Puppies and kids: some words of advice from dog professionals

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We have prepared this quick fact-sheet to help you steer the interactions between your do and your kids. 

Puppies and kids: The link leads to a collection of resources for safe child-dog interactions.

The core points are:

  1. Understand dogs: Familiarise kids with dog body language, and teach them to respect it.
  2. Mine!
    1. Kids never grab something from the dog, not even if it is theirs.
    2. Dogs never snatch anything from the kids.
  3. Space:
    1. Kids never disturb the dog if he is resting (e.g. in his basket/bed/couch/crate/etc.) or eating/chewing.
    2. Dogs leave eating kids space.
  4. Who’s boss: Kids are not responsible for educating dogs, and certainly not for punishing them. Kids should also not be bossing the dog around.
  5. Choice: No forcing, chasing around, lifting up, cornering or dressing up. Kids invite the dog to their space, they do not force or demand interactions. Dogs leave the kids alone when asked to do so.
  6. Calm:
    1. No rough-housing, crazy running or shrieking with the dog around.
    2. For the dogs: no jumping up on kids or chasing/nipping at them.
  7. Active supervision: Dogs and kids are not left alone for a second without active supervision. Kids certainly do not let the dog out. Know when to intervene.
  8. Friendly ‘ban’: The 10-second message (in Dutch) tip will help you remind kids of the safety rules without coming across as a negative Nelly.

If you stick to these common sense measures, you will foster a mutually respectful relationship and your dog will bloom as a member of your family.

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