The psychology behind raising a puppy or introducing a dog to your home is not that different from raising kids. They’re both inquisitive, impulsive and excitable, and without the right supervision things can get quickly out of hand!
It’s important that you first establish a set of rules and boundaries with both, and teach your child how to interact with the family’s new furry friend.
Quite often, your child is keen to pat it, play with it and encourage a reaction. Some even rush up to puppies and dogs, not realising that such a friendly gesture could provoke unruly dominance or incite an aggressive reaction. Small children’s faces can get very close to your dog’s face, which can translate as a threat.
It’s important to teach your child some key rules ahead of that first meeting: like first offering a closed fist for the dog to sniff, then gently stroking the head and neck, avoiding more sensitive areas such as ears, tail, feet and belly. Explain that poking, squeezing or pulling isn’t nice for the dog, and that a quiet voice is best.
DogTech® behaviouralists work with young families on the boundaries of socialising with dogs (no-go zones and play zones), provide easy instructions on safety rules and responsible behaviours (feeding, grooming and walking) and introduce several child-friendly WhisperWise® safety techniques through fun, interactive demonstrations.
Learning how to safely interact with your dog in the home also helps your children approach and play with other dogs in the neighbourhood.
Remember, it’s important to choose a dog with the right disposition for your family; one that complements the entire household’s lifestyle, the level of activity and the age of your children. Try to involve the whole family in the selection process.
Before your dog comes home, talk to us about DogTech® Home Set-Up, to make your home as dog-proof and dog-friendly as possible. We also offer In-Home Puppy Training, and our acclaimed Puppy School will get your little guy off to a well-socialised start.
The sooner everyone in the family understands each other, the stronger the loving bond between your family and your puppy will be, and the more happiness you’ll all enjoy.