A dog is a man’s best friend. They are an integral part of any household. They complete a happy family with their presence. We love dogs, because they love us. Many of us might have grown up along with the puppies in the house. During childhood we may have rolled with them, run with them and played with them. Many households have big powerful dogs in the vicinity of children and newborns.
Even though dogs are fierce they are emotional creatures as well, and most often than not they are gentle on children. But it is better to be safe than sorry. We hear stray cases of dogs mauling little children. We must understand that even though dogs are apt for domestication, their primeval instinct is that of fierceness and aggressiveness. They can also be unpredictable at times.
We must also understand that children are also highly unpredictable. In their explorative enthusiasm they may provoke the dog by pinching them, twisting their ears, and worse, pulling their whiskers. This could make the dog growl, bark and even bite. It is always better to educate children on dog behavior. Here’s how.
1) When you are playing with dogs, make sure you tell your children how to handle them. Explain to them how to hold the dog, how to stroke it and where to stroke it. Dogs don’t like to be caught on the neck, as they perceive it to be an attack on them. Dogs don’t like their tails or whiskers to be pulled, as this will anger them. Dogs don’t like direct eye contact. A dog displays affection by wagging its tail. It also displays aggression by wagging its tail stiffly sideways.
2) Help your kid get accustomed to your dog under your supervision. Sometimes dogs tend to be quite, when they are under their master’s glare. Teach your kid to handle the dog. Stroke it. Fondle it. This is a win-win situation, since this will help even the dog to familiarize itself with the kids handling behavior.
3) Teach your kid to stand straight and firm when dogs come near. Don’t make your kid run. Always ask your kids to avoid eye contact with the dog.