Kids and Dogs

Don’t you love those movies where children and dogs have an incredible bond? Realize this is just a movie and for this to become a reality, you and your child have to spend time training with your pup.

It is always advisable to have the child accompanied by a responsible adult anytime there is interaction between a child and puppy or an adult dog.

A common complaint I hear is that the puppy is chasing the child and pulling or tearing their clothes. The child runs and shrieks, which encourages the puppy to run faster and bite harder. This is how puppies interact with their litter mates, but humans mistake it for aggressive behavior.

Puppies want and need to play. They often bite when they play and while they are teething. When dogs are young pups their teeth are very sharp and can puncture skin. As they mature the teeth are not as sharp but the jaws are much stronger and therefore the biting needs to be eliminated at an early age.

To curb the biting and chasing, try the following:

  • Instead of your child screaming and running from the pup, redirect the chasing by playing fetch.
  • Teach your pup to ‘drop’ an item. This will eliminate tugging.
  • Teach your puppy ‘Touch’. Show your pup an item they like and when they bite it, they get nothing.
  • When they nudge the item with their nose say ‘Touch’ and give them a treat. Your puppy will learn to contact you by nudging, not biting.
  • When puppies bite each other too hard, the puppy in pain will squeal and the biting pup will stop biting. When your puppy bites you, say one loud OUCH. When they stop biting, give them a treat.
  • Don’t play rough or tug games

For more information on kids and dogs, contact Lillian Sikorski


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       (361) 205-2215