THE BENEFITS OF A DOG FOR A CHILD
The benefits of the presence of an animal in a family, and especially with children, has been proven many times.
It has been demonstrated that the dog participates in the development at different stages of life:
psychomotor development of the baby
faster and more distant exploration of its environment
awakening and working on the notion of responsibility, respect and needs of others
support, emotional stabilizer and reassuring presence
channels hyperactivity, aggressiveness, avoids withdrawal and depression
It provides calm and a secure anchor for the child and promotes communication between the different members of the family.
Building a relationship of trust between the dog and the child
The child and the dog often build a deep relationship but this is not done without rules and learning on both sides. In general, the dog and the child do not arrive at the same time, and it is up to the first to arrive to adapt to the newcomer!
1st scenario: the dog arrived first
When the dog arrives first, it must be accustomed to the children. If the dog has never known children before, it is necessary to get it used to their gestures. Indeed, the child is a strange thing for the dog: it represents new smells, new sounds and unknown movements.
It is important to keep in mind that before the arrival of the baby, the dog has a privileged relationship with the family. This is likely to change as you, as parents, will have less time to devote exclusively to your dog, which he will undoubtedly feel and be upset by. That's why it's important to adjust your rhythm and your occupations before the baby comes home, so that the dog doesn't make bad associations.
Once the baby is home, it's important to involve your dog in activities with the baby and make sure he doesn't find the presence of the new family member a disadvantage. You can, for example, pet your dog when you have your child in your arms, or ask your dog to accompany you when you want to wake up your baby. Also consider spending time alone with your dog when your child is not around or sleeping.
2nd scenario: the child arrived first
In the opposite case, when the child was there first, work is also necessary. But this will be different if the dog is an adult or if it is a puppy.
Fostering a puppy
If you are taking in a puppy, it is important that the child understand that it is not a toy and vice versa for the following reasons:
Between the ages of 2 and 3 months, the puppy will chew a lot with its baby teeth to get attention and to play. This can be harmful to a small child.
The puppy is attracted to movement, so children who are always on the move are ideal candidates.
Children often play with puppies, but the puppy does not yet know how to manage its excitement and can get very excited and bite to play. The puppy also associates the child with the game and will therefore solicit him constantly. When the dog is a large breed, the balance of power quickly shifts in favor of the dog, hence the importance of not overexciting him.
Welcoming an adult dog
When welcoming an adult dog into your family, you must take into account that the adult has a history and is not necessarily positive with children. This is why it is important to test the agreements before making the decision to adopt or buy an adult dog.
The adult dog will have a repertoire of communication and will expect some understanding from the human. It is important to teach children a dog's communication cues so that the cohabitation goes well. Some adult dogs are also less patient and lenient with children, so it is fundamental to channel the child's behavior and be wary at first.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)