When given the opportunity, a dog and a child can be the best of friends. There’s always the potential that your pet will eagerly welcome attention from kids, but that is not always the case. Sometimes a child’s noise and energy can be overwhelming to a dog. But, there are things that you can do to help make the meeting and acclimating process easy.

5 Tips to Help Pets and Kids Get Along

  1. Train Your Dog to Sit.
    While children should be taught to approach a dog carefully and slowly, you can’t control that. But, you can teach your dog to sit when kids approach. The teaching typically works well with treats and repetition. It lessens the potential for your dog’s behavior to surprise a child and lead to a tumultuous first meeting.
  2. Socialize Your Dog.
    If your dog is comfortable being around kids while out and about or around kids in your home, they’ll be less likely to see children as a threat. Take them to places where kids may be – to a park, for a walk down the street. Don’t avoid children if you encounter them, but use the opportunity to teach your dog to sit.
  3. Teach Your Dog to Approach Only With Permission.
    This one can take some time, but if you have a dog that likes kids, you may find that they want to go play with every child they see. If your dog sits on command and stays with you, sometimes you can avoid the excited pulling until the child or their parent agrees to a meeting and comes over. Sometimes it helps to teach your dog to respond to a specific trigger when you want their attention. If you can distract your dog from kids who don’t want their attention and only encourage them to interact with people who do want their attention, your life will be easier.
  4. Teach Your Dog Things Kids Might Do.
    Your best bet to help your dog get along with children is to prepare your pet for kids’ actions. Children are going to want to touch and pet. They’re going to tug on a dog’s ears and tail. The ASPCA suggests that you show your dog how a child might interact with them, pulling and prodding. Spend a little time each day showing your pet what might happen, offering a treat after you gently poke them or pull. They suggest doing this multiple times a day, until your dog looks at you eagerly for a treat after the poke, prod, or pull. When the motions don’t feel threatening, your dog is less likely to snap.
  5. Create Safe Zones in Your Home. 
    If you have kids coming into your home and it’s not a regular occurrence, it’s important to give your dog a safe place to retreat. This can be a kennel or a bed, or a soft spot on the couch. Your pet should have a space where they know they’re protected and comfortable.

At Raleigh Pet Sitters, we can help with the socialization and being comfortable because we love taking walks with your furry friend. We don’t do pack walks – and in this way, we are able to focus all of our attention on your pet. Contact us today to learn about our mid-day walk services by filling out a request services form located at the top of our website. Or just click HERE.