Children and puppies

Your children need to be taught that the puppy is not a toy or a doll, and should not be disturbed when resting or sleeping.

Toddlers and young children often unwittingly encourage puppies to chase and play bite them, so you should only let them interact under your supervision. Keep them apart (use a child-gate or playpen/crate) if one or the other is having an exuberant moment, and never leave them alone together.

However, even older children (and some adults!) can be excitable and inconsistent or over-stimulating the puppy one minute, and then telling it off (and often hitting) the next. Children (and puppies) are not known for their patience, so both need to be taught how to be gentle with each other.

Never let children ambush or force themselves on the puppy. If they want to play, the puppy should be invited over, but do not let the children force the issue if the puppy does not want to go to them. The children must be made to understand the importance of having ‘quite time’ with the puppy, and give it space and peace and quite when it wants it.

Children must be over 16 years old or over to be legally responsible for a dog outside their home.



1st July 2008