If you have been looking for a rescue dog for a while, but have kids, you may find it discouraging.  Many rescues will not adopt to families with kids, or with kids under a certain age.  Typically this is due to something that has happened, and falls into the “lesson learned” category.  This video is a bit of an eyeopener. (We know it’s hard to watch, but it includes important messaging)

In rescue, volunteers feel this frustration from parents.  We get yelled at, we hear “no, not my kids – my kids are good around dogs”, or we get the ultimatum “fine, I’ll go to a breeder”.   If your family really wants a dog, we do want you to make it happen – whether it be a dog that is young or old, purebred or rescue – your child’s safety is paramount.

We do ask anyone with kids that is looking for a dog, to read this article, and play a bit of devils advocate with yourself.  “Would my kid do this?” “What would I do if my child did that?”  Be thorough and diligent in your self-talk.  The end result could be any or all of the following:  better child safely, alternate sources for your dog search, new family rules, or any other way to learn and up-level your dog-savvy quotient.

We looked for ways to share our knowledge, but we really found these articles great for the whole family:

Dr Sophia Yin – How Kids Should and Should Not Interact 

Wide Open Pets

Teaching Kids how to Interact with Dogs

In addition to ensuring that your own kids are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need for positive interactions with the family dog, you might also need to educate other people’s kids. Where there are little people there will inevitably be more little people coming over for play dates, parties, etc. When you adopt a dog it becomes your responsibility to ensure that absolutely everyone who interacts with your new family member does so in a way that is respectful and safe at all times.

Remember, a new dog is a respected member of the family – not a toy.  A bad dog interaction has serious ramifications, and in the end, could hurt your child and have worse consequences for your dog.

Thanks for reading and best of luck on your search!

christine@dibsrescue