Friday, November 20, 2009

Living with dogs and kids

I’ve always loved animals. That’s my first dog King. He was my protector and my friend. I was always the kid who asked for cats and dogs – anything furry would do. For a while, my parents said “no” to pets, then I started keeping baby field mice in our porch. That's how I got Kitty and my dog Chuckie.

If you watch movies – especially Disney movies – dogs and kids always get along. In real life, it’s not always that way. Dogs are not people – every one of them has a bite threshold. For some, it’s short, for others, it’s long, but any dog can bite.

If you’re bringing a new baby into your life, you can prepare your dog for baby’s arrival in a lot of ways - read up about the topic, get into a post-baby routine before the baby arrives, tug at the dog as a child would, and scent the dog’s toys with almond oil to distinguish them from baby toys. Groups like Dogs and Storks have lots of useful information and tips.

And it’s also important to teach your children how to behave around dogs. While your own dog may be fabulous with kids, it’s best that they know what to do around strange dogs.

If you’re worried that your dog will hurt your young child, it may be in everyone’s best interests to find another home for your dog. Living in fear is not an option. Our own dog Buddy came to live with us because of that kind of situation, and its turned out to be the best thing for that family, our family, and for our Buddy.

If you’re interested in this topic, here are some additional resources:

Canine IQ test

Regarding Rover Podcast

Wall Street Journal article

DogGoneSafe Bite prevention rules

1 comment:

  1. Louise, that's a great photo!

    I'm also grateful for the links. Lucy is fitting in wonderfully so far, though we can always use more tips on this topic!