While we often worry about our children’s safety
around dogs, the puppy may be in more danger than your six year old.
Children are impulsive and can be easily frustrated when a dog
doesn’t understand or do what they want. They may lash out at the
dog in a moment of anger. There are some ways that you can safely
blend a family with kids and dogs. First, start with realistic
expectations. A puppy isn’t going to transform your kid into a
responsible adult. While you can expect that you may be able to
cajole your child into the occasional feeding, don’t scold him
when he doesn’t. He’s the kid; you’re the parent. I wanted a
drum set, chickens and a go-cart at different times in my childhood.
My parents had the good sense to deny me those things. Berating your
child for not taking care of the dog will only cause him to resent
the new pup, and damage the relationship that you’re hoping
Walking The Dog
The minimum age for a child to safely walk a dog
alone is 14. Sending an eight year old out to walk a dog is
irresponsible; you’re setting both up for disaster. What if your
dog pulls away to chase a squirrel across a road, or another dog
attacks your dog? Both instances can result in injury or death and a
child should not be put in that position. Kids and dogs can be best
friends, but it takes planning and time to ensure that both partners
remain safe with each other. Starting on the right foot lays the
foundation for a loving animal-human bond that will last a lifetime.