Beagliers and Children
Dogs and children together can be a cause for concern as they may not always get along, and accidents can happen. Even mild mannered dogs such as Beagliers can get annoyed when they are subjected to constant harassment from young children, especially when the child gets old enough to latch firmly onto a tail, or is tempted to pull whiskers or fur. So it’s not just a case of keeping the child safe from the dog, but also one of keeping the dog safe from the child. In most unfortunate encounters the child will fully recover, but the dog often pays the ultimate price.
During this delicate period the best course of action is to ensure that the kids and your Beaglier are never alone together, and ensure that any close contact between them is fully supervised by you. This will ensure that dog and child get to know each other in favourable conditions, and without any violent mishaps to mar their future years together. When dogs play together they use their mouth and teeth a lot. Without any clear guidance to the contrary this is how they will play with children, especially if the play starts to get on the rough side. Close supervision and gentle discipline will teach your dog the appropriate level of force allowed during playtime with the kids.
Dogs operate by a different set of rules than humans, and as humans we need to accept and accommodate for these behavioural differences. You can’t resolve fear in your Beaglier with a heartfelt conversation, or even diminish a desire for domination with a family meeting. They perceive things differently and therefore react in a manner that we may not always understand. Therefore, it’s important that we learn a little about the psychology of dogs and why they react the way they do in certain situations. With understanding comes the ability to avoid the situations that may cause an animal to lash out.
Dogs are pack animals, and your family is their pack. If they see themselves as dominant they may try to discipline an unruly child with growling or biting. This situation can only get worse if a young child develops an interest in the dog’s favourite chew toy, or tries to take their food away. Make sure your Beaglier knows that all the humans in your house are above them in the pack and that they need to follow the lead of the people and not the other way around. You can do this by ensuring the dog has structure, boundaries, and firm leadership so they always feel safe, secure and well lead by the people in the pack.
Children who grow up with dogs learn great things about compassion, caring, and responsibility but care needs to be taken to avoid unfortunate encounters. With structure, discipline, training, and supervision you can make your home a safe and happy one for both your children and your Beaglier. As an adult, you may forget the people that you went to school with but you will not forget the dog you grew up with, such is the bond between us and our dogs.