A friend of a friend contacted me about having Mr. N be the “demo dog” for a dog safety class for kids. She belongs to a homeschooling group and one of the kids was bitten by a dog at a Superbowl party. She had a lesson planned which included dog body language, how to approach a dog and rules for interacting with dogs but wanted a real dog to practice with.
The request was for a cute, calm and happy dog to receive petting from toddlers (five of them!). Calmness is not Mr. N’s strongest trait but I thought we could probably manufacture calmness for a short period of time.
A bigger dog would probably be a better fit for toddlers normally (due to being sturdier and less likely to get injured) but if you’re looking for a non-scary dog, Mr. N fits the bill. He is probably the least intimidating looking dog ever.
So we went over and the kids practiced gentle petting and giving treats nicely. Mr. N also showed off some tricks including dance which was very popular and was requested again.
He was a little bit wary (we normally don’t work with kids this young) and I don’t blame him. Toddlers are loud and unpredictable and rambunctious. But he was happy to take treats from the kids and eat the treats I gave him for keeping still while the kids experimented with petting .
I was very proud of him especially because the environment was so distracting. There was another dog (in another room but we could hear banging and barking) and a cat in the house as well as the five kids. Mr. N’s attitude was pretty much, “we interrupted my walk for this?” But he was a good boy and I hope the little boy is a little bit more comfortable around dogs.
How is your dog with kids?