Introducing The New Puppy And Your Kids – Blending The Pack (part 1)…
Bringing a new puppy home is a fun time for all. The kids are thrilled to have such a fun, furry friend and the parents are excited to have a playmate for the family. Then reality hits and a couple of things become apparent. First, it becomes clear that this is going to be some work and second, puppies and kids don’t always mix…at least not at first. Try not to stress. You can help the kids and the new puppy become friends, but first you must learn how the pack relates. Yes, your family is now a ‘pack’.
In most cases, one of the parents will become the dominant ‘leader’ of the pack according to your puppy. It will usually be the person who feeds the puppy. This person will be seen as the boss, and your new puppy will look to you for commands. You will use this to your advantage during training and during your work positioning the pack.
As for the kids, to your puppy they are equals, and your puppy may feel he has some control over his ‘equals.’ This means the puppy will most likely treat them like he would other puppies. In other words, your puppy will treat the kids in the family as siblings. There will be little respect to no respect, some fighting (biting), some yelling (barking), and probably jealousy when it comes to who gets the parents’ attention.
Most kids will be very excited around puppies. The puppy will see this as a sign of weakness. Just like your puppy will see you as the leader of the pack, so will he take this excitement as an indication that the kids are beneath him in rank, and he will treat them as such. Playful behavior is expected, but uncontrolled excited behavior will just confuse your puppy. If your kids are out of control around your puppy (or just in general…) this behavior needs to be corrected as quickly as possible for everyone’s long term success and happiness. This is the beginning of understanding what it takes to successfully integrate your new puppy into your existing family. In the next post, I’ll give you some suggestions you can use to make everyone get along beautifully!
To Your Dog’s Good Health!