Children Must Learn Responsible Pet Care Without Causing Dog Aggression
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Children Must Learn Responsible Pet Care Without Causing Dog Aggression

When a new puppy enters the home, the entire family should pull together to care for it. Children must learn to care for the pet in a proper way so not to tease and cause aggressive tendencies in the animal.

Children and pups do seem to go together as a well-oiled machine. The best scenario is that they grow up together. However, if the kids are begging for a dog, you may follow the guidelines in my last article on how to choose a puppy that will not be aggressive and fit well into the family. Although you may select that perfect puppy, it is now your responsibility to mold that new family member into a loving, playful, affectionate and loyal dog. Some of that huge responsibility should fall onto the children as well, since they are the ones who will want to do the “fun stuff” with the puppy. It is very important that the children know responsible care of the dog so it does not turn into an aggressive animal.

If the kids are old enough, they can certainly learn to take the dog outside often for potty breaks as well as set the food and water dishes down at the appropriate feeding times. The older kids just love when it is their turn for “poop patrol” as well. Although having a puppy is great fun, there are tasks that go along with snuggle, cuddle and playtime. How children play with a dog has a grave impact on that dog’s personality as well.

When playing with the puppy, a simple game of teasing can instill fear in the dog as it matures, causing fear aggression. Teach children never to pull at a dog’s ears, tail or any other body part which can not only harm the dog but cause it to be on the defense of humans causing torment to the animal. Never place a dog in an uncomfortable situation like cornering it. Refrain from hitting the animal as well as never torment it while sleeping and/or eating. Even a well-trained, well-socialized animal can feel threatened at some point and become aggressive as a protective behavior.

This is not to say that the puppy should not be socialized enough to tolerate someone touching it or grabbing at its favorite toy or food dish. By all means, you as the adult should not have any difficulties in doing so if your dog has been or is being trained in the family. Children are usually very close to the dog and need to learn respect for the pet, knowing that it has feelings too. If a body part is tugged, of course the puppy will hurt. If cornered, the puppy will be scared and so forth. Although you as the adult is teaching the puppy good behavior, the child is counteracting that behavior and instilling some aggression due to fear.

It has always been my belief, contrary to other people, that the dog should be well-respected, coddled and loved extensively. For me, the proof is in my 3 Chihuahua’s who have proven to everyone they meet that they are not ankle-biters but lovable and playful with anyone who will give them the time of day. Any puppy, given half the chance, due to its upbringing can be a very loving part of society, not only in the home with its pet parents and children but also with visitors you consider welcome guests.


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Comments (1)
Ranked #3 in Pets & Family

Very good advice and very timely since many children will be receiving pets for Christmas.