As a general rule, I like dogs better than people. I have had a dog for just about as long as I can remember. My first dog was a Collie named Lassie. Yes, I am old and yes, my dog was named after the TV show that I was watching on our family’s one black and white Zenith TV.
I love dogs because they were always my friend. They never lie and are always happy to see me. I played with Lassie every day after Kindergarten and we always had a wonderful time. She never did anything to scare or frighten me and I always felt safe and happy around her.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with all children and their dogs. Sometimes things get out of hand and the dog may scare, frighten, or even hurt the child. These are very unfortunate situations and are normally not the result of an overtly, intentional action on either the child’s or dog’s part. They are normally caused simply because “things happen”. Well, we don’t want those things to happen.
Robin and I have observed that when you become afraid of dogs as a child, you will remain afraid of dogs all your life. Because of this, we want to do our best to nurture a safe, and strong bond between children and their dogs at the earliest, appropriate age.
We need to understand how close, physical interaction can trigger appropriate and inappropriate responses from our dog. Once we have this basic understanding, it becomes far easier to properly engage them within a healthy situation.
We need to take a strong, but slightly passive role in the play experience of our children and dogs. This involves both management and instruction. Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides the exact steps you need to follow to allow your child and their dog to have a wonderful and bonding play time. Please read “What is the Best Way for Our Kids to Play with Our Dog”.