Dog coming home

Any dog that comes into your home will be a bit stressed as they try to figure out where they are and what it means to them. Make sure the dog has a chance to build lots of positive associations with all family members to set the tone for the future, and to make sure everyone is safe. Keep a tight ship at least the first two weeks. After that assess where you are.

The first experience of ANYTHING will stick on your dog’s mind. Make sure you set up a situation where the dog has a good experience with the kids around.

Keep the dog with an adult or behind a gate and ensure all interactions between dogs and children are supervised and limited. Make sure the dog learns the routine of when to eat, go out, where to sleep, etc.

Find out what the dog likes and connect the kids with the activity. The dog likes food. They can give a Kong or treats to the dog. They can play the “find it” game where they toss a treat on the ground and when the dog orients back to the child, they toss another one. They can play with a ball if the dog likes this. They can be part of feeding meals. They can come along on walks.

Learn to read your dog’s body language. What does the dog look like when happy and content? What does the dog look like when annoyed, frustrated or just tolerating something?

Limit a lot of touch in the beginning. I know this can be hard for the kids but hugging and kissing in the face is dangerous activities with a new dog. Some dogs will tolerate it from people they know well, but some never will like it. Gentle touch with one hand for petting is it for now.

Some simple rules to build a good relationship:

  • Kids leave resting and eating dogs alone.
  • Kids give to dogs but never take away.
  • Kids call the dog over to see if they want to engage and leave them alone if they don’t.
  • Kids play with the dog in ways that promotes the positive aspects of their relationship, and not jumping, biting or chasing. With a well-matched dog, some good ground rules, and a soft landing for the new dog this can be a life-long rewarding memory for your child.

Article Courtesy of Vivian Leven, MS, CBCC-KA owner, coach and consultant of Positive Dog Solutions.

Dog coming home

Feb 13, 2023 | News | 0 comments

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