There is a special bond between dogs and children. As a matter of fact, one can see how patient and tolerant dogs are with them. Children sit on them, tug their tails, and rub their fur backwards. All these happen but they can’t get mad at these tiny humans. Sometimes, when the “treatment” stops, the dog asks for it again.
The hierarchy from a dog’s perspective
The relationship that dogs have with children has something to do with their social structure. Canines will do whatever they can to reinforce and establish their position in a group. These positions or places dictate which members are subordinates and which ones are in charge.
Dogs use this hierarchy to gauge who can or cannot boss them around. Case in point, if someone feeds them, that person can boss them around. People who don’t spend time with them every day find it difficult to make them follow commands.
Family is family
It’s natural for a dog to protect family. It is in their nature to protect anyone who becomes “one of them”. They will gladly risk their lives for that person because that is their natural instinct, regardless if they are being fed by that person or not.
On the flipside, a dog’s instinct to protect can be so strong that they tend to be aggressive to people who are not part of the family. Regular training and socialization will hone this aggressive behavior. The reason why this training is crucial is that this behavior can become a threat to dogs, adults, and children who are not part of the family unit.
The breed matters
The protective instinct has something to do with the dog’s breed. Some breeds are too friendly and lazy – they won’t respond accordingly to situations that are dangerous. Other breeds, on the other hand, are natural guard dogs. They are more attentive and can be very aggressive when the situation calls for it. Of course, no one would dare harm children who have huge dogs with them.
Different breeds have different ways of protecting family members. Case in point, herding dogs will do everything that they can to make sure that a pack stays together. Other breeds, on the other hand, will not allow any member of the family to be taken away or wander off by themselves.
To enhance a dog’s capacity and instinct to protect children, they must undergo early training and regular socialization. It does not have to be a special training. In fact, it can just be a simple obedience training. The objective is to help the dog understand and obey different commands.
Familiarity with commands will allow the dog to control their temperament. This also makes it easy for dogs to gauge if an outsider is a friend or an enemy. They are also able to properly assess their response to situations as the aftermath. The dog’s natural instinct to protect plus the capacity to obey will make them the best guardian for your children.