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23 - Coach appropriate behavior for greeting children

23 - Coach appropriate behavior for greeting children

Dogs need to learn how to approach children calmly without bumping into them, jumping up or knocking them over. This can be overwhelming and frightening for small children. Most children love to be involved with training the family dog. Parents can help both the dog and child to get things safe and right.

  1. This exercise is best done with two adults and a child. One adult holds the dog on a collar and leash about 1m (3–4ft) away. Make sure that the dog cannot rush forward to make contact with the child. Another adult stands behind the child to quietly coach and give support.
  2. As the adult holding the dog allows him to move towards the child, encourage the child to throw a tasty treat on the floor, at least 30cm (1ft) in front of them. This will distract the dog from rushing.
  3. Repeat until the dog begins to look for the treat on the floor, rather than rush right up to the child.
  4. Increase the distance slightly and have the dog move towards the child again. The child’s supporting adult should help to time the treat throwing, so that it gets the dog’s attention as he approaches. Gradually build up the distance so that the dog develops the habit of stopping short of a child, rather than running right in and mugging them.

It can be very frightening for a child if an excitable dog rushes up

Even a friendly and well meaning dog can be scary when he is much bigger than you are

The dog will learn to slow down and approach children appropriately

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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