Candy Cane Rescue dogs and children
Candy Cane Rescue dogs make wonderful pets and can make a family feel complete. Once the dog has arrived in the UK, they go into a foster home this gives us an opportunity to assess each dog in a home environment and introduce it to different situations. Having said that there are rules that need to be followed to ensure that your children and dog are safe – it is not just the dog that needs to be taught to adapt but also your children.
Candy Cane dogs are rescued from all sorts of situations and we have no idea of their background, many have been neglected and led abusive and traumatic lives so far. Imagine knowing nothing apart from living with lots of other dogs, often in squalid environment, very rarely having human touch (although they crave this), eating food around other dogs and never living in a home environment. This is exactly what our dogs are used to, so careful introduction, rules and boundaries need to be put in place to make them feel comfortable and safe. Due to the dogs not used to being woken up by touch Candy Cane Rescue do not recommend allowing your dog on the sofa or human bed. Touching a sleeping dog (some sleep with their eyes open so you think they are awake) can cause startle and the dog may jump up and snap – this is one of the most common reason for an adoption not to work out. You should always call your dog before approaching when they are asleep to let them know you are there.
Bringing your dog home is very exciting for everyone and is the time you need to start as you mean to go on. When your child is around your dog, they should always behave in a calm and quiet manner, it is best to let your dog approach your child rather than your child going to your dog.
We cannot emphasise enough children should never ever approach your dog when they are lying down or asleep. Dogs often sleep with their eyes open. If your child touches them it may startle them causing them to jump up and possibly snap. Remember the saying ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. It is important for your dog to have their own space in the house where they can relax and know and feel they are safe, this could be their bed in a quiet part of the room or a crate. The child should be taught that this is a no go area and belongs to your dog. Most dogs love comfort and will search out the best places they can and will claim as their own, as we mentioned earlier, we strongly advise to not let your dog sleep on the sofa or human bed. If your dog is crate trained your child should never be allowed to go into the crate even if your dog is not in it. This is your dog’s safe place and somewhere to go to feel relaxed and sleep in peace.
Some of the Candy Cane Rescue dogs can be the same height as a small child which means they can easily see and take food out of a child’s hand. The easiest way to stop this is to ensure that if your child is eating that they are in a different room to your dog or sitting down away from it. When feeding your dog, they should be allowed to eat their food in peace and your child should never approach or interfere while they are eating, this also applies when giving your dog treats.
Children should always be taught to be kind to animals, it is important to let them feel part of looking after your dog but always under supervision and once your dog has had time to settle in. A child should never be allowed to take the lead to walk your dog on their own, however they can be included by adding an extra lead so they can learn to walk calmly beside them. Gentle grooming is another way to include your child in your dog’s care.
Be careful with doors, make sure your child never opens the front or back door without ensuring your dog is secure, child gates can help with this, if your dog does get out they move fast and could be down the road in no time. Always teach your child to secure your dog before opening doors or better still do not allow them to open door and always call you.
Candy Cane Rescue dogs make fabulous family pets, however the environment they have come from, they would never have experienced many things including children. Candy Cane Rescue will assess the dogs prior to being rehomed and will only home them with children if they think they are suitable, sometimes this could be children above 12 depending on the dog’s personality.
In summary here are the points to remember
- Make careful introductions
- Always supervise, never ever leave your child and dog on their own
- Always let sleeping dogs lie – never approach when sleeping, relaxing or in their crate.
- Do not allow your dog to get on the sofa or human bed
- When feeding your dog, give them space and let them eat in peace.
- Never open front or back door without ensuring your dog is secure.
- Teach your child to be gentle and kind to all animals.
- Candy Cane Rescue are always available for advice, please call if you are struggling and need help.