“Aw, they’re so cute together” could be the most often heard comment about kids and dogs. Dogs are included as family members in most of our homes which makes them very accessible to kids. In a perfect world, kids and dogs would grow up together, learn from, appreciate each other and be loyal friends until parted by the pet’s passing. Instead of the scary lions, tigers and bears as the children’s song Alphabet Soup names, try substituting crawling babies, toddlers and dogs, Oh My! Sometimes kids and dogs can be scary too.
Ways to stay safe
From a newborn’s first day at home to a precocious on-the-move toddler, there are many qualified experts in the pet care field to guide you through your journey with kids and pets. TheDogGurus.com, top influencers and leaders in teaching safety for pet care professionals, developed a simple traffic light symbol for rating dogs. Steady, relaxed, reliable dogs who interact easily and enjoy being social with others are coded GREEN. Dogs that are stiff, nervous, uneasy or have given notice with threatening barks or growls are RED. Whether a dog is green or red, these dogs are confident in their color code status. Dogs that are unsure and could go either way are classified YELLOW. Simply put, observing a dog’s body language is how you get to the color code. Then it’s up to you to obey the law; go with the GREEN, stop with the RED and always use caution because both GREEN and RED can transform to YELLOW and vise versa. Teaching your child how to read and respect a dog’s body language will help ensure they form positive, long-lasting relationships with dogs.
Standards, Rules and Sense of Humor
Knowing roles and boundaries, what’s expected and the consequences of unacceptable behavior is for all family members. Often, it is not the circumstance that is important, rather the reaction and involvement with that circumstance. So you have your plan set out before you and…. your family just isn’t listening? Develop a sense of humor so you can roll with the punches, enjoy your kids and dogs and still be safe. There is help through dog experts when plan go awry. Author Colleen Pelar lives the reality. In addition to being training manager of one of the largest dog-training facilities in Virginia, she’s a mom with three sons. Colleen is passionate about helping kids develop good relationships with dogs and preventing dog bites to children. Other canine experts to turn to are Pat Miller, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell and Suzanne Clothier. They have years of experience, teaching and authoring tips, skills and problem solving for pet families. Fondren 5 Star Pet Resort can also guide and help you. So many families have entered our facility throughout the years with kids and dogs and wind up sharing cherished memories. If you’re wanting to know more about safety with kids and dogs, please ask here!