There are very few things in the world that are cuter than a puppy and a toddler playing together. However, for every cute toddler giggle and puppy kiss you see, there's a parent who's worked hard to make sure their dog and toddler are the best of friends.
Train Your Dog On How To Behave Near Your Toddler
The first step to making sure your toddler and pup become the best of friends is to train your dog on how to properly behave near your little one. You can start by preparing your dog for the random hugs, pokes and pets your toddler is bound to give them. The best way to do this is by gently hugging, poking and petting your dog yourself, and then rewarding them with a treat. Make sure you have a calm and cheery voice while doing this so your dog feels comfortable and has positive associations to a toddler's typical movements and handling.
It's also important to train your dog to respond calmly to a toddler nearing their food and teach them to retreat on command when you see them being a bit too sassy with your little one. Training is all about repetition and persistence, and if you need a little help on how to start, .
Train Your Toddler On How To Behave Near Your Dog
Just like you need to train your dog on how to behave near your toddler, you need to train your toddler on how to behave near your dog. It's in most toddlers' inquisitive nature to want to poke and prod practically everything they find, so it's a parents job to teach their kids to respect their pets. The best way to do this is lead by example. Demonstrate to your toddler how to gently pet a puppy and play with them. Let them know pinching the dog or pulling their tail gives them an "owie."
Consider bringing your toddler to one of your dog's training lessons. Letting your toddler see all the work the dog does to play nice with them can help them want to learn how to play nice with the dog.