Lu was only 2 years old when my grandson was born. And still very puppy like. I wasn’t worried that she would harm my grandson at any age because my daughter and I agreed that the number one rule would be ‘Luna and my grandson would never be left alone together’.
The introduction to my grandson in the early days of his life, built mutual respect between boy and dog. I have no doubt that my grandson and Luna will be best of friends as he grows up. But we laid a really good foundation for this to happen.
My daughter and I read many articles about the best way to introduce Lu to the baby and we decided that having Lu respect his space was the best way to go. This meant that Lu could not go too close to him unless invited to do so. This of course was difficult at first as Lu loves to lick anyone that will let her. But she learned to respect his space as an infant and now that he is two years old, she still does. (Although there are incidents of walk by lickings which she just can’t help. )
My daughter, who is a wonderful mother, also taught my grandson respect for animals. He doesn’t take Luna’s toys from her. He feeds her and gives her treats. He ‘pets nice’. And he respects her space as well. He is careful not to step on her if he needs to get around her. And he very concerned if she is ‘sad’. ( when she is whiny he always says “Wuna sad”with a concerned look on his face) He once fell on her when he first started to walk. She ,of course, did nothing and he burst out crying until we told him it was ok he didn’t hurt Lu.
I think that when people have children they forget that the child/ dog relationship is two sided. It’s not just up to the dog to learn to respect the child but it is also about parents teaching their children to respect the dog.( I once had a young boy of about 7 years old come up to Luna in Pet Smart and pinch her. She was just laying down waiting for me to finish picking out a toy, and I observed him approaching her from the corner of my eye. I thought he was gonna pet her.)
I know dogs are suppose to be having fun with the kids playing but children also need to learn when to tone down or stop playing with a dog when the dog is too excited. And it is up to the parents of younger children to educate them on this.
One of my nephews was a good example of a child who had not learned respect for animals. He was 8 when Lu was 2. My sister could not figure out why I would not let Luna go play with her son alone in the basement. I had already observed how he interacted with Lu. He would take her toys then tease her with it. And had no respect for her space. When my sister asked me ” what? Your dog isn’t allowed to play with my son?” I told her ” I don’t leave Luna alone with children without supervision. I love her too much to allow an ‘accident’ to happen.”
(If I go somewhere and their are children, I will tether Luna to me until I observe how she is with the children and how they are with her.)
Teach dogs AND children respect for one another.