Your Puppy’s Development in His New Family

david - Posted on 02 December 2010

When you have brought a new pup home, there are many things that contribute to his development in his new abode. You need to take care of his physical needs – good food, adequate clean water, vaccinations on schedule, a dog bed near your bed if you are not willing or able to have him sleep beside you, leashes and harnesses, medical treatment at need, and so on.

However, you also need to be ready for his introduction to your children if you have them. Puppies and children are naturally attracted to each other, perhaps showing how long the symbiosis between the two species has continued and how deeply it runs. Generally speaking, when puppies are put into a room with children, the young dogs will make a beeline for the kids, and the young humans will make a beeline for the pups.

Golden retrievers (much like French bulldogs, in the author’s experience) tend to be extremely gentle and tolerant with children, and there is practically no chance of aggression under most circumstances. However, this fact does backfire somewhat the other way – no matter what the kids do to the dogs, there will be no protest or warning from the dog, who will basically just sit there and “take it” much of the time.

So, it is a good idea to supervise children and pups when they are together, especially when either one is quite small. Small children may have no idea that doing certain things can produce injury in their beloved dog, so you need to be present to bring your far greater knowledge to bear on the situation and to step in if things seem to be getting out of hand – patiently and calmly, but firmly, is the attitude that produces good results without generating resentment.

Another important thing is to train your dogs to recognize that although your children are juveniles, they are also able to give the dog orders when necessary. In short, your kids outrank your golden retriever in the pack. Your dog should be taught that the training you have given them – “Come,” “Sit”, “Heel” – applies just the same when your children say it as when you say it.

Again, of course, you need to make sure your kids don’t do anything with their power to injure the dog – since this will teach the dog that obeying a command results in punishment for some reason. With a modicum of supervision, though, your children and your dogs will have a wonderful time together.