There’s often a very special bond between a child and their pet, but it is one that can take time and perseverance to develop. No matter how pawfectly behaved your pet is, never leave them unsupervised with an infant or young child.
Children and Pets
Teaching your pet how to behave around children
Some pets seem to adapt easily to children, and others need time and training. It will largely depend on the breed, its formative weeks and whether it has experienced significant trauma. If your pet doesn’t behave well around children, remember it’s not their fault. With love and patience every pet can have a great relationship with children of all ages.
Here are our top tips for teaching your pet how to behave around kids.
Socialise your pet
Giving your pet a chance to meet other people and pets is a great way to prepare them for the unexpected. If meeting a child for the first time, always keep your dog on a leash and introduce them gradually in a controlled way.
Respect your pet’s emotions
Always be aware that your pet might be feeling anxious and give them an escape route. Pets usually only lash out if they feel trapped, so giving them access to a crate, high place or enclosure will help them feel safe.
Positive reinforcement training
Some pets are naturals around children, and others require training. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to encourage the behaviour you want. Use PRT techniques on kids too so everyone plays by the same rules.
Teaching your child how to treat your pet
A pet-child relationship can only be successful if the child treats your pet well. It only takes one bad experience to instill fear, and it’s a difficult road back from that park. Always supervise both your pet and the children they are in contact with to keep everyone safe and happy.