Dogs and Children

Dogs for kids: friends or foes?
The dogs and kids theme is quite difficult. The difficulties as a rule are caused by parents' emotions and prejudices but not kids' behavior. Many sources informing about dogs and kids contacts point out that children should not be left alone with dogs in any case.
But many parents consider their dog to be the most peaceful and friendly and loves their kids so much to allow it to do anything possible: pull on dog's tail and ears, push, pinch, tease, wake, take out toys and food, sit on its bed etc. This is the most frequent mistake.
Buying a dog for their child, many parents think that the status of their kid initially is more important than a dog's status. Unlike a dog, a child is a person, though a little one. Therefore a child is able to do anything to a dog: they will not restrict child' actions because of some dog!
But any action from above mentioned may cause a conflict between a dog and a child. As a result, a dog may do a harm to your child, physically and mentally. And then your child's fear of dogs will be only your fault. Of course, after the conflict happened, parents punish a dog or try to get rid of it.

Family dogs for kids. The world by dog's eyes.
You probably have seen a lot of articles titled A Dog Has Bitten A Child!, A Dog Assaulted A Child!, In The Result Of A Game A Dog Has Bitten A Child! They are the conclusion of initially wrong attitude to a dog status.
You should distract from common views and statuses of society and look at the world by dog's eyes in the order to understand it. Canine experts consider, that dogs use many signals expressing its attitude to the world around.
Many parents choose a small dog for a kid believing that it would be very patient and peaceful and would let your dog do anything the child wants. But it would not! As any living being, a dog is exposed to be stressed. On of a kind - child's teasing. Individual ability of a dog to reduce stress, its health condition, stress of previous days, inborn sensitivity - this is a short cut list of factors that affect threshold of sensitivity and reaction to stress. Independent on dog breed, healthy, young, mentally balanced dogs will be better for children, than old, thick, irritated and nervous dogs.

Dogs and kids. The signals of interaction.
Dog uses a lot of signals for communication. If a dog does not like something while communication with a child, it begins to growl loud. If a child ignores it in this case as well, the volume of growling grows and dog's behavior becomes more aggressive and then the fact that a dog attacks a child will not be surprising.
We should admit, that there is no any best dog breed for kids. A dog of any breed will be acceptable, if it will be treated carefully and friendly in a family. The most important is to react the right way to its signals. There is one important circumstance - a dog will always follow all the stages of warning. That's why in a situation that it unpleasant for it, a dog may express its displeasure and give a warning signal.
If the owners will treat a dog rude, not admit its mood changes that shows its displeasure, any dog will not be able to become a good dog for their child. Because any unpleasant situation will be taken by dog with aggression. And communication of a child with such a dog, of course, will be not only not desirable, but also really dangerous.

A baby and a dog - is it possible?
If you have a baby, think it over very well before purchasing a dog. First of all, babies of such a tender age are likely to have allergy for dogs. Second, a dog can react to baby behavior not always positive.
Babies are likely to cry, scream often. This causes huge stress of a dog, the influence of which on dog's behavior was described before. Dogs can't stand sharp moves, general noise, that babies may create while play with toys.
A dog may be also irritated by chaotic touches to its body. It is natural for their psychology. A dog will not like if a baby will embrace it, grip its snout, stroke or pat its head or just put a hand on a dog's head.

The best dog breed for children: a myth or reality?
There are a lot of questions at purchase of a dog: What dog to choose for a child? Is there is a dog breed that is the best for a kid? In fact, there is not answer for these questions. A dog of any breed will be good for a child if it has the right breeding and training.
Not everyone knows, that a dog is able to endure any actions of a child, if it is especially trained to it. Well-bred, balanced dog will react to irritating actions with signals of tolerating or try evade it. If there is no any special training, dogs become nervous and aggressively attack children.
To make a dog of any breed a friend of a child, you need to turn attention that a dog and a child do not use the same plates, toys, spoons, beds etc. A dog may think, that a child tries to take its food or things and it may lead to a conflict.

Dogs and little children: rules of good breeding.
In the order to avoid conflicts between dogs and kids, parents should constantly educate children. Children should know, that their natural behavior can become a reason of their conflict with a dog. They should make it clear, that not any dog is able to endure their wishes and wills.
Parents must always repeat to a child different types of behavior of their dog. If there is a need - a dog is tired, wants to have a rest, it should be given this possibility to stay alone. In the case, when a dog gives signals of tolerating, the play with a kid should be stopped and a child taken from it.
Of course till the definite age (10-12 y.o.) children are not able to distinguish to understand the signals, that a dog gives, or to evaluate its psychological state and mood. That's why all the responsibility for dog watching lays on parents, who are to keep an eye on it while play with a child. Never leave a child and a dog alone! Photos from Internet may show you what happens if a dog plays with a dog alone.
Only right dog training, upbringing of your child, strict control over their games may really make them friends. When a dog will be ready for everything for your child, it will not betray it in any situation!