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
  • Grabbing the dog’s ears and/or tail
  • Climbing on the dog
  • Taking the dog toy and/or bones away

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

Taking Action:

  • 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. 

God bless and Go Tigers!

Keywords: puppy, dog, children, siberian husky, doberman pinsher