Not all domestic dogs are friendly to children. The dog may growl or try to bite a small family member. This is a natural concern for parents. How do I correct a pet’s misbehavior and how do I establish contact with the child?
Why is the dog aggressive?
Experts explain that aggression in dogs occurs for two main reasons.
The first reason is self – defense. The dog may see the child as a threat, if it gets too close and touches it, the dog will protect itself. Usually four-legged friends of a person try to avoid unwanted contact and watch children warily. If it is impossible to move to a safe place, the dog is forced to attack – growl, try to bite. This is a typical behavior of the animal, caused by fear. Sometimes dogs tolerate the presence of a small family member around until he starts to molest. In this case, aggression is a reaction to an unpleasant stimulus.
The second reason for aggression is competition, which is also called dominant aggression. If the child is perceived as a rival and encroaches on the attention of the owners, the dog can make a threatening growl. In this case, there is no fear of the child. The dog believes that it is at a higher level in the hierarchy and perceives the child as a young animal that violated the law of the pack. If the dog believes that the child is lower in status, then it has the right to put it in its place by force.
Sometimes the dog’s motivation changes. The dog does not know how to behave with the child and changes behavior depending on the circumstances. The dog is confused, because the child is friendly, but dangerous. Very young children do not know the fear of animals and are even more relaxed. Hence the aggression that sometimes occurs. To adults, the dog does not show it.
Signs of aggression and how to stop it
Inexperienced owners find it difficult to distinguish between warning signs that indicate the dog’s discontent preceding the bite.
What indicates aggression:
- tense neck;
- eyes slanted towards the object;
- twisted ears;
- twitching lips, Baring teeth.
Noticing that the dog warns of a possible attack – you need to act. Your task is to let her know that the child is always right. Regardless of what the child does with the pet, the latter should not touch it. Therefore, strictly say “No” to the dog, with a force corresponding to its size, kick it in the thigh, press it to the ground and put it out of the room. Experts recommend teaching the dog and child separately. When the child is left in the room – explain to him that you can not bother the animal.
Preparing a dog to live with a child
Dog handlers advise you to prepare the dog before the child appears in the house. So the relationship of the two will develop harmoniously. Find an instructor who will give your pet perfect obedience.
You can start training your pet while the baby is still a baby and spends most of the time sleeping. When he grows up and starts to face the dog – an untrained pet will get stressed.
First, teach the dog simple commands – “to me”, “place”, “stop” or hone their knowledge. Your task is to achieve perfect obedience. This way you will be able to walk with your dog and child in the future. This will play a role – the pet will see that it is part of the family. At the same time, you will not have to reduce or, on the contrary, increase the number of walks, because it takes a lot of time to take care of the child.
If your friends have children, carefully introduce them to the dog. After such communication, the dog will get used to a new small family member more easily.
With the appearance of a child, you can not pay less attention to the dog or completely isolate it in the house:
- let the pet get acquainted with the baby under supervision, sniffs at it;
- let observe the procedures of the child care;
- communicate with the dog and talk to it, making it feel unnecessary.
Leave the dog and child alone with full confidence that there is no unjustified aggression on the part of the animal. And do not worry about the violation of sterility – if you keep the dog clean, the child will not catch any “infection”.
When the child learns to walk and wants to contact the dog, make sure that their communication develops correctly. The child needs to be shown how to properly caress a four-legged friend.
A child’s safe posture that blocks the dog’s aggression looks like this:
- squat down;
- wrap your arms around the bottom of your neck.
You can’t hang over the dog and grab it by the neck! Explain to the child that if the dog does not want to communicate or growls – you need to move away and not bother. If the dog patiently tolerates all children’s antics, control it. In the course of a fun game, he can bite the baby or drop it.
Track signs of stress in the dog. If she shows aggression, is overly excited, then stop the game and take the child away. Do not punish your pet for its reaction. The correct behavior is to calm and praise for obedience in an even, affectionate tone, relieving tension.
Establishing contact between an adult child and a dog
If the child is an adult and is able to listen to their elders – explain how to behave correctly with the dog. Set the following rules:
- tell your child that a pet is not a toy. They are not teased or provoked, do not bother or try to play when the animal is not located;
- offer to play together with the dog, but not in too mobile or active game. A child and a dog can search for hidden objects together or play hide and seek;
- involve your child in all possible pet care. Instruct them to give food, walk if there are no people or dogs nearby, and treat them for the completed commands.
- demonstrate hierarchy in the family – show the dog what place the child occupies in your life. The dog must understand that this is a small member of the “pack”.
Remember that dogs, like children, “read” the behavior of the owner. If you yell and hit a child or pet, the dog will also behave aggressively. Adequate dogs grow only in adequate people.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.