Meet Lexi, the newest member of our family!
As you can see, we’ve been busy! With a pair of energetic kids, who are super excited to have a puppy, I’ve been doing just as much training of the kids as I have the pup!
Thinking of getting a puppy?
Introducing a new puppy to kids:
Little Lexi won’t be little long (she is a shepherd and lab mix), and soon she will be bigger than the kids. So our first rule is:
1. Teach children not to pet the puppy unless all 4 of her feet are on the ground. It’s important that the adults in the house, as well as any guests, also follow this rule so pup doesn’t get confused!
2. With younger children it’s important that they know how to gently pet the dog. Ears and tails are very tempting for toddlers to pull. They need to understand that this can hurt the puppy. You may want to have younger children practice petting stuffed animals.
3. Teach kids the “walk around the puppy” rule. Puppies love to play chase and tackle games with each other. Our kids love to do the same thing! The problem is that when puppies chase those little feet, they are likely to nip. (This one is going to take a lot of work!)
4. Teach them that when puppy is eating or sleeping it is time to leave puppy alone. And NEVER leave small children alone with the puppy.
5. And my favorite rule? Since my little ones are 5 and 6, the kids are responsible for keeping their toys picked up. No stuffed animals can be on the living room floor. When they are finished playing, they need to pick up their toys so little pup doesn’t decide to chew on them. (We are keeping bedroom doors closed for now because I’m not expecting miracle here, people!) It may seem extra harsh, but I’ve told them any toys that they leave on the ground and the pup chews on will NOT be fixed or replaced.
Keep in mind the kids have had a dog before, but our dear Kira was long out of the puppy stage when the kids were born. So, while the kids know how to play with an older (well-trained) dog, this puppy business is full of new challenges!
Have any tips to add to the list?