Parent’s Guide: Kids And Dogs 101

By on March 2, 2015
Dogs and Children

If you have have a little one running around the house with a dog present, then you need to set some ground rules so everyone (including your furry one) will be safe and have fun. We gathered some of the best tips around the internet to help guide you to create a safe environment for your kids and 4 legged friend.

But before we get started…

Why Your Kids Should Have A Dog


How Kids Should Interact With Dogs

Tips on How Kids Should Interact WIth Dogs


How Kids Should Not Interact With Dogs

What Kids Should Not Do When Interacting With Dogs


Your Kids Need Training As Well

  • Children need to understand that not all dogs love them. Teach your kids to always ask pet parents for permission before approaching any animal. Have mock greetings at home so that your children can practice what they’ll do when they want to pet a dog they don’t know.

  • In addition to learning that they should never touch strange animals without permission, kids must understand that they should never reach through fences or car windows to pet dogs who are unattended—even if they know the confined dogs.

  • Teach your children how to handle dogs gently. Show your children what polite petting looks like, and have them practice with a stuffed animal. Discourage unpleasant treatment, like poking, pinching, slapping, hugging and pulling on fur, tails or ears.


Thinking about getting a dog and not exactly sure what breed would be good for your children? We personally created this infographic to help

The Top 10 Dog Breeds For Children

10 Dog Breeds Best For Children

Training Your Dog To Be Kid Friendly

  • Create kid-free zones:

Family dogs should have a kid-free zone to go to if they want space. Crates provide a separate area for the dog to be alone. Don’t view it as punishment. The crate is a safe refuge, especially when the house is filled with relatives and strange noises.

  • Establish house rules:

The family should never allow rough play with the dog. Burckhalter also suggests distributing food and treats away from the child. Do not allow the dog to eat from the child’s plate or play with the child’s toys. Kids also should not play with pet toys; they lack the same safety standards.

  • Make sure the breed fits your lifestyle:

Research the type of dog you have and respect those instincts, she said. Understanding the traits of Cleo’s breed will help you become a better pet owner. I know that Lulu is a high-energy pit bull. Without long daily walks to help burn all that extra energy, she becomes bored, destructive and a threat to my shoes. The AKC has helpful descriptions of most breeds on its site.

  • Get your dog spayed or neutered:

Most dog attacks come from unaltered males, Burckhalter said. Get your dog spayed as soon as possible. The ASPCA offers a database of free or low-cost spay/neuter options around the country. Simply enter your ZIP code to get started.


Have The Kids Around

When you’re doing any type of training with your dog, try to have your children around. It works best when they’re playing with their toys so your doggie can be used to them in their environment

And your kids don’t just have to be around to help train your dog. They can get involved as well!

Easy Tricks Your Kids Can Teach Your Dogs

1. Your dog’s name: Each time you greet your dog, look at him and say his name. Repeat his name several times. Each time he comes to you when you call his name, give him a treat.

2. Sit: Have your child hold a small treat in his hand just above the dog’s nose. Gently rest his other hand on your dog’s rump. Move the treat upwards slowly, and as your child is doing this, softly press down on the dog’s rump. Repeat the word “sit.” When your dog sits, say “good dog,” and give him the treat. Repeat five times, and again later in the week.

3. Stay: Start this exercise by having your dog sit, then say “stay” and walk backward just a few feet. If your dog moves, have him sit again and repeat. When he sits for just a few seconds, praise him and give him a small treat. Repeat and extend the “stay” time from a few seconds to 30 seconds. As you extend the time, move a few more feet away. Extend the time to a minute, and then to five minutes. All new tricks take time, repetition, and patience.

4. Come: Walk a few feet away from your dog and call “come.” Add his name. Sound happy, and when he comes to you, praise him. After repeating this a few times, give him a treat every third time he comes to you. Make sure you always praise him. Dogs love treats, but they love your positive attention even more.

5. Shake hands: From the sitting position, lift your dog’s paw in your hand and say “shake.” When he does this praise him, and give him a treat. Repeat five to seven times. Then put your hand out without taking his paw, and say “shake.” When he puts his hand into yours, give him a small treat and tell him he’s the best dog ever.

6. Find it: Have your child hide a treat, and then have your dog find it. A dog’s sense of smell is between 1,000 and 10 million times more sensitive than ours (depending on the breed). Start out by hiding the treat in plain sight. Then hide it further away. It is fun to watch your dog find the treat.

7. Down: Most people don’t like it when a dog jumps up on them. Each time your dog jumps up on you, say “down” firmly. If he doesn’t listen, turn your back to him. Then turn around and repeat.

8. Heel: If your child is old enough to walk the family dog on his own, show him how to teach the dog to heel. No one wants to be pulled by an unruly dog. Put the collar on your dog. Hold the leash close to your side, and say “heel.” Walk slowly and each time your dog stays close to your side continuing saying “heel” and “good dog.”

9. Hush: If your dog is a barker, watch him while he’s barking. When he looks at you and gets quiet — even for a second — give him a treat and tell him he is a good dog. Repeat several times, and add “hush.” When he stops barking give him a treat.

10. Get the leash: Place your dog’s leash on the floor next to him, and say “take leash.” When he puts it in his mouth, praise him. Then walk toward the door, and say “come.” Repeat several times. Reward him by taking him for a walk.

But Remember –  The Two Are Not So Different…

Kids And Dogs Not Different

Source Pinterest

Do you have any tips to add for helping kids and dogs live together peacefully? Let us know in the comments below!