You just finished celebrating the successful potty training of your toddler (no more diapers!) and now you’re considering getting a new puppy for the family. Just when you thought you were done with cleaning up body fluids… Here are a few ideas to involve kids in dog training:
- Make walking your new puppy a routine – Instead of running into the house and kicking off their shoes after school make taking the puppy out for a walk the priority it will also help to teach your child about responsibility. Walk to the park with the puppy and let the kids play. Most children aren’t excited about a long “boring” walk but a quick walk to the park bringing the newest furry family member along may just be right up their alley.
- Give up the leash – Once you get outside to walk your pup let your child hold the leash, depending on their age they may need assistance but letting them hold the leash while out for a walk will make them feel involved, important, and proud.
- Teach your children to greet the puppy outside the house – Children get excited around animals and in turn puppies get overwhelmed around kids so let them greet each other just outside the door rather than inside that way the inevitable puddle of pee is is out on the grass not in your hall way. If you live in an apartment building it’s a little more difficult, you can use Arm & Hammer Puppy Pads in the entrance way instead. Even in a house having puppy pad to cover carpeted surfaces will help reduce the time you spend cleaning carpets while you are training your dog.
- Teach basic commands – Go over the basic commands such as sit, lay down, come and stay with all family members so everyone can deliver them in the same manner so not to confuse the dog. This is a great way to build good communication between your family and the new pet and spend some time bonding.
- Sharing the responsibility for everyday care – children can also in involved in feeding the dog and making sure it had fresh water every day. This is also a good opportunity to go over commands for getting the dog to sit until they are called for their food. Getting them involved in grooming is also a great way to teach them to be gentle and show respect for animals.
Always monitor your child’s interactions with your dog, and if you feel the dog is getting stressed give them space. Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for a family with these few ideas to involve kids in dog training the transition can be a smooth one for you and your new best four legged friend.