How to Introduce a New Dog Into A Family with Young Children

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How to Introduce a New Dog Into A Family with Young Children

It can be very exciting to bring a new dog into your home, as you and your family will have a new friend. You may be particularly delighted thinking about how your children will interact and play with their dog. Yet, it is important to be cautious in the first few days, weeks, or months after bringing them home. Particularly, it may be wise to pay special attention to the introductions.

When thinking of a puppy or a dog, you may immediately feel warm fuzzy feelings all over. They are loveable, dependable, loyal, and playful. However, just like people, they are each different in their own way. They have their own personalities, unique behaviors, and one-of-a-kind histories. Likewise, your children may react in unexpected ways to animals. As such, preparation is key to success! Follow along with this short guide to learn the best strategies for introducing dogs to your children.

Prepare your Children in Advance

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Although it may be tempting to surprise your children with a dog as a gift, you may find more success in teaching them what to expect and how to act around a dog beforehand. If you already have a dog or they experience dogs regularly, this may be as simple as a quick refresher course. However, if a dog is a brand new experience, it is crucial to explain how a dog may act and react to certain behaviors:

  • Be Gentle: Many young children do not understand how to be gentle with their hands or bodies around anyone, let alone a dog. Show kids how to pet dogs, not pull their ears or tails, and praise dogs when they behave well. You may find it helpful to make sure your dog is well-groomed and clipped before your introduction. You can take advantage of mobile dog grooming in Orange County, CA in order to accomplish this easily.
  • Wait: Teach children to wait until dogs approach them. In this way, their dog will feel more relaxed than if strangers rush up to them and start petting them right away.
  • Be Respectful: It can be difficult for kids to understand to not bother a dog. It may be beneficial to help them understand that dogs are much like their friends and family members; they should be treated with respect. In this way, kids may more readily understand not to disturb dogs when they are resting in their crate, sleeping, or eating.
  • Be Calm: Loud noises and big gestures can be threatening to a dog who is in a new environment. Kids should do their best to remain calm and talk in low voices despite the exciting event.
  • Be Careful: When you bring your dog home, you may not know how they will react to small children. Teach children how to protect their hands, faces, and other body parts. For instance, when they are giving treats to their dog, they can drop them on the food rather than give them to the dog by hand. Likewise, they should also never bend down over the dog, grab or cuddle them, until you know how the dog will react.

Use a Leash

When you bring your canine friend home, it is advantageous to use a leash. In this manner, you can control your dog quickly and easily if things go in a negative direction. Moreover, you and everyone else in the situation will feel more relaxed. Since this is the case, the dog will most likely relax as they are not picking up on a great deal of stress.

Use Scent

Dogs are scent-driven creatures. As such, recognizing familiar scents can be relaxing for them. Yet, all the scents in a new room with many new people can be exciting and overwhelming simultaneously. Give them your baby’s blanket or kid’s worn clothing to smell and get used to before introductions. You can also give them some dog treats at the same time, so they can immediately make a positive association.


It may go without saying, but it is critical not to leave your new pets alone with your young children. Your dog may already have an indication or knowledge you are an authority figure, yet your children may not have the same hold over them. Furthermore, since you do not know how your dog will react to different actions, behaviors, or sounds, you cannot trust them not to hurt your kids yet. If you do need to leave the room, you may wish to invest in baby gates which can keep your kids and dog separated for a few minutes.

Watch for Cues

When you are monitoring the introductory situation, you will have the opportunity to watch for cues your dog is feeling stressed or anxious. You can allow your dog to leave the room whenever they want, return to the safety of their crate, or go for a walk. In this way, your dog will learn they are not going to be forced to stay in agitating environments.

Engage in Healthy Activities Together

Introductions go well beyond the first encounter. Your dog and your children will become used to each other over the span of weeks or months. During this time, your children can help you take care of your dog. Accordingly, your dog will learn the children are also their nurturers or caretakers. Your children can be present while you take your dogs on walks, bring them to dog parks, feed them and give them treats, and bring them to mobile dog grooming in Orange County.

Help Your Dog Relax

Dogs can become stressed relatively easily, especially certain smaller breeds. Helping your dog relax can be beneficial when acclimatizing them to a new environment and new family. Taking them for long walks, giving them a comfy crate with familiar items, or having them groomed by a  professional mobile dog grooming in Orange County, CA can be excellent. Specifically, mobile dog grooming near me is accommodating as your dog will not have to go to an unfamiliar location. Curt’s Mobile dog groomers will show up right to your doorstep with all the necessary supplies.

Helping Your Dog Adjust One Step at A Time

In most cases, dogs and young children will learn to get along splendidly. Sometimes, it just takes time and diligence. That said, they can become the best of friends and their impact on each other can be profound. If you are looking for easy ways to help your dog relax and feel good, consider mobile dog grooming near me in Orange County, CA for a thorough brushing, clipping, hydro-massage bath, blow drying, amongst other services. Curt’s Mobile Grooming is here to help in any way we can, contact us today to book your appointment!