If you are bringing home a new dog and you have a child or children, you should be sure to introduce them. Dogs are territorial, so they will need to know every aspect of where they are living, including who they share it with. Here are some tips that should make your introduction smooth!
Teach Your Children To Be Gentle With All Animals
Children are often fascinated by animals and want to touch them, but they may not know boundaries with dogs yet and may accidentally hurt them. Even if hurting them is unintentional, it can result in an aggressive reaction in your dog. Teach them to be gentle with not only dogs, but all animals, and they will likely make a friendship that lasts a lifetime!
Use A Leash For The First Introduction
Keeping your dog on a leash while they meet your child for the first time is a good idea incase they get scared or try to leave, and having a hold on them can prevent any accidents.
Let The Dog Come To Them
Have your child approach the dog, but stop at a brief distance. Have your dog approach them, they will start to smell them, but be sure to ensure your child that it is okay they are just getting to know them! Having your dog greet them on their own terms will make them feel more comfortable, also.
Avoid Using Treats & Toys
Some dogs are not used to tiny fingers and will quickly snatch a treat or toy from them if they get too excited. To avoid any accidents, you should not use treats or toys during your introduction to prevent distractions or overwhelm anyone right away.
Avoid Loud Sounds Or Sudden Movements
Your dogs peace of mind will also give you peace of mind when they are around your children. Avoiding sudden movements or loud noises is good because you don't want to startle your dog causing a negative reaction. This may also cause your child to become upset. Keeping the environment calm will put you at ease.
Don't Leave Them Unattended
You should never leave your child and dog unattended if they are just meeting for the first time. You may trust both of them, but accidents happen. Even the nicest dogs can get upset if they are accidentally stepped on, have their fur pulled, etc. To keep them both safe, keep a watchful eye on them!
Teach Them To Always Ask Permission To Pet A New Dog!
Teaching your child to never pet a dog that isn't theirs without permission is a great idea to prevent any accidents from happening as well. Children are fascinated by animals, but they need to know that not all animals are going to be nice.