Children

       and puppies .... 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 “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.

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