Children love to interact and get a reaction from the family puppy. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for children to hide food, play a little too rough, hug too tightly, pet too hard, or play dress-up with the puppy. In these situations, the parents’ guidance is required. If the parent does not guide their children to properly handle and care a puppy the dog’s behavior will change to the worst. Since the puppy is uncomfortable and/or in fear of being hurt.
The following behaviors may indicate that you as a parent need to teach your child how to care and handle a puppy:
Chasing a fleeing dog
Locking a dog in a closet
Leaving a dog outdoors
“Petting” the dog too hard
Knowingly or unknowingly feeding a dog harmful human foods
Painting a dog’s body
Placing a tight rubber band around a paw
Scaring the dog
Bothering the dog when they are eating
Placing their face close the dog’s face while talking loudly
Do not ignore or dismiss the behavior. Teach your child that they have done a pet-unfriendly action and deal with them as they have committed a serious offense. They will think twice before repeating the behavior.
Use the same serious tone of voice that you would use if you saw your child running across the street without stopping to look for oncoming traffic.
The statement, “We do not hurt animals” is far more effective than lecturing.
Set the example! Never hit, shake, jerk, or yell at your family puppy/dog.
Remember there is no such thing as an aggressive breed. A puppy’s behavior reflects the type of treatment it gets from its owner. Therefore do not blame the puppy if it bites or attacks your child. The puppy did it for a reason.