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A dog can be the child's best friend. However, for some dogs, small children are also toys. Other four-legged friends find themselves in a competitive situation or see the offspring in the "pack hierarchy" as a subordinate family member. Veterinarian Katrin Voigt therefore advises that separate areas of life for toddlers and dogs be maintained.
In addition, it is important to leave the four-legged friend with the toddler alone in a living room without supervision. This is the first basic rule to prevent the dog from biting the child, explained the veterinarian for behavioral therapy in Waldems-Esch. Parents should define areas in the home where children and animals can be left alone, advises the expert, who is also the head of the child-and-dog workshop at the Federal Association for Dog Trainers and Behavioral Advisers (BHV).
The child should learn early on that the feeding area and the dog sleeping area are taboo. On the other hand, the dog has to learn that it has no business in bed or in the nursery. To ensure this, the room door of the children's room can easily remain locked. Alternatively, a grille can be placed in front of it. The advice applies to children up to school age. (sb)
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