You And Your Puppy- Puppies & Children – Part 7_11

Carolyn: So Elena, she is the most beautiful Chocolate Labrador puppy. What’s her name?

Elena: Coco.

Carolyn: She is just stunning.

Elena: So are there any basic rules that me and my kids can follow easily?

Carolyn: How old are the kids?

Elena: Four and six.

Carolyn: Well, lots of people think that puppies and children just automatically get on. But they don’t. They’ve got to be taught to like each other. For puppies, children are really unpredictable and noisy and children don’t always understand puppy language either and why should they. So there are a few rules that you have to make sure they stick to. Eating is a big one. So if the puppy’s eating, the children have to know not to disturb the puppy when she’s got food. If she does anything that she’s not meant to do, so if she gets hold of their toys or if she’s on the sofa or anything like that then they have to come and get you. They shouldn’t go and interrupt themselves, they have to come and get you. And the same as if she’s sleeping, if she’s in her bed they know not to wake her up. Because dogs can wake up a bit grumpy just the same as we can.

Now when the children are eating, once again it’s better if Coco’s in her crate or just out of the way a little bit. First of all because you would be amazed at how much food children could sneak onto to the table to puppies.

Elena: Okay.

Carolyn: It teaches them to beg at the table and also just teaches them to just grab food from children, so it’s always easier if when people are eating, she goes in her crate and she has a nice treat when she’s in there as well. If they’re playing rough games and running around and the puppy needs to go into the crate, because she would play with them the same way if she would play with her little mates which is all teeth and bitey which you obviously don’t want to encourage.

The other thing and it’s probably the number one rule and it sounds a bit mean, but never leave a puppy and your children alone together. That goes with all dogs. Because dogs don’t always understand children very well, because they run around and they play and they’re noisy. And also children don’t understand dogs very well. They don’t know when they’re being warned to stay away and it’s just safer for everybody and fair on everyone if they don’t get left alone together.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun together though. You can still get out, get the children involved in walking and to a little bit of training, as long as they know to drop the treats on the floor so that the puppy doesn’t come up to grab things from their hands. But all the time just encourage that bond, encourage that relationship through having fun and that go on really well together. She’s so gorgeous.

Elena: Thanks so much. I really can’t wait to try some of this.

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