When children play with dogs, many things can go wrong! This is because children have to learn a lot about how to deal with dogs. Read here what children often do wrong with dogs and how peaceful coexistence can be achieved.
Kids and dogs can be a great combination! But how to deal with a dog correctly needs to be learned: especially small children or children without dog experience often find it difficult to interpret a dog’s behavior correctly. It is, therefore, necessary for adults to teach their offspring some important things in order to avoid misunderstandings between two- and four-legged friends as much as possible. These five mistakes must be corrected when dealing with the dog.
1. Children love to hug dogs
When a child hugs a dog, it is certainly cute and certainly a gesture of affection. In dog language, however, hugging means the exact opposite: the child robs the dog of its freedom, so that it may feel harassed, which is why dogs don’t like a hug very much. So the child should be taught not to hug dogs.
2. When the child keeps chasing the dog
The dog should not chase the child, nor should the child chase the dog. Both press each other in this way. In addition, the dog may suddenly stop the child while it is running, just as it would its own puppy. This, in turn, can lead to conflict between the child and the dog.
If the dog leaves the room, it may want to consciously withdraw and not be disturbed further. Now the child is not allowed to run after them, but has to respect that the dog also has a say in when the game is over.
3. The child must not approach the dog too quickly
Many children tend to be very boisterous. They first have to learn that they have to be more careful around dogs in order not to scare them off. In general, children should only approach dogs from the front – this way the dog can see who is coming towards it, can assess the situation better and is more relaxed.
Caution: The child must never suddenly approach a strange dog on their own initiative! When encountering strange dogs, it is always a prerequisite to ask the dog owner beforehand whether the child is allowed to approach the four-legged friend.
4. When eating or in the basket, the child must not disturb the dog
When the dog is eating, it should always be left alone. If disturbed by a child during his meal, he may instinctively defend his food. It is the adult’s job to teach the child not to disturb a dog that is eating.
It’s the same when the dog takes a seat in its basket: it’s the dog’s place of retreat. Even children have to respect it when the dog withdraws and no longer wants to play.
5. Children may accidentally hurt or tease the dog
Especially small children under the age of four are not yet able to empathize with the dog. This means that they cannot understand that they are causing pain or even injury to the dog, for example by pulling the tail. This is where the adults come in: Teach your child from the start how to treat animals properly and never leave them unsupervised when playing with the dog!
Another problem: Children, especially those with little dog experience, often cannot interpret the dog’s body language correctly. Dogs show it in their own way when they are uncomfortable with a situation: by yawning, turning away, licking their lips or scratching, our dogs can draw our attention to the fact that they are overwhelmed by a situation. However, if the child cannot interpret these signs, it may continue to stress the dog, albeit without malicious intent.
Then the dog has no other option than to show even more clearly, for example by growling, that he wants to be left alone now. In order to protect dog and child from a critical conflict, it is therefore necessary to know what children often do wrong with dogs and to teach them from the start how to deal with the four-legged friends properly. Then dog and child can play peacefully and extensively together.