YEP! You read that right, kid training!
As I’ve mentioned before I am a licensed animal trainer and after my years of doing this one of the biggest peeves has to be people who return pets after having a child. More often than not the reasons are the same “no time” and “pet is a danger to child” we’ll here’s the deal people, you committed to the animal! Don’t get one if you don’t want to spend the time now, in 5 years, 10 years or 15 years. As for behavior train them from the start and you won’t have a problem! Meet our gang…..
We have JACK JACK ATTACK-yes, the baby from The Incredibles
AKA bubba, buggy, smoochi, lovey, nugbug, thumbelina, bubbie, bambino
6.5 y/o male Dogo Argentino
LITTLE DIVA DIESEL
AKA DUMDUM, pretty-pretty princess, deevdeevs
5y/o female pocket pitty
CGC ESA and hopefully soon TDI
And then BRISCOE the BUDDHA-BEAR
AKA deuce in boots, keetan, beef brisket
2.5 y/o male seal mink mitted ragdoll<3
With a house that’s run like a mini dog daycare sometimes we have plenty of foster dogs or visitors to work with so Howie, Dizzy, Moo & Beano, Cali, Liam, Dexter, Abby, Buster Brown, Tiggy, and Maggie all get honorary mentions for participating in our baby boot camp.
Our difficulties: the boys grab and pull, fall on a sleeping dog(on purpose), push the dog, and take dog toys…right out of their mouth!
Our goals: ok, clearly we have a lot to work on:)
1) Be realistic! Your kid, unless they are over the age of 3, may have a very hard time understanding dog toy vs. kid toy. So pick em up! Wait until you can explain that dog toys are not for kids. In the mean time work with a trainer on commands that will be helpful to the dog. i.e “gentle” or “leave it” for when the kids are ready to play some games with the dog.
2) set boundaries, for the kids! You need to protect your dog, just like you would your child. So if the kid is being mean to the dog, STOP THEM! Tell them it’s a”no behavior” that they will get time outs, what ever your parenting methods are. Time and again I hear “well the dog bit the kid, dog has to go”…. but parents weren’t watching, or even in the room, or if they were the kid hit the dog, took a toy/food or was provoked. If you can’t watch the kid/dog interaction closely, put the dog away. Period
3)use training opportunities! Daily life means daily reinforcement, and if you know me I’m huge on positive reinforcement. Take the opportunity, and time, to show the kids proper greetings, proper behavior with pets, and about being a responsible pet owner. You will be teaching life long skills they can use just by encouraging and praising for positive interactions! How great is that?!
4) set everyone up for success! This simple premise that people often forget is one of the most important things. Get the dog used to kids early on through socialization and training, even if you don’t have kids, you will be thankful you did!
5) educate yourself and your kid! Dog behavior and body language can be confusing to…well most everyone who doesn’t work with dogs, it’s understandable. But, if you have a pet you should at least learn the basics, communication between you and your pet will benefit greatly, it will keep you safe and it will keep your kids safe. EX: “If the tail is wagging they are always happy to see you” WRONG!!! It depends on the speed, height, placement etc of the dogs tail. If it is high and wagging like a metronome, walk away the dog is very aroused and it could be dangerous to greet.
Still struggling with tough pet issues? meet with a local trainer!