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berkgid
8th August 2006, 05:47 PM
Hi,

I am new to this forum and to the world of cavaliers. We just brought home an 8 month old male, who is the sweetest dog. He was living in the breeder’s house with 12 other caves and he has not been socialized with kids yet. My daughters are 3 and 6. The dog seems a bit afraid of them. What is the best way to get him used to them? My wife and I are very diligent, and we have taught the girls to be very gentle with him, but I don’t want to make any mistakes. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Karlin
8th August 2006, 06:11 PM
icon_welcome

I have some good information on just this area in the Library section. :) Have a look at this:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1101

Also there are some wonderful articles on dogs and children regarding a number of issues, if you scroll to the bottom of this page:

http://deesdogs.com/training.htm

In general I would be extremely cautious with a 3 year old in particular, and be sure all interactions with both children and the puppy are closely supervised. Having children sit on the floor for special interactions with the puppy -- and having them understand they are never allowed to pick the puppy up -- are two starting points. Quickly darting, playing children can be terrifying for small puppies so having them quietly sitting at puppy level helps enormously. I alsways ask children to kneel down to see my dogs (I tell them they are giants when the dogs look at them and very scary! and they enjoy this and always happily kneel down).

A bigger issue at this age of both children and puppies is that puppies bite and bite hard -- another reason I'd not allow open interactions with children for puppies. Ths is a good time for everyone to get to know each other but always remember grownups need to be managing the situation as neither children nor puppy are old enough to take on such responsibility. It's all a matter of wise oversight and will be easier as the puppy grows. :)

PS the Diamondsintheruff articles are highly recommended (they are links on the page I've given you above).

Jen
8th August 2006, 06:45 PM
I agree with what Karlin has suggested, and I would like to add that you allow the kids, under supervision, always, to give the pup small treats--desensitization with counter-conditioning--something scary isn't that scary if it has food. We've done this with our dog and it's worked wonders. We had pretty much the same situation, a dog whom the breeder hadn't exposed to kids, only she was well over a year before she was around kids. You've got an advantage with an even younger dog. It will take some time, don't ever force the dog to be with the kids and always supervise the situation. The dog will feel comfortable if it feels safe.

RockNRollCav
8th August 2006, 07:03 PM
I recommend the book "Living with Kids and Dogs" http://www.livingwithkidsanddogs.com/

One of the trainers at the facility where we take our dogs for obedience wrote it. She has won several awards for it, and I've heard nothing but good things in regard to this book.

Good luck!

Karlin
8th August 2006, 07:09 PM
Ohhh, that looks good. I will add it to the resource page here. :)

berkgid
10th August 2006, 12:56 PM
Thank you all for the very helpful suggestions. The treat approach has been working great with my 6 year old. My 3 year old is going to take a bit more time :lol: