Your puppy and small children: Part 2

I decided that integrating your puppy into a household with small children deserved its own series of posts, as it is probably the most important issue for those with small children.

One thing that can cause a lot of problems, injuries and bad feelings is when dogs jump on children. Dogs grow quickly and their bodies grow much faster than their maturity and obedience levels! One problem this leads to is large puppies jumping on children and mounting them, which can cause fear and injury to the child. I remember when I sat down next to my German shepherd puppy who was growing fast and she ended up standing on top of me pinning me to the ground! I had to scream to my parents for help. It was very embarrassing. 🙁

The thing to remember with all dog training is that you have to get to them early. Even though a small jumping puppy may seem harmless and even cute, you have to think of the consequences when they are older and larger. Even small dogs who jump can be bothersome and destructive; having friends leave with muddy pawprints on their pants is very awkward. Think of it this way: if it’s behavior you don’t want your dog to be doing as an adult, then don’t allow them to do it as a puppy.

Aside from constantly reinforcing that jumping is not allowed with a stern “no jumping!” command, teach your small children to approach the dog from the front, such as stooping to stroke their chest or pat them. Have them avoid reaching their hands down to the dog’s head, because having hands hang over the dog will encourage him to jump!

Next time: Discipline and doggy treats!

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