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Introducing Puppy to Children and Babies

The children 

It’s important to introduce your puppy to children the right way so no one is afraid. Have the puppy on a leash. Make sure you’re holding the leash. Be prepared to pull back the dog if you see something you don’t like. Never go face to face or hand to face on the dog. Pat them on the butt first. After you know each other for a while and you’re comfy, then you can greet with face to face air kisses and licks. It’s that simple: Mitigate risk. Don’t go near the area that will bite you. #boom

If you get a puppy between 8-16 weeks, you are pretty safe, especially if it’s a family oriented breed like a retriever or a small dog. (Mitigate risk gets my vote) I’ve always said that up until a certain age, dogs and puppies are like mirrored images of one another.  I’ve always had very calm dogs with predictable behaviors.  I could trust them when they met a child, including my son, Landon, when he was born.  I brought him inside the house and put his baby basket down and let the dogs have a sniff and a lick and that was that.

Puppies and babies have the same way of discovery:  They put everything in their mouth.  With puppies, it comes off as chewing or biting, but it’s hardly that.  They’re learning about the world and as they get to be about 6 months, they start really chomping down so their canine teeth can come in. Don’t let them have your hand or arm. Greet them with a chew toy or bully stick. #dontaskwhattheyremadefrom

Safety always comes first.  Always ask the dog owner if you can pet their dog.  If they say yes, move slowly; don’t go right for the face.  That invades their personal zone.  Give them a pat on the butt and then a good scratch.  If they give you their head, then by all means go for it. Dogs like slow movements.  Many times, a toddler will scare a dog because their movement is so erratic.

Keep the leash on for a while and use for redirection until puppy knows what you expect of him. It’s usually up to six months. I like the cloth leashes because the puppy doesn’t even realize it’s on him.

Above all, always always always trust your gut instinct. #trustyourself


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