“Dogs of any breed and children under the age of 16 need adult supervision,” says Drayton Michaels, a dog trainer and co-owner of Pit Bull Guru in Red Bank, NJ.
There needs to be supervision for dogs of any breed, even if the dog is friendly and normally fine with kids. When not around adults, dogs may experience uncomfortable play with children, which can cause negative associations over time.
When dealing with dogs and children, it’s a good idea to realize that dogs don’t see children as normal people. They sound different, smell different, and act different. It is very important to watch any dog when around children, and children should never be left alone with any dog.
When you have a Pit Bull, or any dog, it’s important to consider the following tips for keeping dogs and children safe when around each other.
- Teach the dog basic obedience.
- Keep everything positive when the dog is around children.
- Apply restraint on the dog to prevent overly boisterous interactions.
- Avoid punishment if the dog gets overly boisterous around children.
If you begin punishing your dog for his behaviors around children, he will begin to create a correlation between children and punishment. The same goes for any negative associations.
American Pit Bull Terriers can make great companions with proper socialization and training for both the dog and child.