Dog Training: Tips for Getting the Kids Involved
As most families with dogs know quite well, young children and pups have a way of truly understanding and enjoying each other that makes having a dog a wonderful experience.
If you are ready to adopt a four-legged friend, it is important to take the time to properly train your new pup. Just as you wouldn’t let your kids run rampant all over the place, your new family member also needs to be taught the correct way to behave. Let your kids know the importance of having a well-trained dog, and that they will get to help out in teaching your pup good manners and fun tricks. To help make this as easy as possible, check out the following ideas:
Try to Use the Same Commands
Even fairly young children can understand how confusing it would be to have different family members use different words to tell the dog what to do. Sit down with your kids and let them know the different words you plan to use — for example “down” when the dog jumps up on you or the counter and “come” when you want the pup to run over to you. In order to help make sure your training is consistent as possible, you might consider incorporating wearable training tools like SportDOG collars, at least at first. SportDOG products can encourage your dog to behave and help him or her learn the ropes as soon as possible; the wearable tools will serve as a backup to what you and your kids are trying to teach. If you enjoy playing outside with your dog and your property is not fully fenced, SportDOG also offers invisible fences that can keep your new family member safely in your yard.
Teach the Kids to Ignore Jumping
As the American Kennel Club notes, many dogs naturally love to jump up on their beloved owners once they return home. Teach your kids that when your dog does this, they are to turn their backs on him or her until the pup settles down. You can also ask your kids to politely teach this trick to their friends and relatives who visit, and they can demonstrate how well it works — they will probably love sharing this tip with others.
Show the Kids Some Basic Commands
Most basic skills, including teaching your dog to sit, come and walk on a leash can easily be taught to kids. Start with a fairly easy command like “sit” and demonstrate to your kiddos how to hold a dog biscuit or other small treat right above your dog’s nose, and then move it slowly back over their head while saying “sit.” In order to follow the scent of the yummy treat, the dog will typically move back into a sitting position — as soon as your pup does this, have your child enthusiastically praise your dog and give her the treat. Over time, your dog will sit after hearing the command, even if food is not part of the process — but praise should always be given. If your new family member is on the bossy side, having him “sit” before getting any type of reward is a good idea — encourage your children to require your dog to “sit” as a way of saying “please” before getting their meals, being allowed on the couch or having a ball thrown.