.... and who needs protection from who ....
Over the past few years, dogs in general have sadly had a rather bad press.
Sweeping aside the usual hysteria, and circulation boosting headlines, there have been
a few quite horrific cases of children being attacked by “supposed” family pets. There’s never, to the best of my knowledge ever, been a case of a child being attacked by a Labrador or Spaniel.
All the breeders that we know, place “temperament” uppermost on their list when looking for a breeding dog, either for the “Show Ring” or as a “Working” dog.
It’s the most attractive quality of these two breeds - they can be complete and gentle family dogs.
Having got that off my chest, let’s have a look at a few “golden” rules.
Children under the age of 5 should never be left alone with a puppy - both for the sake of the puppy and the child.
What appears to be a “calm and peaceful” scene, can rapidly turn into a bit of “rough and tumble” with potentially disastrous results.
A 16 week old Labrador puppy can weigh more than a young child and quite easily knock the child into furniture - or a door post - or on to a hard floor - with possibly fatal results.
Our rule on this one is ...
“If you want to play with a puppy, sit on the floor and wait for the puppy to come to you.
If it doesn’t - then it doesn’t want to play - so please - leave it alone!
Children need to have it explained to them that a puppy is not some sort of toy, to be pushed, pulled, picked up and dropped. It’s a “little baby”, that can easily be injured.
It also has very sharp little teeth - so beware - and treat it with respect.
Children also need to be told that when the puppy is in its bed or pen, it’s because it’s tired and resting - so please - leave it alone.
Don’t worry - within a few months - it’ll be the puppy constantly appearing with its favourite toy, wanting the child to play.
Gently but firmly, resist any pleas to allow the puppy to go or sleep upstairs.
Toys etc will be chewed, carpets soiled - and the puppy’s hips ruined by the staircase.
Just in passing ...........
By now, you’re probably beginning to think that I don’t like children.
That’s not true - but I do think that more often than not, it’s the puppy needing protection from the child - rather than the other way round.
Given time, a bond between puppy and child will grow to the point where they’re almost inseparable. There’ll possibly be a few tears along the way - it’ll probably be the child’s fault.