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The Golden Retriever’s No. 1 goal is to please its family -- the trait is simply bred into them. Even so, you shouldn’t take your Golden’s kind, friendly nature for granted. Kids should be taught how to interact with their dog, and vice versa, to enhance a lifelong bond.
Get to Know Your New Dog
The Golden’s gentle personality is legendary, but even this breed has its bad apples. Make sure you know as much as possible about your dog before you adopt your new family member.
Socialize With Pets and People
Do you already have a golden and plan on bringing children into your family? Socialize your dog at parks and playgrounds to get it accustomed to the noise and fast movements that are made by excited children.
Establish a Pecking Order
Your golden may think young children are littermates. But your dog needs to understand it’s on the bottom of the pecking order, no matter how small the human companion. Conversely, teach even your littlest child to not let your dog push him around.
Goldens are extremely tolerant, but children should respect their pet’s safety zone and not bother it while it’s eating, sleeping or in its crate. Kids should understand that although dogs don’t talk, they communicate to us through doggie language. A wagging tail and bowed stance means “Come play with me.” A warning growl means “Back off.”
Your Golden will respond well to upbeat training. Encourage your children to interact with their pet by using positive reinforcement, not harsh words or punishment. And while these beauties possess a glowing golden coat that begs to be petted, children should be taught not to pull hair or stroke their dog too aggressively.
Explain That Love Works Both Ways
Teach your children that love is a two-way street. If they “make nice” to their dog in all interactions, the dog will return their affections tenfold. Golden Retrievers are particularly good with kids, which makes the bonding process virtually automatic. With that said, any dog/kid relationship benefits from a little training and a lot of love.
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