ALLOWING YOUR KID TO WALK THE DOG
Responsible dog ownership starts young and it is wonderful to involve your child with the caring of the family dog. Sharing the chores of caring for the dog can involve, feeding, playing, poop scooping (never a popular one) and my favourite – training! But what about walking the dog – is it safe or is it too much responsibility. Read on to find out the pros and cons of allowing your child to walk your dog in public.
Asking your child to be the guardian of your dog in public is a big responsibility and you need to be sure that your child and indeed your dog are mature and sensible enough to be out together. There are lots of factors to help you decide whether your dog and child are a good match to walk alone….
Size of Dog
There is obviously a big difference between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane! Of course the Chihuahua would be easier to handle physically for a child than a Great Dane. If your dog loves to chase squirrels or cats – the consequences would be very different with both of these dogs!
Behaviour of Dog
Now a very well trained Great Dane can indeed be much easier to handle than an unruly Chihuahua! If your dog isn’t as well trained as it should be, then it would not be a good idea to allow your child to take them out alone.
Behaviour of Child
Is your child mature and sensible for their age – would they know what to do in an emergency or who to ask for help if they needed it. Whilst some children are wise beyond their years – there are some teenagers that remain very immature. Be sure to consider the maturity and emotional intelligence of your child before you allow them to walk the family dog.
The location where your child walks your dog is a big factor. Is it deserted or busy? Is it in a park or on the road? There are many factors to consider that will help you decide whether it is safe or not. Deserted is always safe for the dog (if he/she has a good recall) but is it safe for your child. Walking in a busy area can conjure up many scenarios – how does your dog behave around other dogs, does your dog jump on passer-by’s – there are many things to consider.
As you can see, there are so many crucial factors to consider before letting your kids out ALONE together: the age, size, level of training and emotional maturity of BOTH your kid and your dog, the route they’ll be taking and what they encounter when out and about! All it takes is one slip of the leash and your dog could be in the street or lost in the forest, or a sudden encounter with another dog who doesn’t like dogs and your kid and dog will suddenly be in big trouble. Think very carefully before you allow your child to walk the family dog – the consequences may be something you regret later…..
I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.
Happy dog training.