Any adult that’s resided with a furry, four legged companion can appreciate what canines bring to a relationship. The bond between a child and a dog is so incredibly different. Kids bring innocence to their canine connection. It is something truly magical, not to be replicated or repeated by adults.
1. It Promotes Sharing
Children living with dogs often develop a strong nurturing instinct. They never want the dog to go hungry and will eagerly share their meals with them… Brussel sprouts, under the table, while Mom is distracted.
2. It’s An In house Buddy System
Childhood can get lonely sometimes. Kids who live with dogs will always have a live in companion. They keep secrets and lick away the tears. And while a game of fetch may be preferred, most dogs enjoy a good spot of tea, while dressed as a princess.
3. It Encourages Responsible Rearing With Proper Training
Teach a dog to sit and they’ll oblige. Teach a dog to balance a treat on their nose and wait, there’s an instant party hit! Teach a dog to jump through a hula hoop? Now there’s a show skill worthy of an admission price!
4. Reinforces Respect Through Etiquette
Manners matter. Children should have a hand in training the family dog. Not only will it build self confidence (on both sides) and strengthen the bond they share, it will remind the child that rewards come from behaving.
5. It Can Help Develop Reading Skills
Reading aloud helps a child sound out words, increases reading comprehension and encourages speech development. Reading out loud to a dog cultivates canine socialization and creates a bond between child and canine. Reading in whispers, by flashlight, under the covers in the middle of the night, there’s one lucky dog!
6. It May Help Decrease Allergies
Recent studies are coming out that the swell in allergies is coming from environments being too clean. Exposing kids early to animals will bolster their immune system and decrease their chance of a sneezy future. All the more reason to give Fido kisses!
7. Builds Awareness Of The World Around
Some children living with dogs begin to develop a sense of animal welfare. They become more aware of what is going on around them, reading the newspaper, watching more Animal Planet or Discovery Channel. It may create an idea of their place in the world, of taking a stand for their four legged buddies. The stance may be something as simple as becoming vegetarian. Brussel sprouts, however, will always be reserved for the dog.
Renee Moen is a veteran shelter employee and certified dog trainer. Specializing in basic obedience and behavior modification, she recognizes each dog for their unique qualities and utilizes those for positive training experiences. Renee is an advocate for dispelling breed myths and denouncing breed discrimination. All dogs are created equal, owners on the other hand…
Living in sunny Longmont, Colorado with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats and five birds, Ms. Moen is also an accomplished writer with five romantic comedies to her credit. She enjoys hiking in the foothills (with her fur babies), roller skating and swimming.