7 Ways to Introduce a New Dog to Your Children

If you’ve decided on a Cane Corso pup, there are a few things you should know before proceeding with the adoption.

Every day nearly 1,000 people need emergency treatment as a direct result of a dog-related injury. The purpose of sharing this information isn’t to alarm you, but rather to make you aware of the best practices in dog safety.

There are many occurrences in life we tend to categorize as a “that would never happen to me” event. But unfortunately, accidents happen. The important thing is to teach our children how to properly approach and care for a dog in order to minimize the potential for canine violence.

Here are a few important dog-accident statistics from 2017:

  • In 2017, 39 dog bite-related fatalities occurred in the U.S.
  • 38 percent of fatality victims were children ages 8 years or younger
  • 62 percent of fatality victims were adults ages 21 years or older
  • Family dogs were responsible for 72 percent of all dog-bite fatalities
  • 51 percent of all dog-bite fatalities included more than one dog

Fortunately, we have a few strategies for helping your children navigate the introduction of a new dog—namely an Americana Cane Corso—into your home. They will also help you better educate the children of others who come into contact with your dog.

Teach them how to properly touch a new animal.

Unintentionally, children tend to pull and yank a dog’s hair. Sometimes, not realizing what they are doing, they might pinch the dog or otherwise cause unexpected pain. This is critical. If a dog feels sudden pain or a sharp tug it may react violently. Teach your children to always be gentle and considerate when handling your dog—or any animal for that matter!

Allow the dog to approach the child willingly.

Dogs need to feel that they have ample room to move. They don’t like when their territory is encroached upon. Especially when it comes to encountering children, a dog needs the freedom to approach the child of their own accord. Start with teaching your child to keep their distance from a Cane Corso long enough to allow the dog to approach them first.

Don’t introduce treats or new toys during the first interactions.

You don’t want your dog to expect a treat or toy every time they are with your child. Never set this as a precedent—only let your child implement a treat or toy as part of a reward system for good behavior and training.

Give your new dog adequate room to breathe…i.e. time to sniff your child.

A dog uses their sense of smell to get to know a new person. Sniffing is their way of saying ‘hello’ and otherwise greeting an unfamiliar person that they have deemed safe. This is a great method for introducing a baby to the dog. Allow the dog to smell the baby’s blanket thoroughly before making a formal introduction.

Never interrupt a dog that is eating or sleeping.

Dogs don’t like to be startled. Teach your child to be cautious of any action that would cause a sudden startle, thereby making the dog feel threatened.

Teach your child to be conscientious of loud sounds and wild movements around all dogs.

Sudden movements or sounds can really frighten a dog. Unfortunately, children are prone to both. Explain to your kids how important it is to be mindful of their noise level and physical activity around the Cane Corso and other breeds.

Be cautious of leaving a child and a pet unattended.

Obviously this isn’t always practical, but a dog bite usually occurs as a result of tugged fur, being sat on, or food being snatched. The best practice is to exercise extreme caution when leaving a child with a dog.

NEVER, EVER HIT A DOG. This may seem like a given, but teaching children basic manners with a dog can go a long way. In general, children should exercise the same good manners they would use with other children: never hit, never bite, don’t yell or scream, don’t take something that isn’t yours, and be nice.

Cane Corsos make excellent pets when paired with a loving and disciplined family. At Americana, we’ll help you get acclimated to your new Americana Cane Corso pup with individualized tips and tricks, depending on your family’s unique dynamic.

The most important rule for dog safety is to be a good owner. For more advice on how to do that, check out our blog for tons of additional resources!