Benefits of dog companionship for children
A childhood is an extra special with a dog in it, but, of course, accidents can happen and so careful supervision is always required.
Guide to how to get benefits of dog companionship when it comes to children. Are your children old enough to understand and adhere to any basic rules you lay down- such as not interrupting the dog when he’s eating or sleeping, and never teasing the dog? Can they handle the dog gently, are they stable enough not to trip over a dog or fall on him?
Are you able to ensure the dog and children are never left alone together, and that even when you are in the room that you are actively supervising them?
Would it be better to wait until your children are ordered before embarking on dog ownership? If you think babies are exhausting, you’ve never had a puppy
Some rehoming organisation have blanket rules about children – some not rehoming to a home with children under 12, or 10 or 8, or 5. Other assess every case individually.
Remember, too, that even if you do not have children in the home, you might do in the lifetime of the dog. Are you planning to become a parent in the next decade, or could you become a grandparent? Ensuring your dog is socialised thoroughly with children is a must.
If your children are old enough, involve them in the selection process. Sitting down and looking at how your day to day life works in terms of commitments outside of work, school, and so on will give you a good idea of the time you have available to raise a dog.
For me what is key is committing to education about how dogs communicate with us. Learn all you can about dog body language and the difference in dog/human communication. Breed does not always predict behaviour, and the more knowledge you have, the better you are equipped to raise a family dog to get benefits of dog companionship.
Look at how you function as a family.Are you outdoor types, with busy sports schedules? Will your dog go to spectate at events with crowds and noise? Are you quieter and like spending time at home? It is important to match your dog to your lifestyle. We talk a lot in dog training these days about resilience in dogs. That would be the ability of the dog to go with the flow without feeling stressed, and enjoy the pace of life with your family.
As parents, it is very important to commit to teaching your children how to respect and understand your family dog. If you go down the rescue route, by asking if the rescue can provide their behaviourist to attend when you visit and provide their expert opinion on the suitability of dogs you are looking at. This information is vital and goes above and beyond a description of the dog’s temperament the rescue.
Resist the urge to select a dog based on your children’s reaction to a given dog. Far more helpful is observing with a professional expert the dog’s reaction to your children. Is this dog outgoing and friendly? Does the dog want to be with you and is confident in this selection? How ill this dog fit with your lifestyle and family?
If you are choosing a dog from a breeder, use the kennel club’s list of recommended breeders and never buy from a site that advertises all manner of items for sale. Get to know your breeder’s plans on how the puppies will be raised. Mee the parents of the pup and always look for the temperament type you want in your family dog.
Do your preparation and find the best puppy classes you can for those early days.Many have waiting lists, so it is vital to research this before your pup even arrives.
Raising a pup is a busy period so perhaps line up some holiday time for the first week or two.If you think your progress is not on track with your dog’s behaviour, seek help as early as possible.
We now have considerable resources for families raising a dog. We have so much knowledge and experience, and a better understanding of our canine companions. The benefits of dog companionship for children are many, and I wholly encourage you to do all your advance preparation and raise a wonderful family pet