All Things Dog

Childproofing your puppy

We all want our puppies to be at their best in any situation, and this includes behaving well with children - this means no barking, nipping or wrestling. The challenge is that children can be loud and may startle a puppy by moving around him quickly. Some puppies may react to this aggressively, or may think that the child is a littermate and, as a result, may play roughly.

Teaching children what behavior is acceptable around puppies goes a long way to ensuring that your puppy will respond in kind, but when children are very young they may not understand that their actions can be irritating or scary to a puppy. The answer is to socialize your puppy with children slowly, and always while under supervision. Childproofing your puppy is also a good idea, but should not replace supervision.

Using games such as "Shout it out," "How does that grab you?" or "How about a hug?" will educate your puppy and teach you how he is likely to respond in certain situations. If at any time during training you have questions or concerns, ask your veterinarian to recommend a training or behavior professional who can help.

Shout it out
Some puppies may be confused or frightened by a child's natural tones. To help your puppy feel more comfortable around different tones and volumes get him used to abrupt noises. Stand a few feet away from your puppy, and suddenly say, "Pup!" Follow this immediately with warm praise. Encourage your puppy to come to you, and reward him with a treat. When your puppy seems unruffled by abrupt noises raise the volume slightly. Work up to yelling, "Pup!" Make this a game that always ends with warm praise and petting. Do not use an angry voice. Practice instead with a variety of volumes and tones. Have fun. If your puppy won't come to you, or looks upset, speak to him in a softer voice and praise him with more enthusiasm. Make a recording of children having noisy fun and play it daily when your puppy is eating. Start softly, and, over a period of days increase the volume a bit at a time. Soon your puppy will wag his tail when he hears children playing loudly.

How does that grab you?
Children may not mean to startle your puppy when they grab at him, and may be surprised if he responds aggressively. One way to help prevent this scenario is to educate children on how to treat puppies, and to get your puppy used to any eventuality, including being grabbed at. As you pet your puppy, gently grab hold of some skin and wiggle it. Praise him, give him a treat, then release and praise some more. When he accepts this happily, repeat the action a little bit faster and more firmly, but not harshly. This should never be painful. If it is done playfully, with praise and treats, your puppy will soon associate this type of grabbing with fun.

How about a hug?
Children love to hug puppies. This should be discouraged, but just in case, prepare your puppy. While you are praising your pup, give him a quick, gentle hug and then release. Praise him again and give him a treat. Over a few days, as your puppy comes to accept the hug, slowly hold for longer periods. Always release your puppy before he gets frightened or uncomfortable. Work up to a twenty to thirty second hug, followed by lots of praise. Don't rush him. The idea is to make this fun.

Slowly socializing your puppy with children will help things to go as smoothly as possible. Again, always supervise your puppy - childproofing him is not a substitute but it may help your puppy to feel more comfortable when spending time with children.

Recommended For You

Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

Sign up on this site
We just need a little information.
All fields required.
FIRST NAME
PassedFailed
LAST NAME
PassedFailed
EMAIL
PassedFailed
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
the address you provide here.
PASSWORD
PassedFailed
password must contain between 6 - 10
characters, no spaces.
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
This will help us provide you with information
that's specific to your area.
Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Go to last step >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
information below:
EMAIL
PassedFailed
STREET ADDRESS
PassedFailed
CITY
PassedFailed
STATE
PassedFailed
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
-
-
PassedFailed
Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Submit >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
MOBILE PHONE #
-
-
PassedFailed
You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
Submit >
View our Privacy Policy.
Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter > The Feed E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Or log in to the PEDIGREEĀ® website using the fields below
EMAIL
PASSWORD
Having trouble with your password?
Click Here
Forgot your password?
No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
EMAIL
Password sent
Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
We're always happy to be of assistance.
Close x