If you have a dog at home or are about to have one, you need to take care of the safety of your child
If you are about to bring a dog home, or if you already have a dog and you and your partner are about to become parents, it is essential to take the corresponding security measures so that living at home is as peaceful as possible, and above all to May there be no setbacks.
Dogs are part of many families, and in some, they are just another child. It is not for less, they are loved and are the most faithful animals there is. However, when a baby comes home it is necessary for the dog to get used to it and to teach him habits so that his behavior is safe when playing and living with a child.
At home we have a Cane Corso breed dog, also called the Italian Mastiff. It is a dog of great size and muscles, and although it has a noble character and gets along well with my children, I must say that I have to take care of the way Polo (that’s his name) behaves with our children, because more than once in his puppy games he has thrown them on the floor. He is barely a year and a half, and he also loves to play and jump when my children go out to the yard, and when he starts doing it I have to slow him down as his legs are quite heavy and big. Also, he has the habit of coming to greet with a big lick, so when friends with children come home, I must painfully tie him up for everyone’s peace of mind and safety.
When to bring a puppy home
According to Fatherly, Brian Kilcommons is a world-renowned dog trainer and author of Childproofing Your Dog : A Complete Guide to Grooming Your Dog for the Children in His Life. The author has spent more than three decades helping parents train their dogs to play well with infants and young children.
Many people think it is an excellent idea to bring a puppy home when they have a baby, so that they can grow up together and get to know each other well from a young age. While it is true that it is beautiful to raise our child with a puppy, the truth is that we must stop to think and reflect on that possibility, since the work will be twofold: raising the baby and raising the dog; and not all couples are in a position to have enough time to do both well.
“People don’t realize, they’re bringing another baby home,” says the coach. If parents are determined to bring a dog into their family, he recommends that they wait until their youngest child is at least five years old before having a dog, and even then they must recognize the impact it will have on their daily routines. At least if the kids are older they can help feed, walk and train the puppy.
Tips for a canine friendship
The coach recommends that, if you want to achieve an optimal relationship between the quadruped friend and the baby or child of the house, a series of tips should be followed.
1. Start training
Before the baby comes home, you can start training your dog with what is called a command training (you can also start it when you bring your dog home and already have children). The dog has to obey basic commands such as take, release, give me, sit, etc. This not only helps communication, but also to establish who is in charge, because in this way the dog will learn to obey and follow orders. When we taught my dog to sit, it was much easier for my 5 and 3 year old to feed him. They call it “sitting” and the dog no longer pounces on them in search of food, as it used to be. If you can’t do the training yourself, I recommend that you get someone who specializes in dog training (I did it, and it was great for me).
2. Expose your dog to children
Many dogs can be overwhelmed by the presence of children, as they are noisy, unpredictable and even have a different smell from adults. Therefore, a fundamental step in child protection when there is a dog, is simply to expose it to children: play, laugh, cry, until the dog feels comfortable being around them. You can start by inviting people with children to your home to see how they behave, if they run away, if they are suspicious, or if they are friendly. Then, you can take it every day to the parks where there are children, that way it will gradually get used to the presence of the little ones. The trainer cautions and advises that owners should be in control during each interaction, correcting bad behavior (over-arousal, barking), and rewarding good.
3. Don’t interrupt their schedule
If for years your dog went for a walk at the same time and ate at the same time every day, you should not interrupt that routine before the arrival of your child. The dog will notice the change and award it upon the arrival of the new member. They like the daily routine, try not to break with it to guarantee the good behavior of your pet.
4. Teach your child how to behave
Dogs are not very fond of being teased by children. One thing is a baby who caresses and sits down to play next to his dog, and quite another is the child who pulls the ears or the tail of his dog and the parents do not say anything to him. Teaching children about good behavior with their pet will make the relationship more peaceful and respectful (and less dangerous).
5. Never leave them alone
Even if your dog is the best in the world, he is still a dog. For the canine training expert, you simply cannot predict how a baby, toddler, or dog will behave, so accidents are always a possibility.
6. Watch the signs
If you notice that the dog growls, or shows its teeth, or has strange behaviors, it is time to ask for help, as your child’s safety may be in danger. All dogs can be suitable to be around children if they have proper training. Ask for expert advice on time, and you will not regret it.
It is wonderful that our children grow up with our pets, that is why as parents we must take all the necessary precautions so that there is no shock and the fraternal relationship between the pet and the family members is as loyal as it is lasting.