Kids and Dogs Under the Same Roof

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A new dog in the family can be a big change for everyone, especially for the dog.
If you have children, the first concern you will have is the safety of your child in the presence of the dog.
Of course, a puppy is usually quite harmless, and can be a great solution for a young child.
This way the puppy can grow up along side the kids.
But what if you are picking out an older dog, or maybe you already have a dog and are having a new baby?Getting your child and pet socialized with each other can be somewhat of a challenge, but with the right safety precautions and understanding, everyone can be happy.
A responsible parent should be very aware of the interaction between your child and pet, especially in an introductory period.
Though it may seem like your dog is perfectly amiable, children often bring unexpected things into the equation.
Remember that your dog may see the child as a threat, even though it is stronger and faster than your child.
Infants are not usually problematic with dogs because their actions are not very extreme.
Toddlers however, love to play with animals and often times do no understand that they are scaring or even hurting the dog.
The younger the dog is, when it is introduced to children, the better.
This helps them to become socialized with children and makes them less likely to see a child as a threat, but your child's interactions with the animal should still be monitored at all times.
By setting a few ground rules for your children to follow, your dog will be much less likely to become threatened or irritated.
Children need to know that it is not good to pull on a dog's ears or tail and dogs do not like it when you put fingers in their eye balls.
These are just some common sense things that are extremely helpful when trying to socialize your dog with a child.
If you do not already have a dog, it is recommended that you wait to get one until your child is old enough to follow instructions like these.
There are many things that can be done if a newborn is coming home.
It is good to have a separated play and roaming area in the house for the dog that keeps the infant out of reach.
Set up these area a few weeks or a month before the baby comes.
Also, you should practice giving the dog some commands while holding something the size of a child in your arms.
Once the baby actually does come, the dog will be much more accustomed to the changed environment.
It is important to continue giving your dog the same amount of attention as you did before the baby came.
Dogs can be very emotional animals, and a drastic shift in the amount of attention they receive can cause a large amount of stress.
If you are the kind of person that lavishes constant attention on your animal, try giving it less attention for a few weeks before the baby comes.
An infant will definitely take up more of your time, and it is good to teach your dog a little patience before the child arrives.
With the proper supervision, dogs can be perfect companions for children in their developmental years, not to mention a lot of fun.
As long as parents are responsible and understanding of the needs of both children and dogs, children can have a wonderful relationship with their dog.
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