It is so important to teach your kids how to treat a puppy. Puppies learn from the children, right away, if they are going to be sweet, loving dogs, or if they are going to be aggressive dogs. If your child teaches them to be aggressive, they will be. If your child is loving to your dog, the dog will be loving right back. Help your child to teach your puppy how to behave, right from the start.
1- Teach them to let the dog eat in peace.
We need to think about dogs like we think about people. If you are sitting down, to have dinner, and someone comes up to you and starts tickling you, playing with you and pushing your plate away- how will you react? Upset and angry? Dogs aren’t any different. It is not OK for the dog to react, but we also need to teach our kids to respect the dogs like we would respect someone else eating.
2- Don’t tap their faces.
This one is one that our kids have trouble with. They will touch our dogs face, trying to pet him, but so fast that the puppy doesn’t understand. He will turn to them and get upset because it is like they are teasing him. They spend so much time right in the dog’s face and it can be irritating to them.
3- Don’t bother him while he is asleep.
I have to remind our kids of this over and over. Our puppy, 11 weeks, will be sound asleep on the ground when the kids get the urge to hold him. They will run over and pick him up. Now, our dog doesn’t cry, bark or snip at them for this, but I just can’t help but to think that it is rude. I tell them that they need to respect his sleep and ask them “What if I came into your room while you were asleep and picked you up and started talking to you and giving you toys?”
4- Don’t antagonize him.
Don’t give him people food and then tell him to to beg for it. Don’t tease him with your shoes and then get mad when you find him eating your shoes later.
5- Start on what you wish to go on. If you don’t want him on your couch, forbid it from day 1. If you don’t want him to eat “people” food, don’t give him even a bite. If you don’t want him pull you while on a walk, get a gentle leader from the get-go (this has been as life-saver for our dogs and our arms!).