Dogs and children: Consider the time-honored image of a child and his or her dog as an ever-loving companion who understands when the grown-ups don’t. But think also of the horrendous statistics that dog bites terrify and disfigure far too many children.
What to do? If your children are younger, only get a dog if you are willing to be extremely attentive. Recently, I stayed with some friends who have a toddler. I had my dog along. They knew the dog well, and I was really impressed with how careful they were around him and the little one. It took some work but we made it a situation where the little girl could only pet my dog when one of us was carefully supervising. LarryDog didn’t get the free run of the house when the girl was herself loose. We did all this in a loving and easy-going manner.
It isn’t only for the safety of the children that you need to be attentive. As my friends knew, LarryDog himself is a rescue dog from a situation where he ended up terrified of teenage boys. We don’t have the exact details of what happened before we got him at two years old, but even now I am extra careful with him around boys.
Including kids in training is one very valuable step. The Sirius Puppy Training program is great for this.
I never had a dog as a child. Oh, how I yearned for one! But I had to make do with befriending the neighbors’ dogs and reading every dog book I could find. At least we had cats.
Since my husband Kelly and I got our first dog together over 20 years ago, I have never been without one or usually two dogs!
Dreams do come true… even if it’s sometimes a lot later than we wish!
Here’s to dogs and children! Nothing better… when it works right!