Small children and puppies are both curious, impulsive, endearing, and can be easily excitable. When introducing your new labradoodle puppy to the family, she may be a little shy because she is experiencing a completely new environment and people. This is why it’s important to carefully supervise first encounters between a new puppy and your children. Check out some guidelines on how to introduce your children to your new puppy.

1. Let the Puppy initialize the bonding process

Teach your kids that young puppies may be somewhat fearful and anxious and need a gentle, patient approach. Speak with your children so that they understand the importance of one-on-one introduction and allow your labradoodle puppy to initiate kid-puppy introductions by coming to them independently.

2. Supervise all puppy-kid interactions

In the beginning stages it is important to supervise all puppy-kid interactions, as both the kids and the puppy are learning new things about each other and how to behave around each other. Through their desire to play, kids can at times be rough with the new labradoodle puppy, which can make the puppy feel unsafe. As a result, this can stress the puppy and trigger an aggressive reaction and instill fear in a young child. So, always be present until both the puppy and the child, know how to behave around each other.

3. Include the kids in the care of the puppy

One way to have your kids bond fast with your puppy is to involve them in the care of your little labradoodle puppy. Things such as getting the leash, feeding the puppy, cleaning up after her, and walking her are ways to teach your kids how to be responsible with your puppy. These early lessons will nurture and strengthen a healthy owner-dog relationship as both child and your puppy mature. 

4. Let your kids participate in training

Work with your kids to help them understand that an obedient puppy is a happy puppy. Have your kids participate in the puppy’s training. This ensures that kids learn the proper way to issue commands or corrections, and your puppy learns expectations early on. Both children and puppies (and often adults, too) learn by actually doing the task and by repetition.

5. Be patient

In your quest to forge a great relationship between your new puppy and your children, patience is the key. Both are learning what is expected of them and how to relate to each other. The kids must learn that your new puppy is not a roughhousing partner, plaything or a doll. Patient interactions leave room for everyone to learn what behavior feels fun and safe.

Preparing your kids for the arrival of your new labradoodle puppy is a great way to start the introductory process. Make sure to educate and include your kids in activities concerning your labradoodle puppy to help forge a strong bond between them.