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With Christmas just a few days away, you might be thinking that a new puppy would make the perfect gift for your loved ones. Like any responsible dog parent, lots of special care and planning should be taken before introducing a new puppy to your children, especially if they’re younger. By not doing so, you run the risk of turning this should be “unforgettable meeting” into a complete disaster. If you have already gifted a puppy (or are thinking about doing so), here are 3 quick tips to abide by this holiday season!
1. Talk to your children about expectations and proper handling
In order to do this, you don’t have to ruin the surprise effect if you don’t want to. However, you should be sure to make clear with your children that a puppy is a serious responsibility and needs to be treated with care just like another human being. Make this the first thing you explain once your child has calmed down a little bit from their initial excitement. Discussing certain expectations with your kids will help them avoid accidents with the new puppy and prevent any misunderstandings. You should also teach them how to gently handle and approach dogs before letting them too close for a long period of time. It’s important to explain to your children which actions are and aren’t allowed with the new puppy.
2. Socialize your puppy
It’s always a good idea to socialize the puppy with other people before that initial meeting between them and your children. If it’s possible, let your new puppy be exposed to as many different people as possible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s other children or adults. The goal of this is to let the new puppy get as comfortable as possible around other humans. Doing this will make things a lot easier when they first meet your kids.
3. Leash up
Although many dog parents are not so fond of keeping dogs on a leash anymore, leashing up still provides an easy method for keeping the puppy under control (especially for that initial meeting). New puppies tend to be really impulsive and playful, so it’s normal for them to easily get carried away with rough play. Because of the lack of training that new puppies have, they can bite back when they get hurt or don’t like something your child does. Nobody wants their children to be bitten on the first meeting, right?
At the end of the day, these tips are only meant to lessen the chances of conflicts between your new puppy and your children. Once your puppy gets used to living with children, they become even more docile and more manageable than before. We hope this helps! Merry Christmas!