Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Mixing Dogs With Children

Porky and Buddy

Dear Porky and Buddy,
My grandchildren, ages 2 and 3, are coming to visit in a few weeks and my new dog, Sheba, has never met them before. They have been around their own dogs and are not afraid of them but I am a little worried about Sheba, who has never been around any children. Is there anything I can do to help her with getting used to these tiny loud intrusive humans?

Dear Martha,
If you go to the ASPCA website on pet care you will find a huge section with tips for preparing a dog for the arrival of little humans.

There is one trick that we read about that we really liked and we think it may be helpful in your situation.

As we all know, toddlers like to poke things and pull things and generally be inquisitive and at the same time clueless about the effect of their behavior.

So you can prepare Sheba for that probable onslaught by getting her used to it now and by rewarding her for tolerating it. There are detailed day by day directions on the ASPCA website that we won’t copy in detail here, but the basic idea is to unleash your inner toddler, to poke, pull, and prod Sheba regularly but to always reward her right after each small intrusion.

She will quickly learn that wonderful things happen when her various parts get poked and prodded. You should use her favorite small treat and basically “pay” her for tolerating your weird behavior.

You can say something like “Good girl Sheba,” each time you do something mildly annoying so she learns to associate that phrase with getting a treat.

Later, when the little fiends arrive and start poking you can say the same thing and reward Sheba the same way.

She’ll probably start to look forward to interacting with them!

Read the full set of instructions on the ASPCA website and good luck.

We don’t mean to suggest that this will be a substitute for proper supervision of your grandchildren when they are in Sheba’s company.

But we hope it will help them become fast friends for life.

And speaking of fast friends, the Fulton Art Association is hosting a craft show at the Fulton City Hall on November 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be multiple vendors of homemade crafts, authors, and artists and the Oswego County Humane Society will have gorgeous, friendly interesting cats for adoption.

We hope to see you there!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Located at 29 W. Seneca St., Oswego, NY.

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.