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If the truth be known children and puppies have quite a bit in common because most of the time both are pretty impatient, they are often far too inquisitive for their own good and both dogs and kids have a tendency to get too excited over the slightest thing very quickly.
With this is mind, it's really important for children to be well supervised when they are around dogs whether they know them or not. When a child forms a strong bond with a dog, it can be extremely good for them and very rewarding because more often than not they become lifelong, loyal friends. If you have decided to share your home with a puppy or maybe a dog you've been sponsoring until you made up your mind it's the right thing to do, then it's important for the kids to get involved in all aspects of taking care of their new pet.
Once puppy has had all their important core vaccinations, it's time for them to be introduced to all sorts of other situations and environments which includes rubbing noses with other dogs, meeting other animals and lots of people, cars as well as some pretty frightening noises. Ideally, puppy should have been taught to wear a collar or harness, depending on their breed and would have been gently taught how to walk on a lead, but going outside into the great outdoors is a whole new adventure and one that can be quite scary for a young dog.
It's a great idea to get the kids involved right from the word go when you first take puppy for a walk in the great outdoors. You should hold the lead, but the kids should walk alongside you quietly watching how puppy reacts to all the new sounds and smells they encounter as they walk along. It's a great learning curve for both the puppy and the kids. It's an experience they should learn to enjoy and look forward to.
It's important for the kids to learn that being quiet around their pet is far better than being too noisy and excited whether indoors or when out for a walk on a lead. However, once you reach a park or other area where dogs are allowed to be walked, this is where the kids can start playing games with their pet bearing in mind they would need to be kept on their leads just to be safe.
A gentle game of "come" is a great way to introduce a new command and the best way of teaching the kids and your puppy what it's all about is as follows:
Puppy will naturally want to go to the kids which is when you should walk with them to where the kids are standing so they can greet each other, remembering to keep things nice and calm. If puppy gets too excited they might just want to jump up and the rule of thumb is for them to keep "both feet firmly on the ground".
It's also important to let the kids take control of the lead when you think the time is right because puppy needs to learn how to obey them too. These early steps in learning how to walk their pet is not only great for the kids, but for your dog too. It will help build a really strong relationship between the two of them which will just strengthen as both of them grow older.
Keeping the kids involved with a new dog can at times be a little challenging, but with the right kind of motivation and making the experience as much fun for them as it is for your pet can work wonders. A new puppy needs to learn how to walk nicely on a lead, but they also need to understand that they need to obey the kids too. A great way of getting puppies and young dogs to listen to the kids is for them to go out on walks with you and your dog as often as they can. When you think the time is right, it's important for the kids to hold onto the lead which is the best way for puppy to learn how to listen to them.
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