Your Children and the Family Dog Playing Together
- If your kids are under the age of eight, there should always be an adult supervising the play activity or any activity between the kids and your family dog.
- Never “play rough” in the house. Kids playing rough with the dog is never a good idea and we don’t want to introduce rough play and crazy canine excitement as the norm inside the house.
- Have your dog on a leash when he is playing with the kids. This allows you to easily separate them if you feel anything is getting out of hand.
- Teach your kids not to push and poke the dog as a part of playtime. This quickly heightens adrenaline and emulates a “tag, you’re it” environment. Your dog will respond by nipping and jumping. This is normally a frightening experience for the kids.
- Never play “tug-of-war”. Your kids’ hands will get too close to your dog’s mouth. As your dog tries to reacquire the “tug-of-war”, he might mistakenly bit your kid. Again, this is not a good experience for your child.
- Play games like “chase the ball”. Get four or five tennis balls and have your kids throw one out for your dog. As he gets the first ball, throw the second and have your dog chase after the second. Continue this process while you are picking up the discarded tennis balls and throw them.
- Hide toys and goodies around the yard and then have the kids encourage your dog (by pointing and calling him) to find them. Praise him when he does.
- Practice obedience commands with your dog. Have the kids call him to them with the “come” command. Walk him on a leash in a circle around the yard. Teach him to sit.