US: How to involve kids in dog training and responsibility

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Kids are notoriously the ones who ask their parents for a dog, and after a while, they might wear you down! If you’re considering adding a pup to the family, there is a lot of new responsibility that comes along with it – a lot of which your kids may not initially expect. But it’s a great way to reinforce routine and teach your children responsibility, plus training breeds patience in kids and dogs alike.


The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers these tips to help your kids learn about responsible pet ownership through the family dog.

Teach easy commands: Showing your child how to teach your dog commands like “sit” and “down” will help both your child and your dog exercise patience. For “sit,” have your child hold a treat just above your dog’s nose and slowly move it back over the dog’s head; they should then rock back to a sitting position. For “down,” instruct 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 should follow the food and drop into the down position. As soon as your dog completes the command, make sure your child gives the dog the treat and lots of praise.

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Feed the dog: At the same times every day, your dog should be fed, and this is a great place for your kid to help out. Whether your dog is getting dry food, wet food, or a mix, asking your kid to help feed Fido teaches the importance of routine.

Take the dog for walks: Sometimes kids will complain about having to take their dog for a walk around the block and pick up after them, but it’s a very important part of dog ownership. Helping your child understand that having a pet is a big responsibility is important, and walks are just a small part of that.

Teach how to walk on a leash: Your child can help train your dog to walk on a leash without tugging or biting to make the walking process easier. 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.

For more training tips, visit the AKC at


©2022 American Kennel Club. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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