Kids are known to repeatedly ask parents for a dog, and after hearing the question a million times, parents often finally give in! Sound familiar? For those who have just added a four-legged friend to the household, bear in mind that this time is not only exciting, but having a pet at home is also extremely beneficial to kids, especially when it comes to teaching them responsibility. A great way to do that is involving kids in training. While training your dog is necessary, it’s additionally a wonderful bonding experience. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Director Mary Burch offers the following ways parents can involve their kids in training the family dog.

  • Teach “down”: Show your child how to hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose, and then drop his or her hand to the ground. The dog will follow the food and drop into the down position. As soon as the dog is lying down, make sure your child gives the dog the treat and lots of praise.
  • Teach “sit”: Have your son or daughter hold the treat just about your dog’s nose and slowly move it back over the dog’s head. As your child does this, your dog will rock back into a sit. As soon as the dog sits, have your child praise your pup and give him the treat.
  • Teach how to walk on a leash: Your child can help train your dog to walk on a leash. To do this, have your child hold a treat or your dog’s favorite toy waist high. Have him or her tell the dog “Let’s go” and start walking. Your dog will watch the toy or treat and start walking along nicely.

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