A lot of folks got dogs to keep them and their families company while being self-quarantined during the pandemic. If you are one of them, here are a few things to remember…
- GROWN-UPS RULE. Especially with puppies. A puppy’s behavior is often unpredictable and inconsistent CHILDREN AND DOGS SHOULD ALWAYS BE SUPERVISED. Especially during play time. NO “ruff” stuff.
- PUPPIES ARE NOT STUFFED ANIMALS. Make sure that children do not pounce on a puppy (or any dog), tease or pull its fur or other body parts. And don’t hit or kick it. Reprimands should be a sharp NO and a time out. If you must pick up your dog, do it with care.
- DO NOT DISTURB. When I was in the first grade, the kid sitting behind me yanked on my pigtails. And, much later in life, one of my bad dates grabbed food from my plate. I didn’t like it! Dogs don’t like to be bothered when eating or resting either. Dogs, especially puppies, are like babies. They need down time. Like little kids, they become over tired and cranky. And, consequently, they become hyperactive and irritable.
- DOGS DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH. Remember when your brother grabbed you from behind and yelled “Gotcha”? You didn’t like it. And dogs don’t either. Being hugged cuddled, grabbed or startled when resting, eating or chewing on a bone can lead to growling. Which brings us to an important rule to remember…
- NEVER DISCIPLINE A DOG FOR GROWLING. Your dog trying to tell you to stop what you are doing because he feels threatened. If he’s not allowed to defend himself, a growl can turn into a bite. Show your dog the same consideration that you would like to have shown to you.
And with that said, treat your dog with love and respect, just as you would your BFF. In this case, it’s your Best Friend FUR-ever.
For more information on training, see Raising Puppies and Kids Together: A Guide for Parents. Written by Pia Silvani a dog behaviorist.
And feel free to review the Home Schooling Your Dog lessons found on Mutts…, and consider additional training at a dog school near you.