The Dog and Children

On one side, wonders are spoken about the close relation between a dog and a child, and on the contrary, social alarm bells ring when a dog attacks a child.Why this contradiction? There are many reasons. In first place, few dogs really like children. All dogs love, defend and protect only the children of their families, but hardly tolerate others. This is a direct consequence of imprinting, cause the dog sees a puppy instead of a child.

How are adults and puppies related in a natural state?: The answer is easy: adults respect, defend and protect only their pack's puppies. This is because in wolf packs only dominant males (in some cases only the pack's leader, always a male) can couple with females. Therefore, it could happen that if a dominant male treats a puppy aggressively, he could be killing his own descendants. As a puppy of few months has no ways of defending himself from an adult male, this must have strong inhibitions to attack puppies from his own pack. However, those inhibitions completely disappear when puppies are not from the pack, because they are not from the dominant male, but perhaps from a "intruder" that could challenge his dominant position. Conclusion is dramatic, but logic from nature's point of view: the dominant male attacks and kills those puppies without any doubt. In a natural state this situation is not frequent, cause each pack lives in their own territory, and fights seldom occur. This example is to explain why dogs respect, natural and instinctively, his puppies, that means the children of his house, but does not feels the same for others. If he does (and usually happens) is because he is a good animal, and to a lesser degree, cause his owner has taught him not to "hunt" children. To all these add that most children do not know the canine rules for socialization, and their behavior may turn uneasy the most peaceful dog in the world. An example of typical children behavior is to look at the dog's eyes, among other things, because he is at his same height; for a kid to look directly to the eyes is a signal of sincerity and respect, that in many cases has been taught by their parents (please look at me while I'm talking to you), but for a dog is a challenging signal, a fighting invitation. Besides that, kids use to make too much noise, gesticulate excessively, and bother without being aware of it; the problem is the dog cannot say "ok, that's all, I'm fed up". His only way is growling, and if not heard, the next step is to bite, though in most occasions is just a warning. Therefore, parents should teach their children that dogs are nottoys, but good beings, sensible to pain, that as anybody, dislike to be bothered, and that can react if provoked, as well as other children, with the only difference that their mouths are bigger and their teeth sharper than those of his friends. Then a good number of aggressiveness episodes can be prevented. There is another important factor that intervenes in aggressive dog's reactions: predatory instinct. Many parents don't know the existence of this instinct, that is crucial in almost all dramatic cases related with children.

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