First you will need to understand how dogs view people. You will have to think like a dog.
A dog out in the wild lives in a pack. They are no different than a wolf. There is a leader who lets each dog know their place in the pack. Some will be hunters and others will take care of puppies.
This will be the same for a dog or puppy in your family. Your dog sees you as his pack family. It is your family’s job to let the puppy know his place.
What can you do to help your dog be a good pack member?
Skyler Staats a dog trainer says, “Go with your parents to the dog obedience class. This way you learn how to handle your new puppy.”
Dogs don’t like to be grabbed or hit. They have bad days, too. Remember sometimes you just want to be left alone. If your dog is sick or is sleeping, leave him alone. When he is ready to play, he’ll let you know.
Never go near a dog while they are eating or chewing a bone. Your dog may think you’re trying to take away his tasty treat.
Should you walk up to a dog you don’t know?
No! Never walk up to a strange dog. The dog may think you’re going to hurt him and bite you.
What should you do if a strange dog is alone?
Don’t run! The dog may chase and bite you. Don’t scream! Dogs see this as a threat and may attack. Never stare a dog in the eye. Just slowly walk away and find a safe place. Tell an adult about the lost dog. They will get the dog help.
Always ask the owner of a dog if it’s ok for you to pet their dog.
Skyler suggests, “Let the dog come to you. Never walk up to him. Make a fist and hold it out for him to sniff.”
Dogs like to smell people before letting you pet them. It is their way of getting to know you and saying hi. By making a fist a dog won’t have any fingers to nip if they are startled.
Skyler also says, “Never pet a dog on his head. They will think you are play biting. Pet the dog under their chin and move your way to their back. Some dogs will let you pet their bellies. This is a sign of trust.”
Remember dogs have feelings. They don’t like their ears and tails pulled, to be poked anywhere, or hit. Think of your puppy as a brother or sister. Would you want them to hit, poke, or grab you?
Skyler Staats, dog trainer at Pawsitive Pooch
14 years experience
Phone number: (435)674-7269
Dogs and Kids, by: Karen Peak, dog trainer at West Wind Training
Dog Breed Info Center www.canismajor.com/dog/kidsdog1.html
Kids And Dogs: Safety First, by: Norma Bennett Woolf Dog Owner’s Guide-The online magazine for all pets and showdog owners www.canismajor.com/dog/kidsdog1.html