General Tips

How to Train Your Child to Treat Animals Well

by Editorial Team on August 16th, 2016

dog-1020790_640Studies have shown how important animal interaction is for a child’s development; however, it does come with issues. You need to teach your children to both respect animals and be wary of them without being scared. Respect is an important aspect otherwise your family pet might end up like Emilio the goldfish in Kill Bill Vol 2 and get stomped on. You never want your child to be afraid of animals, but then you also don’t want them to run up to a Rottweiler and grab it by the face. Read on for some advice on how to integrate animals into the family and what to look out for when it comes to your child’s interaction with the animal.

Humans have an innate desire to dominate everything around them, and this usually manifests itself in children when they hurt animals. They learn that they have the power over something and will hurt it. The majority of children, when taught why they shouldn’t harm animals, will learn not to do it and grow up with a hatred of animal suffering. If you suspect your child is not learning this and is intentionally hurting animals for pleasure, it is a big indicator of wider mental issues and you should get them seen to by a specialist. Teach children that animals feel fear too and that you should never hurt them intentionally. Show them how naturally trusting many animals are and why this shouldn’t be taken for granted.

You don’t want your child to fear animals, as I mentioned earlier, but they need to learn what damage an animal can do and how to read the signs when an animal might attack. If you have fish, this section is moot, however anything bigger and with teeth or claws, poses a problem. Teach them how animals can react to certain events that cause them stress or fear and what harm it could do. Make sure the child knows that animals rarely attack unless provoked.

An extra warning here about dogs: if a dog’s tail is wagging it means either that they are happy and excited or anxious. Most people don’t know that and always assume a dog with a wagging tail is happy and this is when most attacks happen, so ensure your child knows that even though their tail is wagging, it doesn’t mean that they are happy.

What to Look For
Dogs are probably the best pets for children as they are loving and loyal, and scientists agree that they have a connection with us that no other animal possesses (except maybe horses and dolphins), but you should consider the following before welcoming a dog into your family dynamic:

  • Energy Levels – Some dogs, like the Grey Hound, don’t require a lot of exercise and are happy to laze by the fire, however Border Collies, require a lot of exercise otherwise they go a bit loopy and pose a threat to children and themselves. Make sure you have time to properly walk your dogs, if you get an energetic breed.
  • Size –Teacup Puppies for example are a big trend right now, but due to their size you need children to take extra care with them. However, they do make good pets because even if they do snap, they can’t do any real damage. Plus, they are so, so cute. Little Puppies Online specialize in them; I mean just check out their Teacup puppies; have you ever seen cuter animals?!
  • Temperament – Some dogs are better with kid than others. Bull Dogs and Golden Retrievers are excellent with children, whereas Akitas and Huskies are not.

Use some common sense; make sure your kids know how to respect animals, and your child will have a new best friend for years and years.

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