Managing children and dogs

Put up a baby gate between two areas in your house so that your dog can have their own space and any children can have their own space too. By having a baby gate (rather than a door) dividing the two areas, the dog and children can still see each other and be used to being around each other but without any high pressure interactions. The child can approach the baby gate and throw treats for the dog, to show the dog that children approaching is a pleasant experience. The dog can then go and pick up those treats whenever they feel comfortable. Gently throwing the treats rather than holding them out in the hand means that: a) the dog does not feel pressure to approach the child if they don’t want to; b) the dog does not learn to sniff in children’s hands for treats; and c) the child is protected from accidentally nipped fingers when retrieving the treat. Using a baby gate will ensure that the dog never feels cornered or uncomfortable around the child and the child will not be jumped on or pestered by the dog when playing.

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