Children and Dogs How to Prepare Your Child for a Dog

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Children and Dogs How to Prepare Your Child for a Dog

by Rena Murray

Children and dogs ? you want one of each. Okay, so you have decided to get your child a dog for his birthday. Billy sees the sweet cuddly thing that will want to sneak into bed with him and will be his companion after school or when he is alone.

Even though you do not know the first thing about dogs, you want to make Billy happy. So, you are going to do it. After all, you cannot go back on your word. You promised.

The nightmare begins immediately. The sweet tongue that will lick Billy is between two rows of sharp teeth which may destroy your furniture and other items, and those teeth are capable of injuring, too. You see it now, all that dog destructive behavior. How would you explain it to Billy if you had to get rid of his dog, or even had to put it to sleep?

The horrible fears and images are spiraling out of control now. You are thinking of telling Billy you have changed your mind ?. But on the other hand, you did promise ?.

At a loss for what to do, you contact a professional and seek advice. She seems to be keenly aware and appreciative of your concern. She calmly says:

"You need to sit down with your son and all members of the family, and jointly to define and abide by some basic common rules."

First, if this dog ever turns on anyone, it will be put down ? end of discussion.

Second, everyone is to take responsibility for this dog. If you see he needs to go out, just do it. Don't yell for Dad. However, to let the other family members know when the dog was last out, so they will be able to ascertain his probable needs.

Third, respect the dog. Do not pull on him as though he were a stuffed animal. If he bites you for that, you asked for it.

Fourth, do not annoy the dog while he is eating or sleeping. The dog is to sleep in HIS bed, not yours.

Fifth, NO feeding the dog at the table.

Sixth, if the dog develops other hyperactive behavior or other bad dog behavior ? such as any obsessive behaviors, chewing, wetting, etc. ? the dog must go.

Seventh, if the dog only likes his family and will not tolerate anyone else ? e.g., he becomes aggressive toward visitors or passersby ? he is an unpredictable, unacceptable risk, and he cannot stay.

Remember, all responsibilities are shared.

There are very few "bad dogs" out there, so do not be afraid that you will come home with one. Do your homework. Just prepare your family so you are honest and open from the beginning, with the boundaries set right away and honored by all members of the household. Even post the rules on the refrigerator as a reminder to all.

In this way, everyone keeps in mind the rules and requirements, and bad dog behavior is less likely to manifest. Should it though, everyone has been somewhat prepared on how to handle it, even to accept the worst if that must be. They have not yet opened themselves to be completely, deeply hurt in the unlikely event things do not go right. The boundaries are clear, and they are there to protect the family. That way, it is easier on both the family and the dog.

One more thing: Do not rush getting the dog. Wait until you find the one with which you are 100% satisfied. Do not jump the gun just because it is Billy's birthday. Tell him as a present that you will search for the right dog together and will bring it home when you find it. The heartache, safety risk, and financial risk of a gross error leading to dog dominance behavior, dog aggression, dog bite, and even dog attack, are not worth the superficial satisfaction of delivering the goods on an exact day.

GET HELP from Rena Murray at the Dog Obedience Training website. An accomplished Dog Behavior Modification expert, Dog Obedience Trainer, and Platinum Expert Author, Rena provides self-help Articles and free "Best Ezines"-recognized newsletter: PAW PERSUASION POINTERS to help you better understand communication and control of your dogs, debunk dog training myths, explore right and wrong dog training techniques for specific situations, address destructive dog behavior, excessive and obsessive dog behavior, and other canine issues, from new puppy to old dog. Subscribe for free at, visit Rena's BLOG -, find the dog products, crates, and gifts you need at, and Contact Rena for Coaching .

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