It is a great responsibility to have both children and a dog in the home, but at the same time it is wonderful to see our children grow up and have a very beautiful friendship there. But it can often be supported by horrific incidents that no parent wants to have to go through; that the dog bites the baby. Respect both the children and the dog as individuals and make sure that all their communication is respectful and polite.
The dog needs to be taught to handle children, but just as important - and even more important - is to teach children to handle our dogs. In my home there is both a child and a dog with important rules of conduct that both must be followed and we adults make sure that these rules are followed. My child is not 2 years old at the time of writing and therefore age is not an obstacle to teaching this.
The child must not disturb the dog when he is in his crib, when he is sleeping or eating.
The child is careful not to step on the tail or grab the ears.
The dog must not enter the children's room when the child is playing inside.
The dog must not take the stuff that the child owns, he also has stuff that the child can not take.
It is good to keep in mind that parents are role models for our children. Often you do things you do not want your child to do, e.g. push the dog away with your hand or frolic in play. Therefore we also need to take care of how we are with the dog, in my home we follow e.g. itself the first rule above. The children, just like the dogs, keep a close eye on everything we do and are willing to imitate what we do in our dealings with ghosts. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that we also treat the dogs well, as we want the child to treat them.
It is never completely safe to leave a child and dog unattended. You never know when a young child will think of poking a sleeping dog or the dog will get fed up with some other stimulus in the environment. Be vigilant about this and always pay close attention to the communication between dogs and children, no matter how well we trust the dog, accidents can always happen and they happen quickly.
Another thing that is very important in all of this is that dog owners get to know the dog code. Owners often think that the dog does not care if a child pulls on the ears or kneads the dog, but when it is better to be careful, the dog is trying to tell you / the child that he does not want this. Dogs are impatient, let's not wait until he loses patience and bites a child. We pay close attention to our dog's body language and learn the dog's code, so that he can react in a timely manner if he shows any signs of feeling uncomfortable in the situation. Here it is also important that if a dog growls - not short, because then he starts to growl and goes straight to biting. Then you miss this important warning that the trout is and the dog misses that step, so he goes straight to biting / biting.
We ought teach our children not to approach strangers' dogs as we do not know their experiences. Teach children to give strangers space and peace, as well as ask permission to pet the dog if the owner is by his side.
There is a big link in this regard, but hopefully this is something that can help other parents out there who want their children to treat dogs in a beautiful and positive way.
Translated from Icelandic from a original article by Birta Baldursdottir