The best family dogs aren't just found. Your new four-legged friend needs to be trained properly to fit into your life and your family.
Q: What steps can be taken with a new puppy to ensure it grows to be the best dog for family and kids?
A: The most important thing is socialization. That doesn't mean exposing your puppy to a whole bunch of new and/or unfamiliar sights, sounds and locations, but it does mean gradually exposing the puppy to new things and making sure the pup responds appropriately. This is where training comes in. It's our job to make sure your puppy has the right foundation to blossom into a confident, well-balanced dog just like a Pre-K/Kindergarten teacher helps to lay that same foundation for your child.
Q: If the family has tried everything but the dog is not child friendly, what should be the next step?
A: Absolutely seek help from a professional or two or more! Don't take the word of just one person, but search for that perfect fit for your dog and family. I'm a mom, so kids always come first with me. Any great dog trainer will tell you aggression can't be cured, but it can be managed. We can help build the dog's confidence and teach avoidance protocols like excusing themselves from uncomfortable situations with kids. Many of our success stories are families who sought training elsewhere and didn't get the results they needed. However, depending on the severity of the aggression, sometimes the safest option is rehoming the dog.
We hope you'll also read the first part of our interview with Krystal about finding the best family dog and the final installment detailing the five steps families should take if they already have a dog and are expecting a baby.