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What could be more delightful than a blossoming friendship between a child and a puppy? Some kids have a natural way with dogs, though this may not always be the case. So, why leave things to luck? Get kiddo to develop a rapport with his pet pup right from the start. Like humans, puppies have their likes and dislikes, too. Show him how to identify these and build a loving bond with his puppy.
Here are ways to encourage puppy love in junior:
Showing is telling. So, go ahead, and sit beside your puppy with your toddler snuggled on your lap. Hold your hand under the pup’s nose, allowing him to sniff. Then, gently guide your tot’s hand towards the pet’s nose. At first, he will be frightened, but will slowly allow the pup to sniff. Speak calmly to him, saying, “You don’t have to be afraid. He won’t bite you. He is only sniffing”. Gradually, introduce him to other pet-loving gestures, such as paw-shaking and massaging to make your tot familiar with the pup.
Share dos and don’ts
Thereare certain things that humans do, which dogs cannot stand! For one, try playing with your dog’s toys, bones, or food bowls, and see how aggressive your pet gets. So, if your tot takes away the dog’s toy, explain to him patiently that it belongs to the pup and he shouldn’t take it. Warn him that dogs like to be undisturbed while eating. Ask him, “Would you like it if your baby sister took away your plate while eating?” If he decides to wake up the puppy while he’s asleep, point out that it is rude to do so. Caution him never to tease the puppy with his shoes or sit right before the pup’s face, which can upset the four-legged family member.
Reward caring behaviour
Whenever junior behaves well with the puppy, praise him to the skies. Positive reinforcement works like magic! For instance, if he fondly caresses the pup’s back or speaks to the pup with love, tell him he’s doing a great job and that’s the way to go.
Soon, the pair will be inseparable. The pup will show love through tail wags, puppy kisses, late-night lap snuggles, comforting nose nudges, and puppy dog eyes, and your tot will discover ways to shower back this love.
Supervise puppy play
But, while your tot and the puppy develop a sweet bond, ensure that you never leave your toddler alone with the pup as kids are naturally unpredictable and canines could hurt a child unintentionally.
Happy puppy love!