Is This Dog Good With Kids?
Very few dogs dislike kids. What dogs dislike is being sat on, hit, poked, carried around like a stuffed toy, having their ears and tails pulled, or being otherwise abused. Would you like these things? Probably not. Be aware: Abuse is still abuse, whether the perpetrator means it that way or not. A puppy who is tossed into the air and injured has been abused, whether the tosser is an adult or an unsupervised two year-old. So rather than ask a rescuer, "Is this dog good with kids?", ask yourself the following:
- Have I taught my child that animals are sentient beings with feelings?
- Have I taught my child to treat animals with respect?
- Is my child old enough to understand that he is capable of hurting an animal? And that an animal who is being hurt is not at fault for defending itself?
- Have I arranged to give my pet a safe place in our home where my child may not approach him?
- Is my child old enough to recognize a pet as a responsibility, not a toy?
- Am I committed to constantly supervising all interaction between my very young child and our pet?
If you answered "Yes" to every question, you're ready to introduce a pet to your family. If the answer to even one question is "No", you need to consider waiting until your child is a more appropriate age.