Does puppy training with young children work? Can a young child command a dog to sit? YES! Just as the puppy will learn command routines and conditioning from an adult, they also can learn from a child. In my 8 year dog training career, I have always taught that successful dog training is a family affair and that we must empower the children to work with the dog as much as the adult.
1. Making the child “pack leader”. The goal of training a new puppy with children is to have the puppy view the child as a “pack leader”. This can be achieved with a few easy bonding tasks. The best way for a child to connect with their new puppy is to feed, groom, walk, and daily dog training command work. By doing these tasks, a bond will be formed with the puppy that the child is more of a leader than a “pack play toy”. Generally speaking the new puppy will obey adults with a firmer toned voice, but with daily command practice, sooner than later your new puppy will be listening to the whole family!
2. Rewards for BOTH puppy and child. Just as your new puppy will learn commands and daily routines by food, verbal affirmation, and physical touch rewards, SO will your child. Set small weekly puppy training goals for your children to achieve. For example, week one will be the “sit” command. From the video above, little 22 mo. old Vallie had her puppy Rocky sitting in one week! After a weekly training goal is met, you can reward your child with a special trip to the park, or to the store for one of their favorite toys. Each week by following this puppy training process, you will begin to see your children interacting more with your puppy and the bonding between child and dog improving daily.
Puppy training with children can be easy with the right guidance and daily interaction with your dog. Be patient and soon your children will have the love and obedience from their new puppy companion for many years to come.
Since 2005, Mark Siebel has trained over 6000 satisfied K’9’s and customers alike. The goal has always been to show owners how to properly integrate their dog into the home setting. Consulting on what breed of dog to buy, where to buy/rescue from, preparing your home for your new puppy and health/nutrition are just a few ways DOGGIE STEPS helps its customers.