Most small children are drawn to dogs, and it’s a given that the child will try to show their affection to the four-legged family member in a way that might stress out the pooch or annoy it. It’s therefore important that kids learn at an early age to observe the signals that a pet is giving off and respect them.
One of the first rules that a child should absolutely learn is that the dog is not to be disturbed while eating. In addition, small kids should not be allowed to do things that hurt the animal.
Dog owners should also not stop their pet from growling, as it’s how the animal shows its limits. Instead, they should create a safe space for their pet, where it can retreat to when it wants to be alone.
A dog crate is great for this purpose. Children should be explicitly taught that when the animal is in its crate, it should be left alone, regardless of whether the door to the space is left open or closed.
Dogs also have to learn when to leave kids alone: Owners would do well to teach the family pet a command to return to its own space, the German Industrial Association of Pet Care Producers advises. – dpa