The above may look cute but it is risky behavior.  The little girls can wiggle on top of the dog and think it's fun, but they can accidentally hurt the dog and the only way for the dog to stop the pain is to bite, nip or throw the  girls off.

Dogs are adorable.  Kids are cute.  And by kids, I don’t mean baby goats….although, those are cute as well.  But I meant human children.

Put dogs and kids together, you get double the cuteness, right?

Of course!

But parents and adults should always be careful when children are around animals of any kind, even if they are domesticated and are sweet as pie.  The situation can be very unpredictable.  Especially with children under the age of 5 or with disabilities.

The above is Sarah Palin's son.  He obviously doesn't know any better.  
It's up to the parents to teach children what is right and wrong.
Take for example a video I saw recently of a little boy who was singing and playing in his living room.  His parents were eagerly trying to capture the moment on camera while their little family dog sat close by watching everyone.  The little boy started swinging around a toy sword, singing at high pitches and hitting his toy and flaying his arms about.  Then he  got the idea to lean forward and give the little doggy a big hug.  Guess what happened, the dog nipped him in the face.

Can you name two things in this situation that could have been done differently to prevent what happened?

1)       The adults in this situation was not being mindful of both the child and the dog.  As soon as the child started being more rambunctious, the dog should’ve have been picked up and taken out of the room or away from the child. 

2)      The child should have been told to be careful, calm down and not be too loud around a doggy because sometimes doggies can get scared.

Because of  the unexpected reaction of the family dog that has been in the family for 7 years……the dog has to now be re-homed.  The dog nipped the little boy in the face out of fear, anxiety and confusion, not because of malicious intent.  The little boy is now afraid of the dog.  Even though the nip to his face was just a little scratch, the parents decided to send the dog away like many people do these days.  Most children probably get worse scrapes when they fall on the sidewalk and scratch up their knees.  Unfortunately, parents can't remove the sidewalk.  

Instead of taking this opportunity to teach their child why the dog nipped her, they decided to remove the dog from her environment.  How will this teach the child when she encounters new animals in the future?  Teaching a child how to act appropriately in society is what a parent is supposed to do.  So teaching a child how to act around a family pet falls in the same category.  

So many poor family pets are given away or dropped off at the shelter like they are objects or possessions.  Like an old purse or t-shirt that doesn't match your wardrobe anymore.  Many of these family pets are then euthanized or put to death because of over-crowding, the animal's older age or the inability to get adopted out.  Please don't do this to a family member that you once adored and loved and cherished.

When my step-son came into my life at the age of 4, I already had my chihuahua Vincent....also known as vicious, because he was a little ankle biter.  Probably still is.  And my step-son was deathly afraid of all animals at the time.  Any time he got close to my dog, my dog growled.  But I never thought to get rid of my dog at any time.  I just removed my dog or removed my step-son away from each other whenever they were in the same room or kept a very watchful eye or a reprimanding hand on my dog. And we taught my step-son to never get close to Vincent unattended or to be loud and move around fast or suddenly.
8 years later, my dog can't get enough of my step-son and licks him to death and cuddles up to him on the couch.  And my step-son knows how to control Vincent and reprimand him as well if he misbehaves.  However, we still keep a watchful eye.  I have 4 dogs total now and I always know where they are and I can always read their behavior when something new is in the environment.

Family dogs and cats are great teaching tools for both adults and children about unconditional love, companionship and friendship.  But it takes time, nurturing and careful interactions to get there. Please use the below guides to help teach children the proper way to be friends with their pets.  
 


Comments

Debby Murhy
01/31/2015 10:02am

This is a great article and should be required for every parent with dogs. We have experienced this with my son and his wife, they got rid of a very special dog because they didn't take control of the situation in where their daughter wasn't taught correctly and honestly they didn't want to have to be bothered teaching her or helping the dog. Was very heart breaking as the dog had been with them for eight years.

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08/03/2015 9:22pm

Yes This is a great article...............................

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Susan Breza
02/04/2015 11:50am

Dear Lord give them brains

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Grace Tang
02/05/2015 10:29am

Amen!

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Ursula Will
02/04/2015 1:40pm

I don't understand that parents means animals are the toy for their children. They don't think, that animal have not understanding for noise and hugs. Before I buy a dog, I inform how to handle him.

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Gabriela Vargas
02/04/2015 1:54pm

Es de vital importancia empezar con los niños educándolos en la interacción con cualquier animal, no son juguetes, son miembros de la familia. Los niños bien educados, y que saben lo que significa y la responsabilidad de tener un animal, serán adultos más sensibles, conscientes y con mayor grado de inteligencia.

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Hollie
02/04/2015 2:41pm

Stupid stupid people , maybe the dog will eat them ( in private)

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07/23/2015 12:36am

I did not think so

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Jennifer
02/05/2015 5:23am

What do you mean by "a reprimanding hand"?

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Austin
02/06/2015 7:44am

a repremanding hand in this case may mean correcting the dog with a touch or a push or something to tell the dog that the behavior it is acting in is not tolerated. Mostly correcting the dog.

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Patty
02/08/2015 10:49am

In this case, a reprimanding hand means I place a hand on him as he sits by me. A commanding gesture. If he acts up, I can easily stop him and correct quickly.

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Ursula Will
02/06/2015 11:56am

Why do you correct the dog with pushes and with touching. I think you can correct him if you show him, what you want. Here in Germany is a dogtrainer who educates his dog only with love and unterstanding. What's the right

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05/29/2015 5:10am

oh no, feel very sad to see this doing with that innocent dogs

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All children love dogs

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This post is well written and I am agree with you we should teach our children, how to act appropriately?
Awesome Article
Thanks

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If we teach our children's in their short age so they would pick things immediately.
Thanks and I am 100% agreed what you said

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My Children also love very much dogs

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The child should have been told to be careful

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