Thoughts of a Canine Therapist – Dogs and Children

🐾 Dogs & Children 🍼

I will say this as many times as I need to in order to make people understand…..

STOP EXPECTING YOUR DOGS TO BEHAVE AROUND CHILDREN AND START TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO BEHAVE AROUND DOGS

Two of the main things that dogs react to are how they feel about something in that moment and outside energtic influences. Unfortunately children naturally don’t help with either of these things.

Firstly they’re usually high energy, loud and quite high pitched. They run around, they shout, squeal, cry and all of this over stimulates and over excites our dogs. Add into that the fact that children usually want to play with the dog and will wind them up with a toy, exciting them even more.
Or they have their own toys or food that they don’t want the dog to have and then squeal and wave it in the air every time the dog so much looks in their direction!

Now put yourself in that dogs shoes. You’re over excited, over stimulated, frustrated and tormented. How are you going to react? Yet it’s still the dogs fault?

My Niece is now 9 years old and has been taught how to behave around my ever changing pack of dogs from a young age. She had to be otherwise it wouldn’t be safe for her to be in my house with the amount of dogs I have.

She still forgets occasionally and runs around and gets chased or squeals over something and gets jumped on by excited dogs. Not aggressively but we still remove the dogs to allow them time to calm down and each and every time we have a conversation about how her actions caused that and how easily it could escalate.

She did get bitten once, she was 3 or 4 years old and was running backwards and forwards and landed on one of the dogs. She came running to me crying and her words were…..
‘it wasn’t his fault I fell on him and he bit me’.

Even at that young age she knew what she had done wrong and how that had caused him to react, so don’t ever tell me your children are too young to understand or that you can’t stop them from tormenting a dog and pulling them around 😡😡

I have told many a parent to rehome their dog because they won’t teach their children to respect the living, feeling being that they share their homes with and I’m pretty sure I’ll tell a few more during my career 🐾❤️

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