How to Train Your Dog to Handle a Toddler
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How do I teach my dog to respect my child?
She thought she had overcome the biggest hurdle once her dog accepted her baby as part of the family. Now, things are changing again.
Her baby is turning into a toddler and sudden mobility can change her relationship with her dog. Young children tend to pull on their tails, play with dog toys, and grab handfuls of dog fur.
Keep this in mind when making adjustments to keep the peace between your toddler and your dog. These tips use common sense and repetition to help you manage life with an active toddler and puppy.
Never leave a dog and a small child unsupervised
This is the most important step in keeping your toddler and your dog safe. Young children are unpredictable and often uncoordinated. Dogs have the potential to hurt a child, unintentionally or otherwise.
This is not a good combination. To ensure the safety of all members of your family, do not leave a dog alone with a small child unsupervised for even a minute.
Put up baby gates
One of the best and easiest ways to protect your child from your dog, and vice versa, is to use baby gates to keep them separate.
The baby gates through the doors allow the dog and your child to see each other, but also allow both the freedom to play and nap without interference from each other.
Baby gates can help keep both your dog and your toddler safe. Remember that it is never okay to leave a dog alone with a young child.
Practice handling your dog
Dogs that are used to manipulating all parts of their body throughout their lives are more likely to accept the uncoordinated and unpredictable handling of young children.
As soon as possible, start teaching your dog to love being handled. Practice looking into your dog's ears, grasping his paws, rubbing his fur, and gently pulling on the dog's tail.
Talk to your dog calmly, praising him for accepting all kinds of manipulation. It's a good idea to give the dog some tasty treats while he performs the handling exercises.
Your dog should associate handling with good things, like praise and treats.
Give your dog his own space
Make sure your dog always has a place where he can escape and that the area is out of the reach of your young child. A crate is a great way to provide a comfortable and safe place for your dog.
If you haven't crate trained your dog before, it's never too late to introduce him. Whether you decide to use a crate, dog bed, or another favorite spot for your dog, set clear boundaries with your toddler so he knows that spot is off-limits.
Teach your child to pet your dog
Spend time each day teaching your toddler how to treat your dog. Sit close to your dog with your toddler on your lap. Start by placing your hand under your dog's nose to allow him to sniff you.
Next, take your child's hand and ask the dog to do the same. Next, gently pat your dog and then take your toddler's hand and repeat his actions.
Use simple terms like "hand sniff" and "gentle" so your child knows what he is doing. If your child gets too rough, say no and explain that he can hurt the dog.
Take your baby away from the dog if the child is still too rough and try again when he is calmer. Teaching your toddler these exercises can also go a long way in keeping him safe around strange dogs.
Teach your toddler to respect your dog's things
While many dogs will tolerate a child playing with their toys, bones, or food bowls, some dogs will become aggressive with these items. It is important that you teach your toddler to leave your dog's things alone.
Keep your child away from your dog's food bowl. If your toddler is old enough, ask him to help you feed the dog and show him that the two of you need to get away so your dog can eat.
If your child picks up the dog toys, take them out and tell her that the toy belongs to your dog and give your child one of her own toys instead of her.
Correction behavior and problems
Positive reinforcement works well for both dogs and young children. Don't forget to let them know when you like their behavior. If your child is calmly petting your dog, let him know that he is doing a good job.
If your dog is calmly accepting of your toddler grabbing large handfuls of fur, hand him a treat and remind him of the proper way to handle the dog.
Consistently rewarding good behavior from both of you should contribute to a better relationship between your toddler and your dog.
If you are uncomfortable with your dog's body language around your toddler, or if your dog growled, bit, or bit your toddler, seek out a dog trainer or animal behavior specialist right away.
Your vet can recommend someone good. A common misconception is that your dog or her child will overcome this bad behavior.
That is not necessarily true and can lead to a dangerous situation if training is not improved. Keep your dog and toddler away from each other until you have consulted a professional.
A good dog trainer can help you come up with a plan to deal with the problem between your dog and your toddler.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about Dog Bite Prevention For Kids
Source: McCann Dog Training
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