Child-Dog Relationships and Wellbeing
It is well known that child-dog interactions can come with potential benefits and risks. Children can form strong bonds with pets and often start the conversation about bringing new animals into homes. However, the quality of the relationship formed between a child and dog can impact the wellbeing of the entire household, including the dog’s success. So how do we teach children and dogs to not only live safely together, but to form thriving partnerships? In this talk we will look at some of the ways child-dog relationships differ from adult-dog relationships, as well as the developmental and experiential roots of these differences. We will then discuss how training programs can be used to build deeper understanding and more secure bonds between children and their family dog. We will also talk briefly about cats and the ways we are currently expanding these questions and training opportunities to cat-child relationships as well.