How to introduce a new puppy to your children. - Page 1

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by Prager on 22 November 2018 - 17:11

Children under 12 years are usually not capable to establish leadership position over the pup or dog. This needs to be taken into consideration when you are introducing a pup to a child. The most important aspect of this introduction is that the child and pup are having THE FIRST experience as a positive experience. This is not done by child cuddling the pup or otherwise being in close proximity to it. A child ought to give a pup tasty meaty treat but otherwise, it needs to ignore the pup. In the introduction, all this boils down again to what I call DEFAULT. - which means that the first experience of the pup (or older dog) has with any child or a particular child is going to set the relationship with the child. As the adage goes You can make only one first experience. The first experience is everything and it will set the dog for rest of his life to attitude created by such FIRSTimpression.
Here is a strong rule applicable to any dog training and socialization. The principle is:" go along with the pup or dog" We want the go along with the pup whereat the same time, the pup is allowed to approach the child with a friendly curiosity which is rewarded by pet on the head and a kind word in higher than normal pitched voice and the occasional treat. However, we do not want the child to be Pez dispenser of treats - that would not be good for a healthy relationship between the dog and the child, but rather we want to build the relationship between the child and dog as an intimate one without anything between the pup and the child.( By anything I mean treats and toys) In my strong opinion, it should be a one on one relationship without consistently feeding the pup with treats and thus build conditioned response to a child - where the child then to the dog/pup means food or treat or toy. Of course, we can use treats or play with toy as a part of building relationship between the pup and child which is not conditioned, but we do it in a way and in the order to show the pup that good things, IN GENERAL, are coming to him from the child but we do not want the pup to think and be conditioned that child is only a treat dispenser.
I would emphasize that during an introduction of the pup or dog to ANY child or children it is important that the children do not overwhelm the pup by crowding its space or are towering over a pup, but instead ignore the pup and allow the pup to come to them. To allow the child to come to the pup and crowd the pup's space or tower over it - is or could be very threatening to the pup in any environment and such pup then strongly tends to NOT like children. This is THE most important part of the introduction of a dog or pup to the child.
The principals of introducing an adult person to pup are quite similar but the introduction of an adult dog to the adult owner of the dog is somewhat different and involve the establishment of a leadership position. For children it is different since as you remember children under 12 years of age are not able to do so.

by joanro on 22 November 2018 - 18:11

My gsd puppies love to have little bitty kids hover over them when they meet. Turns into a strong bond. The pup even works great obedience with kids as young as three. Never had a pup hate kids just because the kid stood over the little puppy when introduced. A good temperament with good nerves and raised well from issues with kids in any manner.
So I think that having to make sure the little kids not hover over the little pup when first introduced causing the pup to " hate kids" would indicate a problem with the pup's temperament. Jmo.

by bladeedge on 22 November 2018 - 20:11

The biggest problem Iv seen is people making to much of a fuss about the whole thing .if the pup is solid and the children have manners there Will be no problems .imo
Western Rider (admin)

by Western Rider on 22 November 2018 - 20:11

There are many breeds given for Christmas and many of those are not bred for strong nerves etc.

I do think Prager's post is very good information for the majority of the families who are introducing a pup/dog to the family

by joanro on 22 November 2018 - 22:11

Western, not if we are talking about gsd puppies.....
How many people come on here to learn how to introduce their Labrador retriever or golden retriever to their kids?
I did not see anything in the op's post referring to many different breeds given for Christmas present?
Most breeds of dogs don't have nerve's mostly the gsd. That's why the gsd is the ONLY breed in the breed ring that has a mandatory "loose lead temperament test'' in the ring. He must pass the that or is excused from the ring....which happens frequently because the gsd is KNOWN for poor nerves!
Western Rider (admin)

by Western Rider on 23 November 2018 - 00:11

Joan Prager did not say GSD puppies. There are many breeds on this site and they do come here to learn there is no scarlet letter on their post to tell who they are. They like many click on lastest post to see what is happening.

Your right many other breeds do not have nerve problems many do. Most breeds it is not a requirement or cared about.  

As far as the "loose lead test" never had a test like that but then it could be described differently than applied or your description

by Rik on 23 November 2018 - 01:11

the "loose lead test" is very passable with the right judge, handler. doesn't matter if the dog is good or not.

been there, done that.

agree with nerve issues GSD and not seen in other breeds I have owned and shown. Dobes some weak character though.


by joanro on 23 November 2018 - 02:11

Rik, how many people do you know got a dobie pup for their bitty kids for Christmas?

Of course the " temperament test" can be "passed" with the right judge and/ or handler....that's not the point. The point is that no other breed has it..only the gsd.

Western, bad nerves is the bane of the dog world....breeders who do not care are at fault.
Anyway, all I'm saying is that no matter what the breed of dog, bad nerves are bad nerves and if the dog or puppy are sound in temperament and nerves, noproblem with kids being close to the pup and holding it, long as they are supervised and don't drop the pup.

Still never saw anything about Christmas.
But whatever makes ya'll happy about introducing your pups to little kids....I just have not had any issues with my pups and kids.

Western Rider (admin)

by Western Rider on 23 November 2018 - 02:11

Nor do I with my pups but I have seen many who do have problems.  

I never said Prager said Christmas. I did and felt that his post was very timely as so many who get a pup/dog have no real experience any more about how to handle or treat an animal let alone how they think, nor the parents.

The only reason that I know that the GSD has a temperament test is because the SV requires it.




by Prager on 23 November 2018 - 06:11


 As a general rule, it is not advisable to let children stress new-coming puppy. Anybody who advices you differently is most likely setting you up for failure in socializing your pup.  To say that dogs like for some stranger ( stranger adult, child or dog) to stay over them have never seen how fights between 2 dogs are started. Such preamble to fight usually initially involves one dog towering over another by putting his head over the other dogs back. I assure you that if you see such behavior then the fight is usually about to start. You tell me if this involves "building strong bond".  Thus it is very stressful for the dog or pup when a stranger bends over the dog or pup or crowds it or stands over it. I assure you dogs just do not like that.  Here is what dogs think about someone bending over them

On the following video below, you can see how the dog feels about being crowded by a child. Yes, I know,  these are not pups yet I assure you that there is no reason for the emotions the pup to be any less negative and stressful than for the adult dog when someone UNKNOWN TO THEM stands above them or crowds them ( hugging is crowding too) . They both feel such to be a stressful situation for them. Of course, not all dogs will bite, that may be an extreme reaction to such a situation, but I am just trying to demonstrate that the dogs of any age do not like such handling.  Where the older dog will bite because it feels threatened and challenged young pup will feel very uncomfortable and you do not want your pup to feel uncomfortable around a child.  The tress is stemming from a fact that the puppy ( same as an older dog) feels threatened when a stranger you or your child bends over it or crowds it or hugs it especially when they are strangers to the dog. Puppy in a new home does not care how much you paid for it and that you legally own it and it sees you as a stranger.  If the strange child does it to the dog then the puppy does not like it and unless you want to risk the pup to see your child as an adversary who challenged it when young then please do not do that.

 here is a classic video of what how dogs ( and pups) feel when someone is bending over them. In my opinion, this is not a good way to "build a strong bond". Again this is not a pup but I am merely demonstrating here the emotion you are eliciting in a dog or a pup when you do something inappropriate like to or band over a STRANGE  dog or crowd it.

The best policy is always let the puppy come to you or to your child and when good and ready. This is not stressful to the pup since this is happening on its terms and if such rule is followed then stress is minimal and the pup does not feel negative stress. 

 So you be the judge. 




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