Preparing your dog for your child’s toddlerhood is really important! Depending on your dogs age, previous exposure to children, food, toys and chew bones will help determine where you need to focus training and socialization.
Just because your dog is nice and gentle with you and other adult people doesn’t mean a child can’t become a target, by accident! Some parents unknowingly deem their dog good with kid’s or fine with the baby but with toddlers, I think special a wild card factor can happen. Toddlers can be kind of unpredictable and many parents get in the habit of chanting “be nice to the doggy!” Having foresight and be able to direct or protect your dog and child is the key. Snaps can happen fast and after that, it matters less who’s fault it was becomes the damage is done.
Paws For A Minute® Quick tip: Preparing Your Dog For Your Child’s Toddlerhood!
1. Dog Tip: Review all “on leash” commands. This is a great way to tune up your dog. Basic commands like heel, sit, stay and come. Never did that before? Then now is a great opportunity! Leash training is a great way to create eye contact between you and your dog and reinforce the commands with praise! What it does very effectively is creates a bond and an understanding that simply off leash repetition and cookie’s don’t accomplish in the same way, A few minutes a day will help communicate volumes to your dog and create trust between you, especially with a new creature that’s crawling and falling all over there territory now!
2. Dog Tip: Occasionally, hand feed you dog a few servings of his kibble. This helps determine any food bowl issues and get your dog used to being interrupted while eating.
3. Dog Tip: Vet check. Bring your dog to the vet for a check up. Dogs that are 5 years and up should be checked for lumps and bumps. As your Toddler begins to poke and pat you want to make sure all is well with your dog health wise. Some times older dogs don’t feel well and YOU would never know it.
4. Dog Tip: Use a baby gate occasionally for your dog when your child is crawling around. Boundary’s are a great thing. Get your dog used to being baby gated once in a while. This allows you not to go insane and gives your dog some chew bone time in peace, yet still allows him/her to hang out and be apart of things.
Key: Guide your dog into the gated area on a leash, before your toddler has exploration time. The leash helps create a fun ritual, with the formality of a command. Say the word let’s go and then once in the gates area say “wait” then give a treat close the gate and take of the leash! Gate for a small increment of time in a central area.
5. Dog tip: Brush your dog for 5 minutes every week. This is a great way to get him used to being touched, everywhere even the tail!