Should My Children Train My Dog?
Yes and no!
Sorry, not very helpful. Read on for tips on dog training for kids.
So let me elaborate! Training a dog can help to build a great bond between a child and their dog and learning about dogs can turn our kids into incredible advocates for our pets.
But it’s a HUGE responsibility.
So, I would always recommend and joint, family approach. Depending on age there are definitely ways we can get our children involved.
What Can I Do To Help My Kids Get Started?
If possible start before you get your dog. If that hasn’t happened DON’T PANIC! You can still start on all these strategies right now.
You can help them learn about dogs’ body language here. That way your child will be able to speak “dog”! What an amazing super power to have!
Other absolutely vital strategies are giving your dog a space where they aren’t disturbed and are away from the hustle and bustle of family life, teaching your children how to approach a dog and how to respect them.
You can get loads of resources going through all of that via email over 5 days here.
Should My Kids Walk My Dog?
The general rule of thumb is not on their own until they are around 14.
The reason for this is that, as we unfortunately know only too well, things don’t always go to plan on dog walks. Your dog could be approached by an unwanted off-lead dog. Your dog could be that unwanted off-lead dog! Another dog walker could insist that their dog meets yours even though you know your dog wouldn’t like that. Your dog could disappear.
All of these scenarios are difficult for a child to deal with alone. Saying no to an adult who thinks it’s OK for their dog to approach every dog they meet is tricky enough for us grown ups, never mind a child.
Then, of course, there are the nightmare scenarios where your dog gets in a fight, or gets attacked or injured – do we want our children to have to deal with these situations alone?
So What CAN My Children Do With My Dog?
There are loads of age appropriate things they can do to help!
Pre Schoolers can scatter some of the dogs food from the other side of a baby gate, moving away from the gate and watch as your dog snuffles around for their food, and they can help you to measure out your dog’s daily food allowance! They can then put some of this down for your dog and learn to walk away to let your dog eat in peace.
4-5 year olds can create a treasure hunt for your dog! So when your dog is in another room they can hide some of your dog’s daily food around the room, then let them in to find it – just make sure that your child knows that they should be watching rather than getting involved at this stage. The could also use a long armed grabber to do a poop patrol in the back garden – good luck with than one!!
Older Kids could play a game of hide and seek where they hide and call the dog, then give them lots of treats when they are found. This is the age where they can really get involved in training – our online or in person family dog training is perfect! Find out more about the online course here. You get a hefty discount from signing up using this link – HOORAY!
OR maybe you want a bit more personalised help? I totally get that – it’s too important to get wrong isn’t it? Here’s what we can do together to help!