We were over in Lehigh Acres putting in a Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence last week. After finishing the installation and training, we noticed that their dog was getting a little too aggressive while playing the kids. It looked like the children were getting a little scared. Our client turned to us and asked us if we had any tips to get their kids and their dog to “play nicely”.
One of the reasons we have dogs is to allow our kids the joy of playing with them. That is one of the “great family experiences” that we enjoyed and want to pass on to our kids. What we have to balance is the freedom and exuberance of the play with the safety and well-being of our kids and dog. We don’t want to completely encumber the play but also don’t want our kids to get hurt or scared. Here are some tips that you should consider:
- There should always be an adult supervising the play activity or any activity between young kids and your family dog.
- Do not allow exuberant play in the house. When your kids play rough with the dog in the house, it tells the dog that he can always play rough in the house. This is a bad activity to start.
- Keep your dog on a leash when the kids are playing with him. If you need to separate them, you can use the leash to direct your dog away.
- Your kids should not poke or push your dog as part of their play. All this does is to excite your dog and he might respond by jumping on your kids or nipping at them. This is normally a frightening experience for the kids.
- No “tug-of-war”. As your kids are reaching for the tug-of-war toy, they might put their hands too close to your dog’s mouth. As your dog is going for the tug-of-war toy, he might mistakenly get your kids’ hands by mistake. Again, this is not a good experience for your child.
- It is better to play games like “chase the ball”. Get four or five tennis balls and have your kids throw one out for your dog. As he gets the first ball, throw the second and have your dog chase after the second. Repeat this process.
- Hide some toys and goodies around your yard and have your kids encourage your dog (by pointing and calling him) to find them. Give him a big “good puppy” when he finds them.
- Have your kids practice simple obedience commands with your dog. Your kids can call him to them with the “come” command. Your kids can walk him on a leash around the back yard. They can also teach him to sit.
Make sure that if your kids ever feel afraid when they are playing with your dog, they should immediately stop what they are doing and calmly stand up. Stand still for about 30 seconds. Tell them to play that they are a statue. After about 30 seconds, have them slowly back up until they are away from the dog.
During this time, you should also intervene, if you feel that it is necessary. If your child can complete this by themselves, it will help build their confidence around dogs and minimize any potential of “fear of dogs” in the future.
Our goal is to have a great time as a family and to instill a love of dogs in our kids. The one thing we don’t want to do is to make your kids afraid of dogs. Try some of these techniques and I am sure that you will experience some great results. As always, please contact us if you have any questions at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Lehigh Acres and South Florida.