Your children will be so excited when you get a new puppy. They will want to play with him and show him love all the time! But for your puppy’s protection as well as the safety of your kids, you will need to establish some rules.
Even if your kids begged for a puppy, you are going to be the one taking care of him. Kids love puppies, but they are not good at providing consistent care. This will have to be your job, since you agreed to get a puppy.
You do want your kids involved, so give them simple jobs to do to care for your puppy. You can set up a schedule of tasks on a whiteboard. Be sure to show your kids exactly what to do for each job. Don’t assume that they will know. If the kids are of school age, they can feed the puppy in the morning before school and at night.
Both dogs and kids need exercise. So you might as well get both done at once. Let your kids help you choose a leash for your puppy. Take the kids and the puppy for a nice long walk. If you select a safe route, your kids can take the puppy on their own later, if they are old enough.
Your children can help with potty training too. When you teach your puppy where to go to the bathroom, be sure to teach your kids the same place to take him. Make sure the kids use the same commands too, so puppy does not get confused. Soon your kids will recognize the signs when your puppy has to go out.
Of course, the children will want to play with the puppy – that’s why they wanted him! But don’t let them treat him like they do their stuffed animals, or they might get bitten! Kids need to learn to give your puppy respect. They should not play too rough or bother him when he is sleeping. Teach them not to be too aggressive or poke him. You don’t want to see the relationship ruined by biting.
There is a right way to pet the puppy. Teach the kids to stroke his fur and pat him gently. Tell them not to look the puppy right in the eye, because that is a sign of challenge.
The kids should also respect the places where the puppy eats, sleeps or goes potty. These are the puppy’s areas and the kids should not play or fool around there. The puppy needs some place where he can be undisturbed by kids.
Kids and puppies naturally love each other. As long as they learn respect for each other, the relationship will thrive. Both puppies and kids will get so much from their relationship throughout the dog’s life.