the baby is associated with a pleasant experience.


Children Coming to Stay

When children come to stay with you, it's important to be careful of how to introduce dogs to them. Dogs need a safe place to retreat to, so make sure that the kids know that the dog baskets or crates are no-go areas. Let the dogs eat in peace without an audience crowding around; as far as your dogs are concerned the children may be in competition for food.

Always Supervise Interactions Between Children and Dogs

When puppies and adult dogs first get together with children, it's essential that all interaction is supervised by a responsible adult. No matter how calm and placid a dog is, instinctive behaviour kicks in if pain is inflicted, whether it's accidental stepping on paws and tails or bumping against arthritic joints.


If you'd like to learn more about how to introduce dogs to children or our upcoming litters, contact us.

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