Rules for an Older Dog and Children
Know several practical rules that you should follow
Rules for An Older Dog and Children When many of us think of dogs and children, we think that they just go together naturally. However, every responsible parent and responsible dog owner should know several practical rules that they should follow before bringing a dog and for the purposes of this article, a older dog into a home where children are present.
First, every parent should know that certain dog breeds are a better natural fit with children than other dog breeds. In general, parents should be very hesitant to bring a large breed dog home if they have children that are five years old or younger. This is because large breed dogs can pose an unintentional physical threat to young children. Large breed dogs, even if they do not mean to do so, can knock over young children and injure them, especially if the large breed dog is also a breed of dog that is known for its high levels of energy. A smaller dog, in many cases, is a safer, more practical choice.
In addition, if an older dog spent his or her younger years working as a guard dog or some other sort of job that required some sort of aggression, that aggression will often remain with that dog in its later years, so if you are considering adopting an older dog into your home and you have children, get as much information about the dog’s life up to this point. If he or she has, in any way, shape or form, had aggression bred into them, you should avoid bringing that dog into your home, for the sake of the safety of your children.
Also, if you already have children and an older dog and your kids are asking for another dog, you might want to say no. Older dogs can have a problem with a younger dog coming into their territory. They can perceive your action of bringing in a new, younger dog to the household as a betrayal. This can result in fear and hostility toward the new, younger dog. If your children end up showing the new, younger dog more affection and giving more attention to the new dog, the older dog you have had for years might turn against the children out of frustration.
Rather than deal with the potential complications of the resulting relationships between your children and both a younger and older dog, it is probably best to just keep your older dog as your only dog for the duration of his or her life. Again, this recommendation comes out of concern for the safety of your children. If your older dog is the exclusive recipient of your children’s attention, he or she is much less likely to undergo any changes in his or her attitude toward your children as he or she gets older.
If you do adopt an older dog into your family and you have young children, an important rule to follow is making sure to be extra watchful of the interactions between your children and your new dog during the first few weeks. The tone that you and your children set in your interactions with your new dog will impact your future interactions with your older dog.
It’s important to get off on the right foot, so training your children about proper behavior around your older dog is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship between all parties involved. Make sure your children know that they should always avoid startling your dog. Also, make sure they know that they should not play rough with your older dog, because they might end up unintentionally hurting him or her. Also, your children should know that your older dog might want more time alone than a younger, more energetic dog.
Make sure they know how to recognize the signs (which will vary from dog to dog) that your older dog wants to play and when he or she wants to be left alone. Overall, Being gentle and compassionate is key to a healthy relationship with an older dog.
There are many benefits to adopting an older dog into your family. In many cases, older dogs can make a wonderful addition to your family and can become a beloved pet. However, as with many aspects of life, education is the key to success. Make sure you follow the rules listed above to ensure the best possible prospect of success between your children and older dogs.