Whether you’ve adopted a rescue or your child wants friends to come over, your dog has to be accepted of little humans. Here’s how to teach your dog to like children — your own or others.
Also, these lessons are important for any family WITH a dog that is going to have a baby or adopt a baby. Dogs and babies don’t get along at the snap of a finger. It takes a lot of training for a dog to accept a baby or a child into her home.
How to Teach your Dog to Like Children
When you have a dog, as soon as you adopt, you should ask any friends with children to come and visit. But, it’s your job to supervise the interactions at all times, ensuring the baby or young child is behaving, but so too, is your dog. This is socializing your dog. And, if your dog is having a great time throughout the visits, then she will easily start accepting kids.
Encourage the child to play with your dog, like tossing dog toys and giving her treats when she retrieves them. Also, have the visitor ask your dog to sit, stay, down, and the like. Again, praising and rewards are a must.
You must ensure that the children are well-behaved and friendly so that this becomes a pleasant encounter.
In a situation where you don’t have friends with kids, you’ll have to make due with walking your dog where there are lots of people. Dogs are like magnets to most kids, so it won’t be hard to find a few that would love to play with your dog at the park, for instance.
Give the child a few treats to toss to your dog or to feed her directly. Perhaps have a ball for a child to play fetch with your dog, followed by a treat.
Some dogs are really great with their own human siblings but either are fearful or nervous around other children. Try the above suggestions, but if they don’t work, professional help will be necessary. Also, if your dog is aggressive toward other children, you must seek professional behavior help.
Taking the time to learn how to teach your dog to like children will simplify your life and will ensure your children’s social life won’t be affected by the family dog. Learn the process, put in the time, and you’ll get results.