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Kids and Puppies… Magic, Mayhem, or Both? 

The magic is very real, as anyone lucky enough to share their childhood with a dog will tell you!

But it does come with a side order of mayhem!

Written by: Meg Harris, Canine Behaviour Specialist


We all remember the iconic Coppertone ad, with the little girl on the beach, with a   puppy pulling down her bathing suit; so cute!  In reality though, the puppy’s needle teeth would probably have taken a little bit of tush with the suit, so the next few frames may not have been quite so precious!

Puppies and kids need to learn how to interact with one another, and both will make many mistakes along the way.  Kids will get excited and wind puppies up, or tease them, or pull on puppy body parts they shouldn’t!  Puppies have little razor teeth which they use to play and explore the world, including fingers, toes and tushies!  Favourite toys will meet unfortunate ends; large breed puppies will share ice cream cones without invitation, and send little people tumbling by accident!  It is all just part of the learning curve for small children and puppies together.

Can it work?   Absolutely!  Is the magic worth the mayhem?  Absolutely!   But it will be up to you to teach both the puppy and the children how to treat one another with respect and kindness, so that both can find the magic of kids and puppies together!

A few tips: 

  • Do your homework, and be sure to choose a suitable breed or type of dog for your family.
  • If you’re not sure how to make it work or the magic is evading you, get help from a professional. 
  • And above all else, keep your sense of humour and enjoy the journey!  

You may just find that mayhem included, puppy magic is as good for the adult soul as it is for the child’s!


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