| Canine Library:
Most dogs enjoy children but often treat little ones as fellow dogs. Since young children behave in ways dogs don't understand, the mixed messages can lead to temporary chaos unless adults know how to handle the situation.
Begin with obedience instruction, explaining your dilemma to the instructor. Teaching the dog to sit, down or stay has a definite purpose. Once the dog sits calmly every time you meet an adult, you can begin introducing kids. The chances are there will be children as spectators at the class where you enroll, or the trainer may have obedience classes just for children which you and your dog could visit. Avoid large, noisy groups of kids in playgrounds or parks. The level of activity could be overstimulating or even frightening to the dog.
Relax. Uptight vibes will go right down the leash and upset the dog. Keeping the lead loose will help. A small bit of leftover cooked hamburger is an obvious reward for your dog.
Author(s): McLennan, Bardi
Canine Library: General