Having a dog at home is extremely beneficial to children, especially when it comes to teaching them a thing or two about responsibility. At Awesome K9, we believe dog training is a family affair and that it is important for families living with dogs to have their children involved in the training from the beginning.
Awesome K9 offers the following tips for parents to involve their kids in dog training:
If your child is afraid of dogs, try and help them overcome their fear. Approach the dog with some distance with your child standing calmly by your side. Tell your child not to make direct eye contact or pay any attention to the dog. Just let the dog sniff around if he wishes but do not look or react to the dog.
At this stage there should be no talking or petting of the dog. Just ignore it and stay focused.
When both your child and dog are calm and relaxed, then you can calmly acknowledge the dog with relaxed touch under the chin or on the chest if sitting.
Only then, should you show your child how to hold & present a treat in front of the dog’s nose without the dog moving. Have your child drop their hand to the ground. The dog will follow the food and drop into the down position. As soon as the dog is lying down, make sure your child gives the dog the treat and relaxed calm praise.
Have your son or daughter hold a treat just above your dog’s nose and slowly move it back over the dog’s head. As your child does this, your dog will rock back into a sitting position. As soon as the dog sits, have your child praise your dog calmly open their hand flat and give it the treat.
The whole exercise must be done in a calm relaxed state. Do not let your child get excited or fearful as this will or can trigger the dogs reaction. If the child is still afraid, then only practice in small steps and don’t expect to get to the food handling until the child is more confident just to be near the dog and comfortable to ignore it.
Stay tuned to the Awesome K9 blog for more training tips. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation test for your family dog. 613-797-4454.