So after months and months of begging and pleading, you finally gave in and bought your kids a little puppy. Owning a dog, for a child and an adult, can be such a rewarding and enriching experience. It teaches kids about responsibility and loyalty and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle together. A puppy is a real addition to the family, but if the right training and discipline doesn’t occur from the outset, the cute little dog could turn into your worst nightmare, and that’s not fair on you, the kids or your pet. So, in order to keep the whole family happy, here are a few ways to include you children when it comes time to train your puppy.
- Play and exercise together. Getting a dog is a great incentive to get fit. Puppies seem to have boundless energy to run for miles and miles, and someone has to keep up with them. Fortunately for you, kids tend to have a similar surplus of energy, so they work pretty well together. Involving your children in walking and playing with your puppy will keep your puppy healthy and happy and create a real sense of a pecking order in the dog’s life. Playing games of fetch at the park or even just going out for a good run with the dog is a great way for your kids to bond with their new pet. Ensuring that the dog is on a leash and encouraging your kids to use the leash in the right way will help with your puppy’s overall obedience.
- Teach your kids the basic commands. Puppies, like children, are very quick learners, as long as they are being rewarded when they do things right. Having your kids teach the dog all the basic commands is not only fun, but it’s also a great learning exercise for all involved. Once the puppy understands the rewards based system, they will be obedient for life. It’s important not to scold the puppy when they do something wrong, just maintain the rewards when they do something right.
- Give your kids a schedule. Kids work well when there is routine involved, and the same can be said for puppies too. We’re all animals after all. Be sure to create a schedule for your kids to stick to. Don’t treat feeding your dog as a chore, otherwise the kids will start to see it that way and will probably try to avoid the task. Involve them in the process of preparing the food and serving it to the puppy and you’ll see their faces light up when the puppy responds with love and excitement.
- Keep it fun. For children, owning a dog should be about fun and affection, not just responsibility. Your daughter might want to dress the puppy in clothes and put it in the stroller, so it’s important allow for this kind of thing while still maintaining a level of understanding that the puppy isn’t a toy. There are a great number of dog accessories on the market today that are specifically tailored for different doggy needs. Head over to your localRockstar Puppy Boutique or shop online, to get an idea of the vast range of items that are on the market which cater to all of your puppy’s needs.