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DOGICA® 3D World of Dog & Puppy



DOG vs KIDS - This image (c) by Viktoria Haack !

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Kid vs Canine: Safety

Dogs and kids, puppies and children
This article proudly presented by

dogs & children

dogs & children

dogs & children

Dogs and kids, puppies and children - WHY KIDS NEED DOGS?

Dogs and kids, puppies and children
This article proudly presented by
Wendy Glauser


Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Simple dos and don'ts to help prepare your child for safe canine encounters
While petting or even just watching a dog can bring joy to a child, kid-canine encounters can also be unpredictable. This X factor is understandably nerve-racking for parents. "Toddlers and preschoolers are at the same eye level as most dogs," says Evan Jones, father of four year old Anneke and two year old Merrick. "When you first realize that as a parent, it makes sense that it's kind of scary for kids," says the Halifax dad. Fortunately, by teaching your child early on about the dos and don'ts of interacting with dogs, you can help protect him from the trauma of an injury or a lingering fear of Fido.

Don't Pet a Dog before Asking the Owner
Occasionally, Dave Bertrand's Bernese mountain dog, Logan, will let out a frightening bark around kids he never bites, when a child runs toward him, hands outstretched. "Approach slowly and ask the owner if your child can pet the dog," says Bertrand, of Waterloo, Ont. By teaching your preschooler to ask, he'll be more likely to repeat this safety measure in the future. Paula Neuman, humane education manager of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, stresses that parents should stay clear of dogs when owners aren't around. Bites often happen when children stick their fingers through a fence or car window, which dogs interpret as a trespassing move by an uninvited guest. Plus, dogs left alone tethered in a yard for long periods tend to get aggressive, adds Neuman.

Do Let Dogs Warm Up to Children
Children should never approach a dog from behind, as this may startle it. After receiving permission to approach the dog, your child should always be encouraged to let the animal sniff the back of his hand as a greeting before petting it. Neuman recommends children first pet under the chin. "Everyone is tempted to pet the dog on the top of the head first, but anything over the top of the eyes can be seen as a sign of aggression."

Do Teach When Not to Approach Dogs
When Neuman teaches dog safety in schools to children in Kindergarten to Grade 6, she shows photos of dogs resting, munching kibble and sitting, or with puppies, each time asking, "Is this a good time to pet a dog?" The exercise reinforces to children to be careful when they approach dogs. When eating, some dogs tend to think approaching children are after their food and may respond aggressively, she says. The idiom "Let sleeping dogs lie" points to the fact that dogs are often confused or startled when they are woken up and therefore may bite.

Do Be Careful When Holding Toys or Food
Tear-inducing nips are often accidental, with little fingers getting in the way when dogs are trying to get a toy or treat. Neuman tells kids to put a treat on a flat, open palm so that dogs can lick it off. Parents should be equally vigilant when kids are holding people food by making sure the food isn't accessible to the dog. "My dog is food-aggressive," explains Neuman, who points out a mouth-level snack in the hands of a kid might be impossible for her dog, and many dogs, to resist. To avoid bites resulting from overly excited dogs during a game of fetch, Neuman recommends children use a plastic "chuck-it" contraption so they can pick up the ball without using their fingers. Alternatively, your child can use two balls, so he can throw the second while the dog is still focused on the first and pick up the first while the dog is off running after the second.

Teach kids to ignore stray dogs:
Remind kids that every dog is not friendly. If a dog approaches while they are walking to school, kids should not make eye contact or try to run. Instead, they should stand still (like a tree) until the dog loses interest and walks away. If kids are on the ground when a stray approaches, they should curl up into a ball and cover their head until the dog passes.

Donัt Let Your Guard Down at Home
While parents tend to fret when their little ones meet strangers' dogs or strays in parks or during walks, the majority of dog bites happen when children are familiar with the animal, says Neuman. No matter how child-friendly a dog might seem, close supervision is always required. Children tend to run when they are scared or excited, which can trigger a dog's chasing instinct. Remind your child to move at a relaxed pace if near one. Kids should also be taught to never hug a dog or pull its tail or ears. While some animals may tolerate this, most won't respond well to such treatment. Kids are also less likely to be able to read a dog's body language and may miss important clues, such as growling, that indicate the dog is not enjoying the interaction.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

When you think of a good "family dog," a Labrador or Golden Retriever probably comes to mind. It's true, they are but almost any breed will make an excellent addition to your family. Unless a dog is inherently fearful or aggressive, teaching both him and your child(ren) how to behave with each other will turn even the most menacing-looking canine into an excellent family companion. When I was 3, my first dog a Rottweiler put up with my attempts to ride her around like a pony, among other things.

Dogs and Kids, Dogs and Children

Having a dog that takes children in stride, being able to let him meet and play with kids in confidence, is wonderful unless you don't like kids, but then you wouldn't have read this far. Watching your child play catch with your dog in the yard, or capturing them catching a "catnap" together is priceless. There is potential for a wonderful bond between your child and a dog that considers himself to be your family's guardian and companion. This relationship will be nurtured by teaching children how to behave safely while in the presence of their canine friends.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Guidelines for making your dog "child safe:"
Socialize! Make sure your pup is socialized around children while young, so he feels comfortable around all sorts of people as well as other animals. Expose your puppy to a variety of situations, a little at a time and under controlled circumstances where you know he won't feel threatened. Make sure to continue that exposure on a regular basis as your dog grows.

Basic training. Teach your dog the basic commands using positive reinforcement. "Sit," "No" and "Come" are necessary. Teaching your dog to listen to you will ensure your safety as well as his and will build a bond between the two of you. Avoid aggressive games like tug-of-war or rough housing with your dog.

Neuter your pet. The fact is, neutered dogs are less likely to bite. Be a responsible pet owner and make the choice that is safer for both your children and your dog! Neutering also prevents many health issues in the long run.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Some simple rules for people:
Never run up to or past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase things! The sudden movement of a small creature in their direction may be unusual and startling, frighten them, and even provoke prey drive in some breeds.

Always ask permission to pet the dog. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly with children, even if they appear to be! Please ask the owner before touching any dog you don't know.

Hold out a fist to let the dog sniff- while an open hand is most common, in the unlikely case the dog does try to bite, a fist is much harder to get into a mouth than a flat hand. This method also protects the fingers if the dog does nip.

Face off! While petting a dog, make sure the child isn't staring directly into his eyes or putting her face too close to the dog's. Both of these can be perceived as a threat to dog.

Learn a dog voice. Teach children not to scream or yell while run passing a dog. This behavior can over-stimulate a dog and lead to fearful or even aggressive reactions. A calm and quiet voice should be used whenever the kids are around dogs.

Practice gentle petting. Instruct children how to properly pet a dog. Make sure they understand that pinching, or pulling fur can hurt. Practice on stuffed animals, making sure they avoid the ears, eyes and tail. Gentle pets on the back or shoulder are a good way to start.

The dog should always have a place of his own. This can be a crate or even a laundry room where he can go to escape the boisterous attention of the children. Teach them to respect his space and do NOT allow them to enter his area.

Never approach a dog while he is eating, sleeping or chewing a toy. This is common sense: he may be protective of his things. In the case of a sleeping dog, when awoken he may startle and react before he knows what is going on.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

And finally, learn dog body signs and language!

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Dogs and kids, puppies and children


Dogs and kids, puppies and children

This article proudly presented by

Dr. Sophia Yin




Simple solutions for common dog - children problems
The following is a list of some common dog - child problems that arise and a list of possible solutions. For a more detailed list of behavior problems and their solutions see our Behavior and Training section.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

The dog barks and wakes up the sleeping child or baby.
Use a bark training aid or an electronic anti-barking collar.
Move the dog outside or to the basement when the baby is sleeping.
Let the dog bark and the baby will get used to it and sleep through it.

The dog runs into the child by "accident" and knocks them down.
Recognize when the behavior usually happens (when the dog is excited about going for a walk) and have the dog go into a down and stay position.
Put the dog outside when the children are practicing their walking.
Teach the child to tell the dog to sit when the dog is getting too excited.

A Cocker sitting up and begging
The dog steals the child's food or begs at the table.
Move the dog out of the kitchen during mealtime.
Have a bag of special treats that are just for the dog and discourage feeding table food.
Work on obedience training.

The dog jumps up on children.
Never allow jumping on anyone for any reason, ever.
Teach the child to raise their knee and turn their hip toward the dog when they jump.
Initiate puppy training at a very young age to prevent this behavior.

The dog growls or snaps at the children.
Develop a zero tolerance for dog aggression and institute strict obedience training for the dog.
Counsel the child on their behavior.
Eliminate the source of conflict; move the food bowl, remove the toy, install a doggie door so the dog has a place where he can sleep or be left alone.

The child comes in contact with dog feces.
Accompany the dog outside and clean up after him immediately.
Have the dog's toilet area in a different place than the play area.
Pay the child 25 cents as a reward for each "pile" they report for clean up.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

For more information of how to keep your children & dogs happy and safe together - Read this leaflet
from RSPCA !


This article proudly presented by


Dogs can teach kids responsibility, compassion, and cooperation - all while being the best playmates anyone could ask for. Before you adopt any pup, however, it's always a good idea to research the best kind of dog breed for your children and lifestyle. Some dogs do better as playmates for rambunctious older kids, while others have gentle, patient souls more suited for little ones. If you have young children at home, consider adopting an older dog as well. Temperaments can vary based on the individual animal.


How you choose can depend on your living arrangements, schedule, activity levels, and budget. When you welcome a new pet into the family, expect to provide your pup with consistent, loving training as well. Your child will also benefit from learning how to interact safely and respectfully with animals. Don't forget to create a family schedule for walking, playing, feeding, and grooming! You can choose good family dogs based on three major factors:

This is the dog's personality. You should be looking for an agreeable temperament. For instance, a calmer dog has the ability to form strong bonds and be a great companion for your kids.

Size should be looked at in relation to both temperament and energy level. Some larger dogs tend to be docile, while some smaller dogs can be excitable.

Energy level
This is a matter of preference for your family. Be realistic about the lifestyle you can provide to a dog that needs more exercise than average. If you can not meet a dog's needs, his excess energy can lead to behavior problems down the road.

With sweet, loving dog breeds like these, your crew won't be able to imagine life without their canine pal.

One of the most popular breeds all around, we have documented Labradors elsewhere as the best dog to have if you are looking for a date, the only breed accepted for training as arson dogs, and one of the more popular breeds for service dogs. For a family, there's hardly a better choice. Labradors love to please their humans, being playful, protective, loving, and reliable. There's nothing that a Lab loves more than to show off by learning a new trick, even if they manage to learn that new trick before you have taught it to them. They are canine Einsteins.

Meet the Bernese Mountain Dog. Top 2 on the list! Not only are these dogs beautiful, but they are very intelligent and easy to train as well. They are natural watchdogs, without being overly dominant, which makes them perfect to have around children. This breed actually loves children and are known to be friends for life. Like any other breed, they must be socialized well as puppies and trained firmly, but gently, as they are a sensitive breed. Due to this, they must also be kept around people and not simply put in a backyard or a kennel. It's a large breed and they are strong so you need lots of space to make this dog happy.

Goldens are almost everything a Labrador is, except with a much shorter life span then the Irish Setter, twelve years at the most, but ten more likely. Their main asset is extreme patience, useful around children, as well as their high energy. Frequently used as service dogs, they were originally bred as gun dogs and are avid swimmers.

The great advantage of bulldogs? They are sturdy, so they can take anything that rambunctious kids throw at them, while they're not very energetic. End result? A dog that will put up with a lot. They're also not picky about where they live, so both small apartments and large houses are fine.

If you don't mind a bit of high maintenance when it comes to brushing and bathing, Charlie Brown's best friend is an ideal dog for families with children. Energetic and friendly, beagles are also sturdy and mostly child-proof, and your kids will wear out before they do. They also make good nannies that can help you herd the young ones at bed time, and have endearingly humorous habits, like howling, which can be very amusing in small doses.

Although very tall, these dogs are mild mannered and placid, they are known for their patience around kids and are extremely gentle. The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance has a way of hiding its friendly nature. Great Dane's are often referred to as gentle giants. Great Danes are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets and humans. As with all dogs, they should be supervised around young children. Great Danes can be protective and make good guard dogs.

7. PUG
With their curly tail and scrunched up little faces, Pugs are adorable, they are incredibly good with kids and love to play. Pug dogs seem to prefer people to other animals and are extremely social creatures. Pugs faces look very serious but they are playful, charming, clever and are known to succeed in dog obedience skills. Which means they are very easy to train if you do it the right way
In general, Pugs are very attentive dogs, always at their owner's feet, in their lap, or following them from room to room.

These dogs are so lovable and so tolerant! It seems that they express real emotion and that's a very good thing for kids! They know when he's done wrong and displays signs that he feels bad, or when someone is sad and just cuddles up or brings a toy to get some play going.Bichons are small 10-20 inches, 15-30 pounds, they like to cuddle, they're smart and highly trainable. I can't think of a better dog breed to have with children! They can reach an age of 15. They don't shed, but you have to take them on a regulair baisses to the groomers like every six weeks or so.

The cocker spaniel is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn and willing to obey. An affectionate and easy-going family dog. The Spaniel considered an excellent working dog. It has exceptional stamina and needs moderate amounts of activity, and need plenty of exercise in order to run off their excess energy.It is a sociable breed that enjoys the company of children and handles the company of other pets well, except birds. If left alone for too long, they can become destructive and mischievous through boredom. They love the water, and tend to get wet whenever they have the chance!

The St. Bernard is a gentle giant. He is intelligent and makes an excellent guard dog for family and children. Saint Bernards are famous for how good they are with children. They seem to have an innate understanding for how children think and behave, and are incredibly patient with them. They are gentle with little ones, and go out of their way not to hurt them. A Saint Bernard owner will have to protect his Saint Bernard from the children, as they might try to ride him like a horse! Saint Bernards are awesome family pets if you don't mind having a gigantic dog being part of your family, if you don't mind a lot of slobber and if you don't mind a lot of fur. A Saint Bernard is intelligent, and incredibly strong, so you need to start obedience training when they are young! They will learn bad habits just as efficiently as they will learn good ones, so you do not want a giant, strong dog running your house! They aren't that easy to train as they can be independent, and occasionally stubborn. They are quick to housetrain, however. Saint Bernards were bred to be search and rescue dogs, and they need daily exercise and mental stimulation. However, they are not terribly active dogs, so they will need some incentive to exercise.

The Basset is gentle in disposition and devoted to master and family. He has a deep, baritone musical voice. Although normally placid, he has surprising agility and energy on the hunt. Because Bassets are scent hounds, they should always be on a leash when out on walks. He is an independent dog by nature so needs discipline training in order to be an ideal housepet. Even though Bassets sleep a lot, walks are still necessary. The Basset Hound is a friendly dog, to people and other pets, and makes an excellent companion for children. I remember when I was a child that our chicken did eat at the same time as our dog did out of his bowl! Basset Hounds are extremely loyal to and very much attached to their owners. This dog hates to be left alone and owners should recognize that Bassets can be stubborn and provide gentle correction where required. Bassets are highly social and are best situated as a family dog with a large, fenced back yard.

Originally used as companion dogs, these little dogs are also good with children, their long hair can be hard to maintain but if being kept as a pet, you can trim it short. Shih Tzu's are very social dogs and love being with people. They tend to be sweet, playful, and trusting as well. Shih Tzu's don't need as much exercise as larger dog breeds, but do suffer from the same difficulties as most small breed dogs due to having a smaller bladder. Shih Tzu's are great dogs for inside. They do not shed hair and leave it all over the furniture. They love to sit on your lap in a warm cozy couch. Shih Tzu's are small enough to take anywhere. I'm sure you have seen Paris Hilton carry hers around like an accessory in her bag!

Unfairly branded as an aggressive animal, the Bull Terrier was actually bred to be a companion dog-friendly and loving towards grown-ups and kids alike. This well-framed dog also has a high threshold for pain, making it perfect for rambunctious children who are learning how to properly treat dogs. Keep in mind that your Bull Terrier may often have mischief on its mind, especially when it comes to other small animals and dogs. Avoid problems by keeping your pet mentally and physically active every day. Their short, flat coat is easy to care for, and the breed does best as a housedog with easy access to a yard for play.

One word: Lassie. In fact, Lassie was one of the two dogs, (the other was Rin Tin Tin) who inspired a very young Cesar Millan to become a Pack Leader in the first place. While its long coat is high maintenance, its tendency to herd your children may be useful, at least in their early years. Beyond that, collies love nothing more than to make their humans happy, and it's really not a stretch to imagine that you could train yours to alert you to a fire in the barn, or to remind you that you've left your cell phone on the dining room table before rushing off to work with a well-timed bark and whine. Sadly, though, no one has yet been able to train this breed to cook.

"Weiner dogs" or "doxies," as they are sometimes called, pack a spunky personality in their little bodies. They tend to be loyal lap dogs and cuddlers who love to give kisses.Doesn't shed and requires minimal grooming (short-haired/smooth-coat variety)

Because of their natural love of children, the Newfoundland has been dubbed "Nature's Nannies." Large and sweet, it's hard not to fall in love with them, and they will return the favor. While they can drool and shed a lot, and suit a family with large open spaces, they will also tend to wind up wherever the family is. Basically, they are gigantic, loveable furballs who desire nothing more than to keep watch on their pack members.

Originally a middle-European hunting dog, and little known outside of its native Hungary, the Vizsla is gentle, loyal, quiet and affectionate. It does require a lot of exercise - not a problem if you have energetic children. Still, it prefers to spend a lot of time indoors with its family, and is very eager to learn and show off. If you want to teach your children by teaching them to train dogs, then this breed is a good choice.

The fluffy Keeshond is an attention craving, family friendly breed that looks like a smaller version of a Samoyed or Husky. Keeshonds quickly become a part of the family and are generally great playmates for kids.

A better choice for families with yards because of their energy, Irish Setters are wonderful with children, because they are playful and energetic. One word of warning, though, their life spans are among the shorter ones for larger breeds, so you should only choose an Irish Setter if you want to teach those inevitable life lessons while your children are in middle school. Twelve years is considered old age for the breed, and few make it to fifteen.

Please note, only the standard poodle is a good family dog!Miniature poodles tend to be very high strung and not suitable for families with children. Standard poodles are smart and gentle, and are good for children with allergies, as they do not shed as much as other breeds. Otherwise, they are good-natured, and make excellent playmates for children.

Maltese dogs are generally known to be sweet and gentle pups that aim to please. While they enjoy playing with kids, they are also content to spend downtime inside. The Mal-Shi or Malt-Tzu, a Maltese-Shih Tzu mix, is a hybrid breed that also scored great reviews for its good balance of energy and gentleness. Doesn't shed, careful with kids

One of the Boxers' most distinctive qualities is its love for children. They are a people oriented breed and prefer to have their pack close by. Energetic and affectionate, the Boxer needs to have plenty of exercise and playful interaction.

This good natured giant bonds instantly with its family and loves to be around his people. Gentle with children, this breed makes an ideal family pet. When he feels his pack is threatened, a Mastiff will most likely knock an intruder to the ground and lay on them until assistance arrives.

This working dog is considered affectionate and loving, although there may be an instinct to herd its family, this might not be so bad if the kiddos are running late for school. The AKC described this breed as athletic filled with clownish energy.

People oriented and lover of fun and play, the spotted Dalmatian would be an incredible addition to any family. Energetic, this breed loves to run with the kids all day long and snuggle with them at night. If the home includes horses, even better; the Dalmatian has a symbiotic relationship with horses.

If an owner can get past the drooling nature of this lovable breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux sports a calm temperament, is loyal to its pack and affectionate to a fault. Gentle with the children, this French Mastiff will also be protective of the family it loves.

Clocking in under 25 pounds, these people oriented pups wear low-maintenance "tuxedo" coats. Just like the name suggests, Boston Terriers adapt to apartment living quite handily โ€” although they will appreciate walks around the block and games with the kids.

This big and looking scary dog is totally loyal to his owner and the family. It will easily and happily allow children to play with him as with the toy. The dog will protect yourself and your kids until its alive.

Combine the portable size of a toy breed with the verve of a sporting one and you get these adorable and lively companions. Cavaliers get along with just about everybody they come across, including kids and other dogs. The silky-soft fur and heart-melting expression is just a bonus.

Alaskan Malamutes live for their pack, either human or canine. That trait comes in handy as a bred sled dog. Built to work, these powerful dogs need a leader to set a consistent training and exercise regimen. You will be rewarded with a loyal, friendly face and wagging plumed tail.

No backyard, no problem - city dwellers adore these quiet and low-maintenance pups. Their trademark "bat ears" and smaller stature physically distinguish them from their larger bulldog cousins. The prototypical Frenchie exhibits an alert, playful attitude married with easy-going adaptability.

One of the smallest dog breeds in the AKC, the Brussels Griffon can't handle roughhousing. But if your kids are up for gentle play, they will be rewarded with a loyal, intelligent pet that packs more personality than its size suggests.

If shedding is really a concern, try one of these cute pups. While no dog generates zero allergens, these silky-haired terriers grow what's referred to as a hypoallergenic coat. More importantly, Wheatens are exuberant and devoted pets that love an active playtime, especially chasing anything that moves.

The Labradoodle does well with children and can be an affectionate and gentle companion for any child. They can also be exuberant and might knock down smaller children, but they will love them with all their heart.

Bonus choice: go to your local shelter, and consider rescuing a mixed breed dog. In fact, consider a mixed breed in any case. Look for a dog that matches the energy level of your family, keeping one thing in mind: mid size and larger dogs are great for families, while small breeds are not. If you have children, avoid Chihuahuas or Yorkies or anything you could pick up with one hand. Look at terriers, retrievers, or other bigger dogs. In general, if you are not afraid of injuring it by stepping on it, then it's probably durable enough for children. Once again, though here's the most important thing to remember: Whatever dog you bring in to the family, all of the people need to be the pack leaders, whether adults or children. Follow this rule from day one, and no matter what dog you adopt, you will have an enjoyable experience.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children
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Siberian Husky
Australian Shepherd
Afghan Hound
Chow Chow
The English Toy Spaniel
Japanese Chin
Shih Tzu
Jack Russell Terrier

Dogs and kids, puppies and children



This information courtesy of


Madeline Gabriel
Angela Marcus
Michele Welton

Kids and puppies have lots in common: They are inquisitive, impatient, and easily excited! Puppies change as they grow up, and many puppies grow into adult dogs who are wary of children. Over 60% of dog bite victims are children! That's because dogs do not view children as miniature adults. Many dogs view children as unpredictable creatures with loud voices, jerky movements, and melodramatic emotions. Many dogs do not know what to make of children. Another scary statistic: 76% of dog bite injuries to children under age 10 are bites to the face. That's tragic. To keep your dog and of course a child, from becoming one of those statistics, you have to socialize him with children. Not only as a puppy, but as he grows through his teenage months, and on into adulthood.

Create a Safe Environment
Part of socializing your dog with children means making sure all parties have a safe and calm environment. Start by prepping your home to accommodate your furry, new, family member! We have tons of tips on puppy-proofing your home and making sure it is the ideal setting for introductions and socializing.

Educate your Children
Adopting a new pet into the home often means a transition for the whole family. Make the transition easier on everyone by having a conversation with your kids before bringing home your new pet. Discuss any responsibilities your children may have and teach them how to respect animals. Kids should learn about the right way to approach a new dog and how to behave around a new dog.

Socializing your Dog with Children
Training your dog to be kid-friendly is a must for any pet owner, whether you have kids or not. A good rule of thumb is to always work on socializing your dog with children when everyone is in a good mood. Do not attempt to force a meeting with cranky, tired kids or dogs. Let the kids know that a dog's crate is their safe place, and that they should let the dog retreat to their crate when they need space. Overall, it is important to keep the experience a positive one, and to allow the dog the come to the children when the dog is ready.

Always Supervise!
Small dogs and toy breeds are good companions for kids, but they can easily get hurt during playtime. Conversely, larger dogs are sturdy and can handle rougher playtime, but they can unintentionally hurt a child. A prime rule for socializing your dog with children is: always supervise children during playtime and never let your child pick up a small dog without your permission or supervision. Even the most gentle dogs can become stressed or scared by loud noises, sudden movements, or the occasional temper tantrum!

Take Things Slow
It is important to go slow when socializing your dog with children. Even if the dog you will be adopting has lived with kids in the past, you should still make introductions slowly. The best way to socialize a dog with kids is to start early. When adopting a puppy, you can begin by training them to not jump up and to learn basic commands. This will set them up for a lifetime of good behavior.



Guide by Madeline Gabriel:

All Ages Are Not Equal!

There is much difference between infants, toddlers, preschoolers and "kids" - generally over age five. Here is how to divide up what you will allow with your own puppy:

Infants: I have to admit that I have been guilty of stalking other people's infants. It just seemed infinitely easier than having to have another baby of my own. I like my puppy to be able to see and hear babies and think nothing of them because he is busy doing something with me or just relaxing and taking in the world. I do not let him stare or get close enough to investigate the baby, of course. The baby is there - the puppy is here, all is well in the world.

Toddlers: Again, in the name of honesty, I will disclose that I avoid them like the plague if they are on the move and likely to charge at my puppy. Just the other day, I had my puppy sitting by my side watching the goings-on at a busy park path when out of nowhere, a toddler rushed us, "I am going to touch that dog!". I stepped in front of Teddy and blocked her path just as her mom scooped her up and carried her away, "You need to stop and ask! Do not rush up to dogs!". Around toddlers, my puppy gets marked for noticing them - "Yep" or click, followed by a treat and probably more click or treats as he walks away with me. Running, screaming toddlers? No big deal, let's go.

Does this sound weird or over-protective to you? "But he has to get used to toddlers so he is okay with them later! Is not that what socialization is for?" Think about it for a minute. There is nothing I want a toddler to do up close and personal with my puppy. What are the chances a 16 month old baby has a good idea? I think there is far more risk of sensitizing a puppy to being wary of toddlers if you keep rolling the dice and hoping nothing scary happens. Plus, why should toddlers be allowed to physically explore and experiment with dogs? They can have more opportunity when they are developmentally able to be successful.

Preschoolers: I like my puppy to watch preschoolers from enough distance that he is comfortable and still able to eat treats and be attentive to me. In real life, mostly you want your dog to let preschoolers do their own thing without care. Usually, puppies need at least a little bit of foundation training so they can be around exciting activity without needing to join in so I look at preschoolers as that sort of impulse control training opportunity. Do I let preschoolers "meet" my puppy? Maybe. I draw my line at the point where a child can have a reasonable conversation with me. If it is, "Doggie, Doggie, Doggie!" then it's "No, No, No!" from me. These are the very kids that need to hear, "No." And, their parents need to hear that it is not safe for kids to rush up to dogs. It does not matter if my dog is "okay" with it. The next dog might not be. Kid-Kids, Over Age Five: Kids are great! If we are talking about kids who will follow directions, that is. And, really, that's most kids if you give them clear instruction and encouragement. Kids can be a big help in puppy training and it is a nice chance to teach kids safe, kind ways of interacting with dogs.





Let the Puppy Nose His Way to the Kids
Not the other way around. This can be very hard for children to understand. They can get excited when they see a dog and want to rush up and start petting it, which can provoke a reaction from the dog. Never force your puppy to interact with a child if he does not want to. Learn your puppy's body language.

Go at your Puppy's Pace
If your puppy is nervous around children, it is important to build up his confidence slowly. Determine how close your puppy can be to children and still be comfortable. Begin pairing fun activities like playing or eating treats with your puppy seeing children at his comfortable distance. Gradually decrease the distance between your puppy and children as his confidence grows. If your puppy is fearful of kids, consult a professional, positive reinforcement dog trainer to help you with this process.

Fearful Period
Between eight and ten weeks, a new puppy is in what's called a fearful period as he explores the world. Combine that with the fact that both children and puppies are easily excited, which may lead to misunderstandings that place both on the defensive. Slow, patient interactions leave room for everyone to learn what behavior feels fun and safe.

Always Be Present
Until you are sure that the puppy and the child know how to behave around each other. Be observant and ready to step in if a situation looks like it is going wrong. You do not want your puppy to accidentally harm your child or vice versa. If you have to leave the room, put your puppy away in a child or puppy proof area - like his kennel.

Respect your Pups Space Zones
Teach your children that dogs have zones of space that should be respected. There is a public zone, a social zone, and an intimate zone. The intimate zone is a place your puppy can go to get away for some quite time, we all need it, so does your puppy. Respect that space.

Know When to Back Off
Know when to walk away from a situation that could be detrimental to the socialization process. If you know your puppy will get too excited, or that a child is going to be too much for your puppy, kindly and in some cases firmly say "no" and move away.

Approaching your Puppy
Model the way that you want your kids to approach your pup, it is best to call the pup to you, rather than approaching the pup. Once they learn this at home, they will understand the safe way to approach others dogs, too.

Include the Kids on your Walks
Your child will help you teach the puppy to obey and follow your and your child's lead. These early lessons will nurture and strengthen a healthy owner - dog relationship as both child and puppy mature.

Have your Kids Help you Take Care of the Puppy
Having a dog is a great way to set rules for your children and teach them about responsibilities. Depending on the age of your kids, they should be able and expected to walk the puppy, feed him, and clean up after him under supervision, this will help the dog to bond to the children and to be respected. Both children and puppies learn by doing.

Over-socialization or Unpleasant Socialization
Can be just as bad as insufficient socialization. Taking your puppy to the local soccer game and letting 10 children pet him at once may be overwhelming, and in some cases actually undermine the socialization process. Sit in an area where you can monitor how many children approach your puppy and end the session before your puppy can get overwhelmed or over stimulated.

Never Allow Kids to Pick up, Hug, or Heavily Pet your Puppy
Puppies that are exposed to this can learn that children are no fun and the best thing to do is avoid them all together or worse.

Do Not Allow your Puppy to Interact Roughly with Kids
When kids are running or wrestling, redirect your puppy with some obedience work, a game, an interactive toy, or put him away in a puppy-proof area that your child cannot access to prevent him from practicing bad behavior such as nipping, chasing, biting.

Never Punish your Puppy for Growling or Snapping at a Child
Instead, seek professional advice as soon as possible. You may do more harm than good by trying to correct this behavior yourself. Get help from a qualified professional dog trainer - the sooner you can put your puppy on-track, the better as the longer you let an issue fester, the worse it will get making it harder to correct.

Knowledge is the Power!
Prepare for the arrival of your new puppy in advance by researching, reading books and most important, enroll your puppy in a local puppy class where you will get sound advice on training and socializing - do not forget to bring the kids!

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1.Babies who live with dogs get sick less.
According to a study done at Kuopio University Hospital in Finland, babies who lived with dogs during the first year of their life were one third more likely to avoid respiratory illness and infection than their non-dog-owning counterparts. Many consider this to be a result of dogs causing more exposure to germs, increasing the babies' immune systems to prevent sickness. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that kids who had a dog during the first year of their life had higher immune response, with 31% fewer respiratory tract infections than those without.

2. Pets help young readers gain confidence.
Children who are learning to read often get self-conscious reading aloud around other people, but they don't have that same anxiety around animals. Reading to a dog is the perfect way for kids to gain confidence.

3. Kids with dogs have less allergies and asthma.
According to a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy, scientists have found that kids who grow up around dogs are 50% less likely to develop allergies and asthma than those who grow up without a dog.

4. Dog owners have healthier hearts.
Dog ownership has been linked to increased cardiovascular health. Being around a dog can lower your stress, blood pressure, and heart rate, leading to a healthier heart and a longer life.

5. Kids with dogs get more exercise.
It's easy to see how owning a dog would lead to spending more time outside and playing more. Dogs are a great companion for physical activities, and they require being walked if you live somewhere without a yard. All of that leads to healthier kids who are used to a more active lifestyle.

6. Dogs help reduce stress in kids with Autism.
According to a study conducted by University of Montrรฉal, the stress hormones of a child with an autism spectrum disorder are dramatically reduced when living with a trained service dog. A significant drop in behavioral problems was reported as well. Children with autism, other spectrum disorders or ADHD can experience lowered blood pressure and better cognitive and communication gains when able to participate in therapy dog programs.

7. Family pets lead to sibling bonding.
A dog in the family can help brothers and sisters grow closer through their common love of their pet. From sharing responsibilities for care, to just playing with the dog in the backyard, siblings can bond.

8. Kids who are allergic to dogs and live with them are less likely to have eczema.
According to a University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine study, children who live with a dog when they are young, and also have an allergy to dogs, are four times less likely to have eczema.

9. Dogs can help kids learn important social skills.
Growing up with a dog has been proven to help kids learn social skills, impulse control, and even improve their self esteem.

10. Kids grow up alongside a loving companion.
Dogs are always happy to see you when you get home, and their love is unconditional. They are the ideal confidant and an ever-willing playmate. There's no better friend for a child than a dog.

11. Kids who care for pets learn responsibility.
The daily commitment of caring for an animal is a great way to teach kids the importance of dependability and responsibility. To be a dog's provider is an honor that requires a lot of patience and work.

12. Kids get even cuter.
There's no denying that a child gets significantly cuter as soon as they're playing or snuggling with a dog. It's just a fact!

13. Budding fashion designers always have a muse.

14. Finding a partner in cuddling crime is a non-issue when a furry friend is around.

15. I think I can, I think I can! Children with a companion animal in the home have higher self-esteem.

16. Living with and interacting with a family pet increases empathy and compassion.

17. They won't question a pressing need to splash in some sweet puddles mid-walk.

18. Having a furry friend in the house can help instill a sense of responsibility in kids, so keep assigning those poop scooping chores. It's for their own good.

19. They will never lack for a soft pillow.

20. You think your kid is excited to jump in leaves? With a family pet, they will never have to dive alone!

21. Family pets are always down for an intergalactic adventure.

22.Kids with a dog are more likely to get out and play, taking Fido on walks and throwing a ball or toy for some catch.

23.Kids who find reading a challenge have higher success when reading to their pet. Researchers posit that this can be the result of lowered stress when in the presence of Mr. Whiskers.

24.It's important for a kid to have a partner in crime to share special life moments with.

25.Pets can be there for comfort when things get real.

26.What is the cost of a rescued shelter animal for the family? Usually, a low adoption fee that typically includes the first round of shots and a spay / neuter procedure.

27.Feeling loved unconditionally? Priceless.

28.Any monsters under the bed are gonna find themselves outnumbered by the A Team. (The "A" stands for adorable.)

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Dogs and Kids, Dogs and Children - This Photo (c) by Caras Ionut

Never leave children and dogs unattended!

"People often forget that their family dog is an animal and animals do not have a moral compass", she said. Kids should never touch a sleeping, sick, eating, strange or mommy dog. Parents often expect dogs to simply deal with kids pulling their ears and tails or taunting them. Children should be taught to respect the dog and give it space.

Create kid-free zones
Family dogs should have a kid-free zone to go to if they want space. Crates provide a separate area for the dog to be alone. Don't view it as punishment. The crate is a safe refuge, especially when the house is filled with relatives and strange noises.

Establish house rules
The family should never allow rough play with the dog. Burckhalter also suggests distributing food and treats away from the child. Do not allow the dog to eat from the child's plate or play with the child's toys. Kids also should not play with pet toys, they lack the same safety standards.

Dogs and Kids, Dogs and Children

Train and socialize the dog:
Burckhalter shared a terrible tragedy that occurred in her neighborhood. A child was mauled by a dog that had spent its life tied up outside. Children screaming and running past had caused years of pent-up frustration in a dog that already lacked proper social skills. When the chain finally broke, Burckhalter said, frustration turned into attack. The dog was euthanized and the child spent months in the hospital. All dogs should be trained to handle various distractions such as children, small animals and bicycles. During the weekly pit bull training sessions, Burckhalter uses an air horn, funny hats and other distractions to test dogs' concentration. Enroll your dog in obedience training and make it a family affair.

The American Kennel Club also offers a Canine Good Citizen certification program for well-behaved dogs. It can be a valuable asset for dogs and owners, who qualify for lower homeowners' insurance rates. Also, involve children in positive training methods as much as possible.

Make sure the breed fits your lifestyle
Research the type of dog you have and respect those instincts, she said. Understanding the traits of Cleo's breed will help you become a better pet owner. I know that Lulu is a high-energy pit bull. Without long daily walks to help burn all that extra energy, she becomes bored, destructive and a threat to my shoes. The AKC has helpful descriptions of most breeds on its site. Be honest with yourself about Cleo's needs and whether you can meet them.

Get your dog spayed or neutered
Most dog attacks come from unaltered males, Burckhalter said. Get your dog spayed as soon as possible. The ASPCA offers a database of free or low-cost spay/neuter options around the country. Simply enter your ZIP code to get started.


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First Meeting
Make sure your dog is well-exercised beforehand. Inside your home - the baby's turf, one parent should confidently hold the baby while the dog is several feet away. After a few days, invite the dog closer. Look for healthy body language sitting calmly, wagging tail, a curious nose, head lowered. "If a dog turns her back and avoids the baby, take this as a red flag," Millan says.


Once The Baby's Home
Never leave an infant or toddler alone with a dog. This is especially important when the baby is on the floor, Stilwell says.

Include the dog when people stop by. Remember, the dog was part of your pack first, Millan says. Enlist the help of a calm and trustworthy person in the house to be responsible for the dog when you and your partner are not able to.

Practice displaying "calm, assertive energy." It's good dog psychology and great for future parent traps like setting boundaries and dealing with tantrums and power struggles, Millan explains.

Whether you are bringing your new baby home to meet your dog for the first time, or thinking about adopting that dog your kids have been asking for, there are some basic ways to safely introduce kids and canines. We spoke with Jennifer Shryock, a certified dog behavior consultant and founder of Family Paws Parent Education, about how to make a smooth transition.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Never force interaction between a dog and a child.
Pay attention to your dog's body language to determine if the dog is engaging with the situation or tolerating it. Shryock recommends allowing your child to pet the dog a couple times and then stop. Wait to see if the dog is interested in continuing the interaction.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Have reasonable expectations for your dog.
Parents often think a dog should put up with a baby crawling near the animal at eye level and reaching and grabbing. "You can't let a toddler freely explore the dog," Shryock says. A new dog will have a tolerance limit for your kids, and it's important to recognize that limit and provide the dog with a quiet area to retreat to when the interaction might become too much.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Instruct your kids not to crowd the dog or carry it around.
Instead, create safe, supervised activities for your toddler and your dog. This might be dropping a treat in the dog's crate or filling up the food and water bowls together. No matter what you do - Shryock always recommends total supervision.

Rule of thumb (or dewclaw)
If it doesn't feel right or it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Any behavioral issue is going to take time; there are no quick fixes. And if a child shouldn't be doing something to correct an animal's behavior, a parent shouldn't be doing it. For this reason, physical force with your dog in front of your kids is not recommended. Positive reinforcement is key.

New parents, help dogs prepare for the baby
Before my nephew was born, I hired a trainer to help my dog and my sister's dog get acclimated to new baby scents and sounds. (A crying baby sounds a lot like Lulu's favorite squeaky toy.) Burckhalter has this advice for those who need help preparing furry babies for the arrival of a real baby.

Get to know your dog better during your pregnancy and use that time to reinforce basic training. Study your dog's body language and learn to identify triggers that stress or upset your dog, so you know how to protect your pet from these situations.


The best way to cultivate a good relationship with your dog and your new baby is to make sure your dog observes and participates in positive, daily routines with you and your baby. Never force your dog to check out the baby. Instead, invite him or her to sit next to you while you hold the new addition.


Make any lifestyle changes before the baby arrives. If your dog requires long walks, start doggie daycare as an outlet for exercise. Establish a no furniture rule and enforce it. Install baby gates well before duty calls and you have to stumble out of bed at 2 a.m. for a diaper change.

Get the dog acclimated to baby sounds and scents. Let your dog smell the baby's blanket and other gear. Set up the pack 'n' play and car seat weeks early.


Make the baby's room a dog-free zone.

Start obedience training. Be honest about whether your dog is good with children. If your dog does not like children, Burckhalter said, you should find her a new home.

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As the famous saying goes, dogs are man's best friend. Whether it's as reliable workers, family pets or loyal companions, dogs are wonderful domestic animals that offer a number of qualities that are put to good use by humans.


There are hundreds of different breeds of dogs:

Examples of these breeds include: Bulldog, German Shepherd, Collie, Golden Retriever, St Bernard, Greyhound, Bloodhound, Chihuahua, Labrador, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Boxer and Cocker Spaniel.

The most popular breed of dog in the world by registered ownership is the Labrador. With their gentle nature, obedience, intelligence and near limitless energy, Labradors make for excellent family pets and reliable workers. They often assist police and are a common choice as guide dogs.

In total there is said to be around 400 million dogs in the world.

The domestic dog has been one of the most popular working and companion animals throughout human history.

Dogs perform many useful tasks for humans including hunting, farm work and security as well as assisting those with disabilities such as the blind.

Although experts often disagree, there is scientific evidence which shows that the domestication of dogs could have occurred more than 15,000 years ago.

Dogs have formed such a strong bond as pets, workers and companions to humans that they have earned the nickname "man's best friend".

Humans help train various dog breeds to enter in competitions such as breed shows, agility and obedience contests, racing and sled pulling.

Dog have superior hearing than humans, capable of hearing sounds at four times the distance.

Dogs have a remarkable sense of smell, they are capable of differentiating odors in concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.

The average life span for a dog is around 10 to 14 years.

Those involved in dog breeding refer to males as "dogs", females as "bitches", dogs younger than a year old as "puppies" and a group of offspring as a "litter".

Domestic dogs are omnivores, they feed on a variety of foods including grains, vegetables and meats.

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Dogs and kids, puppies and children


Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Ways to Help Your Child Overcome a Fear of Dogs

1. First, understand your child's fear. Spiders, snakes, public speaking most of us are a little unnerved by something. And although our logic tells us a tiny bug or a short speech won't actually hurt us "fear isn't rational, says Colleen Pelar, CPDT, CDBC, a certified dog behavior consultant and pet dog trainer, "so rational talk isn't going to help you through your fear." That means the first step to helping your child overcome fear of dogs is to recognize and accept that that fear is there.

2. Then, watch what you say. Be sure you're not unintentionally creating or reinforcing a child's fear of dogs with the words you choose. "I've heard people say well-intentioned but awful things to their kids," Pelar says. "Things like, 'Pet that dog under his chin, or else he might bite you,' or a parent will tell their child to ask a stranger 'Does your dog bite?'" Words have great power to inform a child's view of dogs as dangerous, or as new friends to meet, so choose your words carefully.

3. Take puppy steps. There's no reason to rush your child into face to face doggy introductions. You don't need to force them to be around dogs right away, Dennis tells WebMD. "That may backfire and just increase your child's fear." Instead, gradually introduce your child to dogs, starting with picture books, TV, movies, then from a distance, perhaps in a park or sitting outside a pet supply store. "Gradually increase the intensity of the exposure," Dennis says, "but be sensitive to whether any one step is too much for your child. If it is, go back to the previous step." Pelar, author of Living with Kids and Dogs...Without Losing Your Mind, shares this opinion. "The biggest mistake I find people make is not going at the child's own pace. We need to let them set the pace, let them say when they're ready to go closer."

4. Meet an adult dog, not a puppy. When your child is ready for that next step getting closer find a mellow, adult dog to start with, not a puppy. Like little kids, puppies are unpredictable, wiggly, excitable, and when they're very young "they still have the mouthiness going on," Payne says, and "the last thing you want is for a puppy to run up and give your child a little nip." You can also look for a group that does doggy meet and greets, says Payne, or reading programs where therapy dogs go into libraries. "Situations like that where the child isn't immediately forced to interact are very helpful."

5. Learn a little doggish. In these early interactions, you'll have lots of time to teach your child about canine communication. "Dogs don't have a verbal language," says Case, author of Canine and Feline Behavior and Training: A Complete Guide to Understanding Our Two Best Friends, "so they communicate with facial expressions and body postures." For example, look for that famous doggy smile, which is "mouth open, lips pulled back, tongue sort of lolling, no tension in the face," Case tells WebMD. "It looks similar to our smile and it's an invitation to interact and can be interpreted the same way as you would a smile in humans." To help your child learn these cues, look at a book of photos of dogs, and ask your child 'What's that dog feeling?'" Pelar says. "Then go to a park and do the same thing, look at dogs and talk about them. That's how I'd start."

6. Search out dressed-up dogs. As silly as it sounds, kids (and adults) are often far less fearful of canines in clothes, so be sure to point out dressed-up pooches to your child. "I found that if I dress my dogs in bandanas, or put their therapy vests on, it makes a huge difference for kids," Payne says. "And it works for adults too the brighter the clothes the better!" Pelar agrees, "I always put a bandana on the dog if we do school visits. Something about the clothing just makes people more likely to approach."

7. Petting a pooch. Once your child is ready to take the plunge and touch a dog, it's a good idea to keep the pooch occupied and let your child pet the dog's body instead of the more-intimidating head. "You don't want the dog looking at your child because the dog's face is what tends to be scary to kids," Payne says.

8. Prepare for the sniff and lick. When a child is ready to let the dog interact "parents need to understand that dogs check you out by sniffing you," Payne tells WebMD, so make sure your little one is prepared. "Tell your child 'The dog is going to sniff you, and he might give you a kiss!'" That quick smooch can be a dog's way of giving your child the thumbs up, or the canine way of getting to know you better. Teach kids manners. Safe and happy interactions between kids and dogs have a lot to do with "teaching kids gentleness and respect at a very young age," Case says. So be sure you teach your little one to never push, hit, or tease a dog, or pull on a dog's tail.

9. Always ask. Finally, the most important thing: Teach your child to always ask first before approaching a dog they don't know.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

One way to not help your child overcome a fear of dogs: Sometimes parents get a dog to help their children overcome a fear of dogs, but doing so is "a bad idea," Pelar tells WebMD. "It's too much, too soon. The dog is everywhere. Even if you have a room where you keep the dog which I don't advise the child doesn't feel safe in that room."

Instead, if you want a dog around the house, try dog-sitting a neighbor's pooch for a weekend. Just "don't make big decisions and commitments for something that may not work," Pelar says.

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Tricks are a lot of fun!
Dogs love to learn. Tricks keep your dog alert and energetic. They give your dog a chance to play and have fun.

Tricks help your dog to 'learn how to learn'. If your dog can learn tricks, then she can learn obedience and good manners. Go ahead! Have some fun and teach your dog a new trick!

The best way to teach your dog a trick, is to make it fun for her. Use praise and small treats to reward your dog. Practice new tricks only a few minutes at a time. You never want your dog to get bored when learning new things.


Sometimes a dog will have trouble learning a new trick. For example, not all dogs can learn to fetch. Some dogs have more instinct (they are born with it) than others when it comes to carrying things in their mouths.

Roll over is difficult if your dog is dominant. Dominant dogs often don't like to expose their belly so roll over could be a challenge.

If you've tried hard to teach your dog a trick and he can't learn it, give him a break and choose another trick that's easier. Here are 31 fun, easy tricks that you can teach your dog!




Shake Hands
Start by having your dog sit. Say, "Shake hands," and take his paw with your hand. Hold his paw and say, "Good dog!" Let go of his paw. Do this a few times every day. TIP: After a while, say, "Shake hands," but don't take his paw. See if he raises his paw by himself. If not, keep showing him what to do by saying, "Shake hands," and taking his paw with your hand. Your dog is not slow; he is just learning!

Turn Around or Turn Left
Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Let your dog see a treat in your hand. Stand still and say, "Turn around". Lead the dog's nose around to the left (clockwise) with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he's facing you again, say, "Good dog!" and give him the treat. TIP:After some practice, hold the treat in front of you so your dog can see it and say, "Turn around," but don't lead his nose. See if he is ready to turn around by himself and get the treat. Pretty soon, he will turn around faster than you can say 'Lassie!". If you choose to use the words, "Turn Left", use them all the time. Don't use "Turn around" sometimes, and "Turn Left" other times. Be consistent.

Twirl or Turn Right
"Twirl" is the same trick as "Turn Around", but this time your dog turns to the right (counterclockwise), instead of to the left. Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Stand still and say, "Twirl". Lead the dog's nose around to the right with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he's facing you again, say, "Good dog!" and give him the treat.

If you choose to use the words, "Turn Right", use them all the time. Don't use "Twirl" sometimes, and "Turn Right" other times. Be consistent.TIP:After your dog has learned "Turn Around" (or Turn Left) and "Twirl" (or Turn Right), you can put them together and have your dog look really smart. First have your dog "Turn Around" (turn to the left), and then say "Twirl" (turn to the right). Be careful, though, don't get your dog dizzy! Be sure to teach Turn Around and Twirl separately. Wait until your dog has learned the first one very well.

Start by having your dog lie down. Hold a treat just in front of his nose and say, "Crawl." If he starts to stand up, say, "No, down...crawl." Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, "Craaawl." When your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, praise him and say, "Good dog! Craaawl." TIP:Your dog must know 'Down' ' before he can learn this trick.

Speak video camera
Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, "Let's play! Want to play?" and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, "Good dog, speak!" Then play the game as his reward for learning "Speak". TIP: You can't make a dog bark, but you can get him happy and excited so he wants to bark. After a while, your dog will bark when you say, "Speak." Caution! If you have a dog that already causes trouble because of his barking, you might not want to encourage this behavior. If you decide it's ok to teach it, be sure to teach "Quiet", too.

Play Dead or Take a Nap
Have your dog lie down on his tummy. As you gently roll him over on his side, say, "Take a nap." While he is lying on his side, keeping his head on the floor, say, "Take a nap." Don't give him a treat. Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say, "Ok" or "Wake up!", let him stand up, and give him his reward. TIP: You can use the treat to lure your dog into a lying down position. Don't give your a dog a reward while he is lying down. Give him a treat after he has completed the trick.

Have your dog sit, facing you. Hold his favorite treat just above his head and tell him, "Say please." Your dog will probably lift his front feet off the ground to reach the treat. As soon as the feet are lifted, even a little bit, give him the treat. TIP: This is a hard trick for most dogs. Wait a little longer each time before giving the treat, but be careful not to let your dog fall over on his back. You are helping your dog develop his balance. Be kind and only do this a couple of times.

Here's an easy one: Every time your dog licks your face, say, "Give me a kiss. Good boy! Give me a kiss." If he isn't a licker, put a little peanut butter on your cheek and say, "Give me a kiss." When he licks it off say, "Give me a kiss," again. TIP: Tricks like this work because you put words with something your dog does. Pretty soon your dog hears "Give me a kiss," and thinks about licking your face. Then you give him a hug, rub his ears and say, "Good boy!" Dogs love that.

Roll Over
Start by having your dog lie down on his belly. You can stand over him or kneel beside him. Using a treat, hold it by his nose, and then move it around and behind him, so that he lies on his side and then rolls over. Tell him what a great dog he is! TIP: Only roll your dog on soft surfaces like carpet or grass so he doesn't hurt his back. Some dogs don't like to roll over. It can be a little scary for them to put their belly up. Try it a few times and but if it's not fun for your dog, choose another trick.

If your dog doesn't fetch naturally, have an adult cut a slit in a tennis ball (a smaller, rubber ball if that is too big). Put some treats inside the tennis ball. Show your dog that there are treats in there, and give her one. Then, throw the ball. In the beginning, run with her and get the ball; then give her the treat. Soon you will be able to throw the ball and she will go get it, because she wants the treat!.TIP: After your dog has figured out what he has to do to get a treat, start throwing the ball two times in a row without giving him the treat. What you are trying to do is give him the treats less and less often so someday he won't need the treats in the ball to fetch it.

Say Hello
Start by sitting on a chair. While holding a treat, put your hand between your knees and encourage your dog to get it. As soon as your dog's chin touches your leg, say "Say Hello!". Then say "Release" or "OK" and give him the treat after he lifts his head. TIP: Only give your dog the treat after you have released him. Increase the time his chin is touching your leg, so eventually your dog will keep it there while you pet him. Then release him and reward him. Your dog will soon charm your friends with this trick!

Go Back
This is an easy one! Stand facing your dog and as you walk toward him, say "Go Back". He will want to get out of the way and will automatically walk backwards! TIP: If your dog doesn't walk back in a straight line, practice up against a wall or in a narrow hallway. After your dog is walking backward with you, try walking toward him only a step or two. Eventually, you will be able to stand still and say "Go Back".

Take a Bow
When you see your dog take a big stretch, with his head down low, say, "Take a bow." Every time he wakes up and stretches, say, "Take a bow." Someday you will say, "Take a bow." and your dog will take a big stretch, but it will look like he is bowing. As soon as he is finished, give him the treat. TIP: Tricks like this work because you put words with something your dog does. It may take some dogs longer than others to figure this one out. Some dogs learn it in a week and some take years - yes, years! But one day you will say, "Take a bow," and maybe, just maybe, your dog will take a bow.

Every time you see your dog yawn, say the command you want to use like "Give us a yawn.", or "Are you sleepy?". If he yawns enough and hears those words enough, he will eventually yawn whenever he hears those words. TIP: Here's one of those tricks that your dog has to perform before he actually learns it. Hopefully, you have a dog that yawns a lot. Be patient. This one can take a long time. Be sure to really praise your pup when he yawns - he'll thinks he's doing something totally wonderful. And eventually he will be!

Your dog should know how to shake hands before learning this trick. Face your dog and hold out your hand as if you are going to shake. When your dog lifts her paw to shake, don't grab it, just pull back your hand, and say "Wave". Then give your dog a treat. TIP: At first your dog may not lift her paw very high. But once she realizes that you're going to give her a treat if she holds it up there, she'll get it. You may have to tease her a little with your hand so she thinks you are going to shake with her. Waving your hand a little may help to get her paw into a waving motion as well.

Quiet viedo camera
This is easiest if your dog already knows how to speak. Tell your dog to Speak or catch him when he is barking. Get right in front of him and say "Quiet". The second he stops, even if it is to take a breath, give him a treat. You might want to hold your hand or palm in front of his face to add a visual signal. Practice playing 'quiet' often and your dog will be loving the word "Quiet". TIP: As you teach your dog Quiet, gradually increase the quiet time from 2 seconds to 5 seconds or more. Then, when he understands the trick, make a game of it. Tell him to "Speak", "Speak", "Speak", and then "Quiet". Then "Speak" again. It's a great trick that will entertain your friends and your pup will look so smart!

Which One?
Put a treat in one hand, show your dog, and then close both of your hands, making two fists. Hold your fists in front of you, about six inches apart and say "Which one?" Your dog will try to pry at your fists with his mouth to find the treat, but don't open your hands. Wait until he tries to use his paw (he will if you wait long enough), let him touch the correct hand and then give him the treat. TIP: If you have tried this several times, but your dog still won't use his paws to touch your hand, let him use his mouth to point out the correct hand. It'll be just as good and your audience will love the trick just as much.

With your dog facing you, take a treat and lead your dog's nose to the right and around your body. Let him follow the treat all the way around behind your back and around to the front. Give your dog the treat and praise him. He will be making a complete circle around you. TIP: In the beginning you might have to give your dog several treats while he is going around behind you and when he returns to the front. Practice it several times a day, but only for five minutes or so, two or three times a day.

Come (to a whistle)
Have your dog sit in front of you. Using a dog whistle from your local pet store, blow it once and give your dog a treat. Do this several times and repeat several times during the day. Repeat this over several days, trying it a increased distances. Your dog should soon be running to you every time he hears the whistle. TIP: Use a small, but tasty treat, one that your dog really loves. After your dog will come to you from different areas in the house, move outside, to fenced areas only. When you notice your dog is a little distracted, give the whistle a blow and see if he comes. By now, he should be coming. If not, go back to shorter distances without distractions and take the steps a bit slower.

Head Down
Start by sitting on the ground with your dog. While holding a treat, put your hand in front of your dog's nose and lead him toward the ground. As soon as your dog's chin touches ground only for a second, say "Head Down!". Then say "Release" or "OK" and give him the treat after he lifts his head. TIP: Only give your dog the treat after you have released him. Increase the time his chin is touching the ground, so eventually your dog will keep it there while you pet him. Then release him and reward him. Your dog will soon charm your friends with this trick!

Go to Bed video camera
"Go to bed" means go to the bed AND lie down. You should only need to say "Go to bed". Put a bed, blanket, or towel 6-10 feet away from you. With your dog beside you say "Go to bed!" and then together go to the bed. Have your dog lie down on the bed, give her a treat, and praise. Repeat many times. Later on, try sending your dog by herself. At first, make sure that someone is waiting at the bed with a treat. Later, your dog will do it herself, and you will walk over to her while she is lying down and reward her. TIP: It will take many repetitions, but she'll start to figure out that going AND lying down on the bed will get her a reward. It's important that your dog knows how to lie down. At first you might have to say Lie Down real softly to get your dog to go down, but try not to use it very much. What you want to say is "Go to Bed". Remember, "Go to bed" means go to the bed AND lie down.

Find the Treasure! (Dig)
'Find the treasure' means the dog will use one or two front paws to dig at the ground. Here's one way to teach it on command. Gather some treats and put them under a towel while your dog is watching closely. Don't let your dog use his nose to get under the towel. Keep encouraging him verbally and showing him that there are treats under the towel, and eventually, he'll start pawing at the towel. As soon as he moves that paw just a little, say, "Find the treasure!" Reward your dog immediately with a treat from your hand or even from under the towel. TIP: For dogs that are not natural diggers, this may take a while. Remember that you're looking for that digging behavior. You can give him treats from under the towel or from your hand as encouragement. If he happens to uncover a treat by himself, then praise! Caution! If you have a dog that digs in the garden and causes trouble because of his digging, you might not want to encourage this behavior.


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Not all guard dog breeds love to wallow on the ground with babies and toddlers, so consider your child's age when searching for your family's perfect breed. The following breeds are relatively low-maintenance and require minimal grooming and exercise. Make sure that whatever breed you select to welcome home as part of your family, you discuss the pros and cons including cost of unexpected care with your veterinarian. Some guard dog breeds are naturally more aloof and independent, seeming to prefer the quiet company of older children over noisy, fast-moving toddlers.

The following breeds also require a more experienced dog owner, in terms of grooming, exercise, or training needs. If this is not your first dog, your children are older, or you have ample time to dedicate to canine care, one of these guard dogs may be your family's perfect fit. Choosing a new pet to welcome into your family can be exciting, but preparation is key to picking the perfect dog for your lifestyle. A family-friendly guard dog can be a wonderful addition to your home, offering protective companionship and granting you peace of mind.


It is always important to deliberately consider the implications of adding any dog to your life, but would be owners that have families must consider these issues even more carefully. This is especially true of those seeking large breeds, such as those often used as guard dogs. Large dogs of any type can easily injure small children - even perfectly playful pups can inadvertently hurt kids while goofing around. Dogs that are deliberately bred to be as robust, as most good guarding breeds are, can be even more capable of inadvertently hurting your youngin's.


However, while it is important that you ensure any dog you introduce to your family is provided with plenty of love, affection, proper training and socialization, most guard dog breeds are naturally loyal and loving with their families. Despite assigning your guard dog the job of protecting your home, balanced dogs from properly selected bloodlines are likely to become beloved family members, who treat your children with kid gloves.

Just be sure that you teach your children the proper ways of interacting with the dog - no teasing, no rough housing, and that you supervise all interactions until you are convinced that all of the kids - both two-legged and four - know the rules for playing nicely.


Boxers are often exuberant, playful, and loyal dogs. Their protective nature and patience have earned them a place among the most popular breeds for families with children, and they take their role as watchdog and family guardian seriously. Although always vigilant, boxers usually are not nervous dogs and will not bark without cause, instead relying on their uncanny ability to judge friend from foe. Their short, shiny coat requires little grooming, but they do shed and require daily exercise because they have boundless energy. Boxers tend to be springy and enthusiastic, and they need a solid training foundation to avoid leaping and knocking over small children. Routine veterinary care and good breeding are necessary as they are prone to genetic, hereditary and other medical conditions, which include but are not limited to heart issues, hip dysplasia, thyroid conditions, cancers, and degenerative myelopathy.

Bullmastiffs are not as large as their mastiff cousins, only weighing about 100 to 130 pounds at adulthood, but they can still be an imposing threat to intruders. Originally bred to deter poachers, these large dogs are generally calm, confident, and dependable, making them a good breed candidate for guarding your family. They also have an innate sense of who does and does not belong on your property. As a short-haired breed, grooming requirements are less than longer haired dogs, but you should still expect significant shedding. In regards to exercise, daily walks are preferred over running. Bullmastiffs are prone to conditions such as hip dysplasia, eyelid issues, and bloat to name a few.

Doberman Pinschers
Doberman pinschers are typically watchful, fearless, loyal, and obedient dogs with an elegant body build. They often are goofy and relaxed in the comfort of their own homes, but can snap to attention in an instant, making them a top contender as a guardian and companion for your family. Their short hair requires minimal brushing to maintain a healthy coat, but expect typical shedding. Dobermans are quick learners and excel in obedience, tracking, and agility sports. Choose an activity, preferably one that involves the whole family, that will keep your dog's mind sharp and provide mental and physical exercise. Some of the disorders that Dobermans are prone to include dilated cardiomyopathy, clotting disorders, hip dysplasia, retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, and bloat.

Great Danes
Great Danes are giants in the dog world, standing taller than most people when on their hind legs. Fortunately, the mere sight of these behemoths is enough to deter intruders, because they are often not a brave breed. Danes are friendly, people pleasers, patient with small children, and eager to make new friends. Despite their short hair coat, they do shed and can accumulate a large pile of hair, so weekly brushing is required to help keep shedding to a minimum. Daily walks are ideal, although this breed appears to be sedentary. However, routine exercise to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of orthopedic issues, which are common in giant breeds, is important. Great Danes commonly suffer with hypothyroidism, cardiac disease, eye issues, and bloat among other illnesses.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Staffordshire bull terriers have been referred to as "nanny dogs" because of their wonderful temperament with children when bred responsibly. Originally bred to fight in England's dog pits, this breed has been honed to battle with other dogs, but responsible breeders have worked diligently to breed this trait out of their bloodlines, leading to a strong, confident, family-oriented breed. Caution is required when introducing this breed to a new dog, but they love people and develop close bonds with their families. Their short, stiff coats require little grooming. On the other hand, these dogs require daily mental and physical activity, since they are highly intelligent and active and especially like to dig. Common health issues include cardiac disease, hip dysplasia, skin conditions, and allergies.


Akitas are muscular dogs of ancient Japanese lineage, famous for their dignity, courage, and loyalty. Sometimes wary of strangers and often intolerant of other animals, this breed often only lets their silly, fun-loving side show with family. Early and continuous socialization and training is critical to control these imposing, independent dogs, but these attributes also lend themselves to an excellent guard dog. Akitas are double-coated, shed a lot and need frequent grooming, as well as removing their dead undercoat twice yearly. Although they are largeโ€”often over 100 pounds - these dogs do well in fairly small homes, requiring only moderate exercise. Akitas are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye issues, bloat and other ailments.

Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois are a high-energy breed, requiring intense exercise and mental stimulation. They quickly become devoted and strongly bonded with a person of choice, making them excellent guardians for the home. These dogs are often seen working as police dogs, competing in canine competitions, and helping with search-and-rescue efforts. They need a job besides offering protection, but routine obedience and other training sessions will help create the ideal guard dog. Their short, waterproof coat requires little care, although extra brushing is necessary to help remove hair during twice-yearly shedding sessions. Highly intelligent, athletic, and devoted, Mals need to be engaged daily. A brief jaunt is not enough, and they often enjoy being included when you bike, hike, or run. You can even consider signing up for agility, tracking, herding, or Schutzhund protection lessons. Belgian Malinois are prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts, Epilepsy and thyroid disease to name a few.

German Shepherd Dogs
German shepherd dogs (GSD) are like the Belgian Malinois - fiercely loyal, highly intelligent, and willing to put their lives on the line for their loved ones. This breed has a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to indiscriminate friendships, instead discerning between acceptable and unacceptable company in the home. Such a trait creates the basis for a wonderful family companion and protector. Once you have the perfect pet, keep up with continuous exercise and mental stimulation to ensure a happy, confident dog. Also, maintain a good grooming schedule, since this breed has a thick double coat that sheds heavily and requires routine maintenance. GSDs are prone to degenerative myelopathy, bloat, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, clotting disorders, as well as hip dysplasia.

Rottweilers are the quintessential guard dog breed: thick, blocky, muscular, and imposing and few are brave enough to sneak past one of these dogs on guard duty. Often self-assured and confident, this breed is commonly aloof with strangers, but turns into a gentle, silly lapdog when around family. Its short coat requires little grooming. The main challenge with rottweilers is their training. They can be headstrong and intelligent, and need a caring and persistent owner, so consider giving your rottweiler a job to help develop your bond. These dogs are at higher than average risk for hip dysplasia, joint disorders, eyelid issues and certain types of cancers.

Saint Bernards
Saint Bernards are famous for their patience and role as "nanny dogs," similar to Staffordshire bull terriers. Often aloof with strangers, these headstrong, intelligent dogs require careful socialization and training to become the ideal family guard dog. This breed comes in short- and long-haired versions, but both need frequent grooming sessions. Despite being such a powerful breed, these dogs need only moderate activity. Saint Bernards often develop hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bone cancer, epilepsy, eye or heart issues.


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Dogs and kids, puppies and children
1. This patient pup that will play doctor to amuse this little girl.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
2. These heroes that will save the world with Superman at their side.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
3.This dog that will serve as a canvas for this up-and-coming artist.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
4.This dog that will embrace the cone of shame to have secret meetings with the tiny human.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
5.This partner in crime that will take the blame for making a total mess.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
6.This dog that will pray beside his master before going to bed.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
7. This security guard that will babysit while the parents go out to dance.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
8. This lovable pup that will give Eskimo kisses on command.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
9.This dog that will be a personal sofa when Dora the Explorer is on TV.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
10. This criminal that will go to jail for fighting the cat.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
11. This Chihuahua that will happily go to show-and-tell for a class project.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
12. This best friend that will help construct the toughest of toys.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
13. This dog that will be the pony every kid has always wanted.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
14.This dog that will spy on the neighbors to catch a glimpse of the girl next door.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
15. This cool dog that will be a support system on road trips.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
16. This German shepherd that will be the best kind of pillow to nap on.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
17. This dog that will be a crib companion any time of day.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
18. This tired guy that will transform into a bed when it's time to go to sleep.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
19. This golden that will groom hair when kids can't.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
20.This dog that will help execute an escape plan.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
21.This dog that will accompany his fairy princess on backyard adventures.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
22.This fluffy pup that will converse in even the smallest of spaces.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
23.This dog that will follow orders, no matter how strange they may be.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
24.This dog that will become a Dalmatian if you really want him to.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
25. This companion that will wear colorful hats to entertain his friend.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
26.This fur ball that will play with you in the snow, even when it's cold outside.

Funny Dogs and kids, puppies and children
27. And this dog that will finally help you reach the cookie jar.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

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Stanley Coren

The canine IQ test results are in: Even the average dog has the mental abilities of a 2-year-old child.

The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words.


Although you wouldn't want one to balance your checkbook, dogs can count. They can also understand more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats, according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. He spoke Saturday on the topic "How Dogs Think" at the American Psychological Association's 117th Annual Convention.


Coren, author of more than a half-dozen popular books on dogs and dog behavior, has reviewed numerous studies to conclude that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.

"We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that] Lassie or Rover demonstrate," Coren said in an interview. "Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought."


According to several behavioral measures, Coren says dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.

The intelligence of various types of dogs does differ and the dog's breed determines some of these differences, Coren says. "There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive - what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and working and obedience (the equivalent of "school learning"."

Data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada showed the differences in working and obedience intelligence of dog breeds, according to Coren. "Border collies are number one; poodles are second, followed by German shepherds. Fourth on the list is golden retrievers; fifth, dobermans; sixth, Shetland sheepdogs; and finally, Labrador retrievers," said Coren.


As for language, the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals, and the "super dogs" (those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence) can learn 250 words, Coren says. "The upper limit of dogs' ability to learn language is partly based on a study of a border collie named Rico who showed knowledge of 200 spoken words and demonstrated 'fast-track learning,' which scientists believed to be found only in humans and language learning apes," Coren said.

Dogs can also count up to four or five, said Coren. And they have a basic understanding of arithmetic and will notice errors in simple computations, such as 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.


Four studies he examined looked how dogs solve spatial problems by modeling human or other dogs' behavior using a barrier type problem. Through observation, Coren said, dogs can learn the location of valued items (treats), better routes in the environment (the fastest way to a favorite chair), how to operate mechanisms (such as latches and simple machines) and the meaning of words and symbolic concepts (sometimes by simply listening to people speak and watching their actions).

During play, dogs are capable of deliberately trying to deceive other dogs and people in order to get rewards, said Coren. "And they are nearly as successful in deceiving humans as humans are in deceiving dogs."


To find out which dogs had the top school smarts, Coren collected data from more than 200 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada.

He found the top dogs, in order of their doggy IQ are:
Border collies
German shepherds
Golden retrievers
Shetland sheepdogs
Labrador retrievers.


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I was musing recently over the relative advantages of having kids vs. dogs. As my friend Bret pointed out, children and pets are alike in many ways: They eat a lot. They lie around a lot. They don't clean up after themselves. They sleep all the time. They become deaf when they are told to do something they don't want to do. They will eat just about anything that comes out of a can. They depend on you for a ride to go anywhere.

Nowadays, I have kids and a mutt, which puts me in position to pontificate on this topic, not that lack of expertise has ever stopped me from this in the past. After an exhaustive survey of my own brain, my friends and Facebook fans, here are the top 12 reasons to adopt a dog over a kid, and vice-versa.

Dogs and Kids, Dogs and Children - This Photo (c) by Caras Ionut

12 reasons to have a dog instead of kids

Always glad to see you when you come home
They think riding in the car is better than Disneyland
Will never tell you they hate you
Can be bribed with small amounts of food
Will always eat their dinner
Will never need college tuition money
You won't have to help them with their algebra
Won't change the radio station in the car
Unlikely to draw on your walls with a permanent marker
Will never sneak $20 out of your wallet
Won't leave empty milk cartons in the refrigerator
Will still want to sit on your lap, even when they're old

12 reasons to have a kid instead of dog

Unlikely to poop on the floor
Will not urinate on your friends' furniture
Can be shut up with candy bribes for small periods of time
Might someday give you grandkids
Will let you relive your own childhood
Won't jump the backyard fence and chase the neighbor's cat
Will drive you to the doctor when you are old and blind
Won't gnaw your new leather shoes
Less likely to leave hair all over your sweaters
More fun to bathe
Will someday do chores
Probably won't bite the mailman

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Of course, if you are like me, you get kids and then you have to get a dog, because the kids demand it. I'm still a little bitter about that one, being a cat person at heart. Still, Buddy the Wonder Dog can be amusing. And he only tried to bite the mailman once.

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Christine Whitley

Have you ever noticed that there are dog people and there kid people and they live in an uneasy peace with each other? In the suburbs, I would imagine, they can more or less avoid each other. But here in the city we often share condo buildings, sidewalks, and parks. Of course there are people who have both dogs and kids, but I would argue that if you have children then you are not a Capital Dee Capital Pee Dog Person.


You probably know a Capital Dee Capital Pee Dog Person. He or she has birthday parties for the dog, complete with invitations and cake. They dress him up for Halloween and get his picture taken with Santa. The dog was probably in their wedding. The dog is always included on the Christmas/Holiday card. The dog has a heated bed and they take him on vacation. Or, if he can't go on vacation, then they board him at one of those canine hotels with space to run, DVD's of cats and birds, and hand-made organic meals. If a speeding train was barreling down toward a child and a dog, the Capital Dee Capital Pee Dog Person would rescue the dog first.

I feel compelled to add here that I love dogs. I am not anti-dog. My children LOVE dogs. Every once in a while, my five-year-old begs for a dog. And I wish we could have one sometimes. But I know full well who it is that would have to walk the dog in subzero weather. I know who would be responsible for his care and feeding and vet bills and training. I already have three living homo sapiens to care for in my home and I just don't have the wherewithal to add another to my roster. Not right now, anyway. We'll see when the children are older old enough to go out before breakfast and walk the dog by themselves. My in-laws have dogs and I love to visit them. So I guess I love other people's dogs.

I know Dog People who have argued that children are loud, messy, bratty, rude, and generally unpleasant to have around. My answer to that? Neither of my children have bitten anyone or pooped in the yard. So I think we have won this battle.

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Joanna Rothkopf

A PLOS ONE study recently confirmed what many of us already knew: dog love can be extremely similar to maternal love.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

"Alloparenting," or adopting and caring for different species has occurred for tens of thousands of years (the first domesticated dog dates back to 32,000 years ago). Around two-thirds of American households have pets and spend over $50 billion every year on their well-being.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

In this study, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital sought to directly compare the "functional neuroanatomy of the human-pet bond with that of the maternal-child bond." To do so, they had women look at photos of their babies and their dogs, as well as babies and dogs that they didn't know.

"There was a common network of brain regions involved in emotion, reward, affiliation, visual processing and social cognition when mothers viewed images of both their child and dog," reads the study. The unfamiliar photos didn't provoke the same reaction.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

The Washington Post's Rachel Feltman reports:

But brain response to children and dogs wasn't entirely the same: An area of the brain vital to processing faces was activated more by a dog picture than a child's face, while parts of the midbrain were more active in response to children. It may be that facial cues are more important in human to dog communication, given our lack of common language. And the midbrain areas could be vital in forming human to human pair b0nds, National Geographic reports.

Dogs and kids, puppies and children

Although more research needs to be done to replicate the findings, it does make sense that we should have such important bonds with our pets.

"Pets hold a special place in many people's hearts and lives, and there is compelling evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that interacting with pets can be beneficial to the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of humans," said Lori Palley, DVM, of the MGH Center for Comparative Medicine and co-lead author of the report. "Several previous studies have found that levels of neurohormones like oxytocin - which is involved in pair-bonding and maternal attachment - rise after interaction with pets, and new brain imaging technologies are helping us begin to understand the neurobiological basis of the relationship, which is exciting."

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5 Benefits Of Using A Therapy Dog

To be honest I had no idea what the benefits of using a therapy dog with our one year were, but upon doing a little research found out there are many. Here's a few of the ones that stood out to me:

A Steady Gait: Properly trained therapy dogs are able to move forward at a steady pace that's easily adjusted as the child speeds up or slows down. In other words, the dog will keep up with the child.

Motivation: Studies have shown that therapy patients enjoy doing tasks that aren't normally enjoyable (like physical therapy.which is hard work!) when they are doing things the animal enjoys. In other words, "Let's go walk a cute dog today." sounds a lot more fun than "Ok, it's time to go to physical therapy today and work really hard which will ultimately help you learn to walk." Both achieve the same goal, but the first one sounds a heck of a lot more fun!

Increase Attention Span: Children can find it hard to maintain focus on a specific task for long periods of times. In fact, some days Noah isn't into therapy at all, and doesn't want to do anything while we're there. However, studies have shown than when therapy dogs are present children are more engaged and can stay focused on the task much longer.

Increases Confidence: As a child starts to see improvements toward their therapy goals while using a therapy dog, there confidence goes up , which results in the child meeting more milestones and becoming stronger in existing areas.

Reduces Anxiety and Fear: Working on a new goal can create fear and anxiety no matter how old or young a person is. The use of animals in therapy produce a calming effect, and helps the child feel more comfortable so that they can work on their therapy goals.


1000 CUTE PUPPIES! :o)

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