Dogs and Children
Tips for training dogs and children to get along well together.
We recently acquired a new puppy, which will soon grow to be a large guard dog. My husband wanted a dog that will be harsh with intruders but good with the children.
After much research, we have a Central Asian Ovtcharka (shepherd dog). The image below shows a full grown one.
Since this doggie will weigh more than me when he is full grown, we have to make sure that we train him properly while he is young, or else we will not be able to manage his sheer brute strength, even on a leash.
This led me to do quite a bit of reading up about dog behaviour and how to make sure a dog behaves well in the family. We can't have him snapping at the children or their little friends!
I realised how little most of us understand about dogs and I believe that many children especially are at risk because of this.
The large majority of dog bite victims are young children.
Sadly, when incidents like dog bites happen, the dog is usually blamed, but actually, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners...and despite the saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," according to the experts, dogs can be retrained to behave properly and not be a menace.
Unfortunately, euthanasia is the greatest cause of death among dogs. Unruly dogs are euthanased by their owners or taken to animal shelters where many are euthanased if they can't be re-homed...and all this could be avoided if people knew how to treat and train their dogs better.
In brief, what I have learned is that instinctively, dogs are pack animals who need a strong leader - a human leader in the case of a family pet.
If a pet dog does not know that he is at the bottom of the pack hierarchy, he may think he owns any human who is, in his mind, lower than him - and he might bite anyone to protect 'his' human, possibly even a family member.
So, a pet dog needs to be trained to understand that ALL humans are above him in status. There are various ways to do implement this, which any dog owner would be wise to learn.
Even small dogs are often aggressive and nasty as they have been elevated in their pack status, by ignorant humans who put them on their laps, on furniture and beds and allow the dog to dominate them in various ways.
To be your dog's leader
For more detailed explanations of the above principles and more, you can search the net for info on dog behaviour.
How to Introduce Children to Strange Dogs
What do you do when you go out walking and you see a strange dog come gambolling over towards your family, or you visit friends who have a dog?
Here are some tips for teaching your children safe and appropriate behaviour with dogs.
When you have a new puppy, like us, you have to educate yourself and then diligently train the whole pack - the kids as well as the dog! Its hard work but the rewards will be worth it when you have a disciplined and well-socialized pet.
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