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Is it safe to have a Labrador around small children?

Children are safe with labradors

Children safe with labradors

Many people have a moral and emotional struggle when they have a Labrador and find that they are expecting to have a baby. This moral and emotional struggle generally arises from wondering if it is safe to have a Labrador around small children. There are many different views on this topic, though it is important to consider the facts, your lifestyle, and the temperament of your Labrador before deciding whether or not your dog and child will be good playmates.

The fear of having a Labrador around small children is that due to the general largeness and hyperactivity of a Labrador, it could be dangerous to put a Labrador and small children together. This argument is valid in many instances. Labradors want constant interaction and do not understand that children are delicate and must be treated with great care. Labradors seek the approval from the people that care for them and try to show affection. A Labrador can generally show affection to an adult without any problems, but if a Labrador were to try to jump on a child to say hello, the child could be seriously injured. Furthermore, children tend to pull the tail and ears of dogs. Though a Labrador generally has a steady temperament, having its ears and tail tugged at could make it anxious and ready to jump or run away.

However, many people have had Labradors and children live together for many years without any problems. The key to ensuring a safe environment for a Labrador and a child is ensuring that they are not left alone together. This is not generally because you are unsure of what the dog will do to the child, but because you are unsure of whether or not the child will antagonize the dog and make it agitated. Whether or not this would be a legitimate concern for you and your Labrador and children would vary based upon the temperament of your dog and your children. Only you will know if your dog and your children have temperaments that will allow them to be safe together. If you have any doubts, then sadly, they are probably not safe together unsupervised.

If you have determined that you would not trust your Labrador around small children unsupervised, you may wish to enlist the help of a skilled dog trainer to work with your Labrador in accepting the small children in the home and being more tolerant of the behavior of children. Some of the wonderful characteristics about Labradors is that they are incredibly intelligent and very much wanting to please their owners. Obedience training can work wonders for any Labrador. In fact, you will find that after your Labrador undergoes obedience training, not only will your children enjoy being around your dog more, but you will, too. A trained Labrador is a happy Labrador because it knows where its place is in the family and what is expected of it. It knows how to please you and gets great joy out of doing so. This makes your Labrador a much safer dog for small children to be around because you know that the dog will listen immediately to your commands.

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