Skill A Day: Day 7 Kids & Food Bowl Safety Review

Today my toddler age niece and nephew came over with my sister for a few hours.  Both kids are now of the age where in addition to walking and talking, enjoy engaging with the dogs.  The 3 year old somewhere along the way (not from me!) got this idea that dogs were like toys, there for her benefit and at her beck and call.  Then again she has the idea with her brother too, and adults for that matter, I think it might be a 3 year old thing.  This morning the dogs and I spent a lot of time and effort dispelling this myth.  It’s a work in progress.

Days like today are ones I am ever grateful and glad I have such mentally sound and tolerant dogs.  More than tolerant where the kids are concerned, they both seem to enjoy and choose to engage with the kids.  Supervised of course.  Always.  Zora did a great job reminding the 3 year old that demanding and wanting doesn’t mean the dog (or person) will comply.  She’s not a robot.  The 3 year old wanted Zora’s attention, and was demanding it in a very commanding ‘you do this now!’ tone, Zora ignored her completely until her tone softened and she kindly asked for ZoZo’s attention.  Then Zora was more than happy to engage.

Once the kids went home, the dogs and I played some ball games in the back yard.  Then took a much needed nap.  Kids are exhausting.

And this evening we reviewed our food dish safety skills.  Which the dogs did great with.  No concerns at all when I approached them eating out of their food dish, when I dropped some extra special tasty morsels into their dish, and when I asked each to come to me moving away from their dish while they were eating.   No tensing, no change in eating speed, no whale eye, just relaxed comfortable eating dogs.  Good dogs.

0 thoughts on “Skill A Day: Day 7 Kids & Food Bowl Safety Review

  1. LOL! 3 year olds think the entire world revolves around them! They just don’t have the mental capacity yet to put themselves in the place of another person or animal. They always need close supervision with animals. People like to believe that kids and animals are naturally great together, but unfortunately that’s not true! I think it is really good for them to interact with animals, it teaches them a lot about how the world works. It sounds like Zora was very patient! X

    1. “People like to believe that kids and animals are naturally great together, but unfortunately that’s not true! ” Oh tell me about it. When I was seeing clients for behavior or even just basic training lessons, I did a tremendous amount of educating both parents and kids on how to set up and maintain safe kid and dog interactions. I can quote various bite statistics up the wazoo trying to make that point. People tend to live in a fantasy land that the Lassie TV program and various books have created. It’s a disservice to dogs and animals everywhere in my opinion. Sets so many dogs up for pure failure and kids up to be bitten, and so many small animal pets up for poor health, lack of enrichment, and even premature death. It’s sad. Especially because with the right knowledge, supervision and adult support many kids and dogs/pets can lead very mutually enriching and beneficial lives.

      1. I totally agree!! I’m not an expert on dogs, but what you say sounds very true to me. And about small animals – this is doomed to failure if the patent get the animals only for the kids. Yes, kids can learn responsibility from animals and they can be great companions – but only if the parents are actively involved. It doesn’t work to just put them together and see what happens. My kids have been scratched numerous times by our cats, even with supervision! Dogs can do so much more damage, but they often seem to be surprisingly patient. I’m sure your niece and nephew will learn great “animal manners”! 🙂

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