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This Is What It Looks Like When Kids and Dogs Interact in the Right Ways

These photos show kids and dogs playing and relaxing in safe, positive ways.

Abbie Mood, Dip. CBST  |  Apr 14th 2016


While there are many articles about what it looks like when kids and dogs are uncomfortable with one another (Doggone Safe is a great resource), we thought it would be fun to highlight some kids and dogs who are enjoying one another’s company!

This first photo is great demonstration of a younger child walking appropriately with a dog. They are walking side by side, both have their own space, and an adult has the leash. If the child wanted to help, I would have him hold the leash near where the adult is, instead of on the dog Simba’s harness or directly behind his harness.

SImba walking with his little friend. Photo Credit: MiKayla Gordon

Simba walking nicely with his little friend. (Photo by MiKayla Gordon)

I don’t typically recommend that children walk the dog, but in this case, Athena seems very relaxed and well behaved on leash (look at how she is paying attention to him!), the boys are walking nicely, and there is an adult present (who is taking the photo).

Athena walking with her "cousin." Photo Credit: Christy Middleton

Athena walking with her “cousin.” (Photo by Christy Middleton)

In this photo, both Wrecker and the child have some space. The boy isn’t grabbing or hugging him, and Wrecker seems to have made the choice to lie next to him. Such a sweet photo!

Wrecker and his buddy. Photo Credit: Amber Schnese

Wrecker snuggling with his buddy. (Photo by Amber Schnese)

Sometimes kids get really excited and really want to help with the dog. Letting your child read to your pup is a great way for the two to interact, plus it encourages your child to practice his reading skills!

Reading to Paisley. Photo Credit: Sabrina Nachtrieb

Reading to Paisley. (Photo by Sabrina Nachtrieb)

Another great way to get kids involved with the dogs is through training. This is Remi as a puppy with his “brother,” and they are working on being calm and “shaking” before Remi gets a stick. As always, a parent is supervising.

Remi and his "brother". Photo Credit: Melissa Drake

Remi and his “brother.” (Photo by Melissa Drake)

This is Boo, an amputee. According to his mom, “My 3-year-old was being grumpy after half of a nap, and Boo (who usually is the last of our three dogs that you’d expect to come to a grumpy 3-year-old’s aid) was [the one] who jumped up there. They soothed each other’s souls that day, I guess.”

It’s a great example of how dogs can brighten not only our moods, but also those of the kids they love. Boo made the choice to jump up there, and he could have gotten down whenever he wanted (always make sure your dog has an exit option!).

Boo and his boy. Photo Credit: Kelly Knight

Boo and his boy. (Photo by Kelly Knight)

I love how respectful the little girl is in this photo. She is using one hand to pet Vera (who is also being really well behaved), and she isn’t leaning or hovering over him. There is also an adult supervising (her mom took the photo). I would just make sure that she isn’t bothering the puppy while he is sleeping.

This little girl is nicely petting her tired puppy. Photo Credit: Courtnei Germanson

This little girl is nicely petting a sleepy Vera. (Photo by Courtnei Germanson)

We typically think of the benefits we get from having a dog, but sometimes a dog can benefit just as much from us or our children. Quinn was nervous about some visitors that weekend, so he cuddled with the owner’s niece. I don’t think she minds!

Photo Credit: Macayla Isler

Quinn snuggling up during a thunderstorm. (Photo by Macayla Isler)

This one is so much fun! The dogs are regular mushers with their owner, so what better way to practice and have some fun than to hook up a sled for the kids?

Dogs pulling a sled for the boys. Photo Credit: Nate Lundberg

Dogs pulling a sled for the boys. (Photo by Nate Lundberg)

Do you have any photos of your kids interacting appropriately with your dogs? Share them in the comments!