One of the most common reasons dogs get sent to shelters or put down is because they growl, bark, or bite at children. This is not always the fault of the dog. In fact, most of the time the reaction is a direct result of improper pet etiquette. By teaching your child how to interact with dogs, you can avoid negative tension and aggression in your household that may cause you to rehome your furry friend. Here are some tips for teaching your children about dog owner etiquette.
Do Small Trust Exercises
Doing small trust exercises will get your dog used to being around you. If you have a small dog, you could start by picking him up, holding him for a moment, putting him down, and petting him to show that you are safe to be around. If you have a large dog, you may try holding out your hand and petting him if he gets close. Make sure your hand is open and low to the ground so it does not look threatening.
If your pet comes from a home where he was abused regularly, it may take a long time for you to get close to him. Be patient and work at his pace.
Play Games from a Distance
If you cannot get close enough to your dog to wrestle or play fight, you could try playing games from a distance. This may involve an activity like or spraying the dog with the sprinkler. If you can get the pet to play from afar, he will start to trust that you are a good person. This will allow him to be more and more familiar with working with humans.
Get a Confident Companion Pet
Some dogs do best when they have another dog around to lead by example. If you do not already have another dog in your life, you may consider getting one that is confident around pets and humans alike. Of course, this depends on if your pets are compatible with one another. The confident dog may have too much energy for the shy dog, and it may make him even more reclusive than he is now. Nevertheless, it’s worth testing out to see what works.
Introduce the Pet to Other People
If your pet is comfortable with you but not anyone else, you can use your powers to help him get used to other people. For instance, if you have a small dog, you could pick himup when someone comes over and pet him during the first encounter. If he trusts you and sees that you trust the other person, he will be less scared. Do this slowly with just one or two people you trust until he gets used to the idea of being around other humans.
Most pets grow to love their owners deeply, even if they do not love other people. It may not happen right away, but eventually, your dog will learn that you are a good person that he can be safe around. Once you have that bond in place, you can enjoy a lifelong companion that will care for you as much as you care for him.