Almost all children love dogs and want to make one part of their family. Children don't generally discriminate between dog breeds, and will likely be happy with any dog. Unfortunately, while some dogs may be an ideal choice, other dogs, such as the Lhasa Apso, may not.
Therefore, while owning a dog may be a common interest between you and your children, you need to make sure that you train your children first, especially if you plan on introducing smaller dogs such as the Lhasa into your home.
The Lhasa Apso is not particularly fond of young children and will snap if he/she is teased. In addition, this dog is quite small in size and can easily be injured if handled roughly. Hence, children need to know how to properly care and interact with the dog. The best way to ensure a child learns how to get along with the dog is to make them an active part in the dog's development and lay down a few ground rules.
The following is what you should teach your children –
Play Nice – Your child needs to understand that a dog is not a toy and should not be treated as such. They need to treat the Lhasa as they would like to be treated. This means not pulling on the dog's tail, kicking the dog, pulling on his/her ears, etc. It's also a good idea to instruct children (especially young children under the age of 8) not to pick up and carry around the Lhasa so that they don't accidentally drop the dog.
Furthermore, young children under the age of 5 should be supervised when with the dog to ensure that no harm comes to either party.
Food and Water – Children like to help out because it makes them feel important. Give your child small responsibilities by letting them know the importance of providing fresh water and food for the dog. Inform children that the water in the dog's dish should be changed frequently (a few times per day) to keep water from becoming stagnant and a breeding ground for bacteria and/or mosquitoes (especially is water is kept outside).
As for food, children need to know that the dog should only be fed a certain amount of their dry dog food daily. Show the child how to measure the right amount with a measuring cup and distribute it in the dog's dish. Moreover, make sure the child knows not to feed the dog human food, as many food items, such as chocolate and onions, are extremely toxic to dogs. And, if a child wishes to give the dog a treat, he/she should ask you first before giving it to the dog.
Exercise and Play – The Lhasa Apso will require exercise and will need plenty of playtime and attention. Teach your children that the game of fetch is an excellent way to play with the dog. Children will enjoy tossing a ball or other object for the dog to fetch and the Lhasa will love the game.
When it comes to walking, children under the age of 10 should not be permitted to walk the dog on their own. Children under the age of 5 should not be allowed to walk the dog even in the company of an adult, as the child will have no control over the dog and there is too much of a risk that the child will let go of the leash.
Puppies love to chew – Make sure your child knows that there is a good chance that the Lhasa puppy will love to chew, especially when they are going through their teething stage. Therefore, your child needs to remember to pick up his/her things and not leave valuables lying around that could potentially injure the dog, or that the dog could destroy.
A child needs to understand that if the dog chews up one of their toys or belongings it is not the dog's fault. The dog does not understand it is destroying something of value, and is not committing an intentional act of destruction. Therefore, make sure children get into the habit of closing room doors and picking up their things.
Taking the dog out – Children need to be aware that the Lhasa must be taken outside to use the bathroom, a task that is much more frequent when the dog is still a puppy. Make a bathroom break schedule for your dog and make sure your children are aware of this schedule, especially if you go out. Children must understand the importance of taking out the dog, or else accidents will occur in the home.
Safety – Last but not least, children need to keep the Lhasa Apso's safety in mind. This means –
* Be mindful of where the dog is lying down so it is not unintentionally walked on or sat on. * Keep small items and toys off the ground such as small plastic pieces that the dog could choke on. * Don't leave food lying around the floor and make sure all areas are inspected after eating to ensure things such as candies or chocolates haven't been left on the ground. * Art and craft supplies should be put away so that the dog can't get into paint, crayons, color pencils, glue, etc.
When you stress to your children how important it is to properly care and love the Lhasa Apso, teach them how to treat the dog, and provide them with some responsibility, your children and the dog can become great friends.
Rich Cussons works with dogs of all breeds Why not discover more about Lhasa Apso dogs at the Lhasa Apso Savvy website.