Most Dogs Are Potentially One of The Best Dogs For Kids
The Number 1 Rule
The Number 1 Rule is that it is the responsibility of parents to train the dog to accept that the dog is not the pack leader. The dog’s position within the family is merely as one of the pack and that role will dictate how a dog will behave in most circumstances.
But that’s not all that is involved; parents need to teach their children how to behave around dogs even if the household doesn’t own a dog. It’s about Child Safety. We teach our kids about the road rules so they are not in danger and teaching kids dog rules is no different. It is to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings and accidents.
What do we mean by this? Take a look at this video and listen to Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer.
You know that there is no way a father would allow this to occur if he wasn’t certain that the dogs understood who the pack leader was and were proven to be extremely tolerant and trustworthy around children. Click Here to learn more about Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer.
5 Most Frightening Statistics about Kids and Dogs
The best dogs for kids are dogs that are trained so that no child becomes a statistic or suffers. The best kids for dogs are kids that are educated to respect a dog’s space.
So many dog bites on children happen when some very basic rules are broken. First let’s look at the U.S. Dog Bite facts and then let’s take a look at the Rules.
Dog Bite Facts:
- Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
- Almost 1 in 5 people, or over 800,000 people, bitten by dogs require medical attention; at least half of them are children.
- Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
- 359,223 children were bitten by dogs in the U.S. between 2010 and 2012.
- 237,087 of the children bitten by dogs were under the age of 4 years.
- Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
There are many things adults can do to avoid dog bites. These range from properly training and socializing your dog to educating children on how to, and when not to, approach a dog.
Training and Education
The best dogs for kids will be those dogs that are properly trained to know they are not the pack leader.
There are two absolute Rules for parents that must be adhered to regardless of the breed, size, age, or perceived nature of any dog;
A young child needs to be taught the correct way to behave around a dog.
A dog needs to be taught the correct way to behave around a child.
So how do you go about ensuring your child will be safe when interacting with a dog? Training and education. You will need to be persistent, consistent, calm, and patient with both your child and the dog. You will need to be constantly monitoring and reinforcing.
There is no short cut to Child Safety. If you don’t think you can do this alone then click on Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer to help and guide you through the process. Simple? Yes. Time Consuming? Yes. Worth it? Definitely!
How To Choose The Best Dogs For Kids
“I think getting a dog is like a box of chocolates, you never really know what you are going to get!” according to Doggy Dan!
Regardless, you do still need to determine some basics characteristics of any dog or puppy you may be thinking will make the list of good dogs for kids.
Within a litter of same breed puppies it is pretty much accepted that you will have different personalities. There may be a dominant puppy, a submissive puppy, a clown, a loner and perhaps a thinker. That litter of puppies is all the same breed, yet they are all different in terms of their personalities and character.
What that tells us is that selecting a dog based on its breed attributes and temperament is a good start. However, it is only the first step in determining which dogs may make the best dogs for kids. Read more in our articles on the Most Dangerous Dogs and also learn more about the Most Aggressive Dog Breeds.
You need to realise that you can’t accurately predict what type of personality your dog will have. There are certain physical attributes which you can categorise within each breed, and you can estimate the energy level of a dog approximately by the breed.
Good dogs for kids should generally be friendly by nature as they will interact with more (and different sized) people.
When looking for a dog consider the energy level of that dog breed firstly. That’s because some dogs need more exercise and if you can’t exercise your dog properly you will soon run into unwanted behavior issues.
Dog Books For Children and Parents
Insights into How Dogs See Kids
We have included some insights into dogs and kids from Jan Fennel, “The Dog Listener”. These insights add to our understanding of the seemingly different nature of the relationship we often see between dogs and kids.
Dogs view children differently to adults.
- Dogs probably find children even more confusing than adults. They speak faster, move faster and behave far less predictably than adults.
- Children are nearer to a dog’s level – in stature. Dogs tend then to either see them as a threat or as creatures deserving of extra protection (have you witnessed a fiercely protective dog with a child?).
Interaction between Dogs and Kids
On the whole, most dogs and children interact well and without major issues. However, even one child harmed by a dog is a serious matter.
To protect our children we must educate them to understand the basic Rules of what they can and can’t do around dogs. Kids are taught about all sorts of boundaries and this is another important one for the list.
We must also work towards training our dogs to be tolerant of the often unpredictable environment in which they live. How do we do that? By establishing ourselves, the dog owner, as the pack leader and removing the responsibility of leadership from our dog.
The more a dog believes that they are the pack leader the less tolerant they will be of;
- people approaching them,
- other people patting them,
- anyone intruding on their space,
- over-confident or noisy children,
- anyone messing with their food or interfering when they are eating.
Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer advises that “so many bites revolve around space being invaded and food, and the more you have trained your dog to understand their position in the pack, the more your dog will relax and let people get away with breaking the pack rules a little. Of course every dog is different so you really do need to be careful, as some are far more dominant and very intolerant of people breaking their rules.”
It is because every dog is so different that you need to always be very careful approaching a strange dog.
When you see a gentle looking dog just sitting with their owner at a café you and your child should never approach the dog directly. The chances are, you can’t read their body language that says “don’t pat me or I’ll bite you” and there may be no warning if you don’t recognise the dog’s “freeze” pose. And if you can miss these clues then how would your child ever know them?
“Mom, look at the doggie…”
When a dog is tied up outside a store, unable to get away, then it is always safest to stay well away from them.
Our take on this is that you should treat your dog like your cell phone – you wouldn’t leave your cell phone outside the store so why would you leave your dog?
Even if your dog is well behaved and well trained, you should not be so trusting of other people. You owe it to your dog to keep them safe.
Dogs only have a few options of what they can do when tied up. If their option to run away has been removed then they may well be forced to resort to fight (with a quick snap) if they are scared or feel threatened when some strange child moves in for a pat.
Growling Dog – Beware
If a dog growls then that is the time to focus on looking around at what was making the dog upset. The chances are that a child was thinking of coming into the dog’s space, or up to some mischief, and the dog is simply saying “leave me alone”.
If a dog is warning with a growl then that may be an early warning device that gives you time, as a parent, to get your child safely out of a dog’s space.
You should supervise over-confident kids especially if the child is noisy, excitable and enjoys saying hello to dogs they do not know.
Teach your child to see if the dog is with an owner before approaching a dog that is not your own. Your child should be taught to stay calm and stand a little way off then seek the owner’s permission first to pet the dog.
Kids Chasing the Dog
Not a good idea. This is especially true when the child and dog become rowdy together like running around the yard. By chasing after the dog your child is participating in the dog’s game. This gives the dog the impression that the dog is the pack leader.
The dog should never think he is the pack leader. The pack leader’s role is to be protective and with that responsibility comes protective behaviors.
The Aggressive Dog
If your child is playing outside and they come across an aggressive dog the best advice we can give is to educate your child not to scream and not to run away. That will only cause the dog to want to give chase (refer to Chasing the Dog above).
If the dog does not understand it is not the pack leader it may think it’s a game or it may think it’s a threat but, either way, you don’t want your child to run away or scream. Your child should be calm (difficult unless you have taught your child how to behave around dogs). Teach your children to move slowly and avoid eye contact and the dog may be less likely to feel threatened. This may calm the situation and allow the child to safely move away from the dog.
Food, Dogs and Kids
Keep your child and your dog apart if your child has food and you are unsure of how your dog may react; it is not worth the risk.
So many accidents happen when dogs, food and children mix, unsupervised. Keep them apart unless you are certain of how your dog will behave.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (For a Reason)
“Let sleeping dogs lie” is one of the oldest of all dog sayings.
Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer offers one piece of advice you should never forget. The safest way to greet a dog is to call the dog over to you. It is only if the dog comes to you that you can stroke them and when they don’t, then leave them alone. Respect them and their wishes and let sleeping dogs lie.
Dogs, Babies and Small Children
Small children and dogs should be separated wherever possible or supervised.
Never, ever leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. You should always be supervising and that means being in the same room at all times.
Puppies and Kids
Puppies should never be given to young children as a present. If a child wants something to play with then give them a toy. A dog is not a toy. Take a look at our Puppies for Sale to understand more about why this makes sense.
Best Dogs For Kids?
The best dogs for kids come with a commitment from you and your family. Everyone must be on the same page with the same message for your dog. Your dog needs to learn to be tolerant of the often unpredictable environment in which he lives. How do you do that? By establishing yourself, the dog owner, as the pack leader and removing the responsibility of leadership from the dog.
Latest Research – 10 May, 2017 University of Florida
Pet dogs provide valuable social support for kids when they’re stressed, according to a study by researchers from the University of Florida, who were among the first to document stress-buffering effects of pets for children.
Darlene Kertes and colleagues tested the commonly held belief that pet dogs provide social support for kids using a randomized controlled study — the gold standard in research.
“Many people think pet dogs are great for kids but scientists aren’t sure if that’s true or how it happens,” Kertes said. Kertes reasoned that one way this might occur is by helping children cope with stress. “How we learn to deal with stress as children has lifelong consequences for how we cope with stress as adults.”
For their study, recently published in the journal Social Development, the researchers recruited approximately 100 pet-owning families, who came to their university laboratory with their dogs. Read more on the research at University of Florida “Pet dogs help kids feel less stressed”.
Training is Always the Answer
At DIY Dog Projects we think that teaching your dog good behavior is the most important and most rewarding project you can do for, and with, your dog. We hope this article has helped to get you thinking about what you can do to keep dogs and children safe together. Click on the Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer link below and let him guide you to keeping our Children Safe.