Introducing Boston Terriers to Children

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Dogs are animals and can be unpredictable at times.  How can you safely introduce Boston Terriers to ChildrenThe three step process outlined in the article below makes it easy to know if both can safe to be left alone.

Step 1: Ask the owner
Teach your kids never to rush up toward a dog. Tell them to stop about 5 feet away and ask the owner, “May I pet your dog?”

Sometimes the answer will be no. Many dogs don’t live with kids and are not comfortable with them. So if the dog’s owner says no, that’s okay.

If the owner says yes, then the children must ask the dog.

Step 2: Ask the dog — Do not skip this step!
Tell kids that dogs don’t use words but instead rely on body language. Pantomime various emotions such as anger, fear and excitement to show the kids that they use body language too.

Have your children make a fist with the palm pointed down. Then they can slowly extend their arm for the dog to sniff their hand. Teaching the kids to curl their fingers in minimizes the risk of a dog nipping their finger.

When the dog is being given the opportunity to sniff, watch his body language.

Does he come forward with loose, waggy motions? That’s definitely a yes.
Does he lean forward for a quick sniff and seem comfortable? Also a yes.
Does he turn his face away from your child’s hand? Back away? Bark? Move behind the owner? Look anxious and unsettled? Growl? These are all nos.

Step 3: Pet the dog
If the owner says yes and the dog says yes, the kids can pet the dog.

Suggest that your children stroke the side of the dog’s neck, rub under his chin, scratch his chest, or pet along his back. Most dogs prefer slow, gentle strokes to rapid pat-pat-patting.

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Good pet etiquette is something that is taught and not something that you are born with.  As a responsible parent, introducing Boston Terriers to children should be a happy moment and not one where you fear that the dog will bite or your child will pull the dogs ears.

If in doubt, introducing Boston Terriers to children should be put off till both are ready.  Some children are introduced to dogs that nip or bite and they never forget that and think all dogs will be like that.  These children will grow up never knowing the pleasure of having a true companion dog.

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