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  • Writer's pictureAndy Wiltz

How to Teach Kids to Interact with Pups

October is National Animal Safety & Protection Month and here at Woof’s Play & Stay, we wanted to give you the best tips and tricks when it comes to interactions between your pups and kiddos.

First and foremost, always set the best example for these interactions. Children will take note from you on how to treat your pup so always make sure it is a positive one.

Allow your pup to be able to leave if they want to. Don’t force them to stay in a situation they are uncomfortable in. If possible, let your pup initiate the first interaction with your little ones.

Make sure your pup has a safe space that is off limits from kids. As we all know, kids can be a lot to handle. Sometimes, your pup may need a place to go to get away from over stimulating situations.

Be present during interactions between your pup and young children. This way, you can help navigate anything that comes up as well as having a familiar, safe presence for both your pup and kids.

Now that we have discussed what you should do when facilitating an interaction between your pup and kiddos, let’s move on to what not to do.

Make sure children don’t bother your pup while they are eating or sleeping. No matter the temperament of your pup, these are very vulnerable times for your pup and they may get startled/territorial.

Avoid letting kids pull or tug on your pup’s tail, ears, or whiskers. Teach the kiddo how to gently pet and interact with the pup. Young children in the beginning stages of crawling or walking may use your pup as a way to hoist themselves up. Be mindful of this and intervene as soon as you can.

Don’t let kiddos tease or hit your pup. Keep away is a fun activity to play but you want to make sure you are allowing your pup to have the chance to get the toy. This can lead to frustration and the possibility of your pup lashing out goes up.

Allow your pup to always have an escape route. Don’t allow them to be chased into a corner by children, this can lead to your pup becoming scared and self-protecting. Just like we said above, allow your pup to leave if they want to.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when your pup is interacting with kids, especially young ones. Overall, you know your pup best. If they seem to be anxious in a situation, step in.

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