Posted in Babies and Toddlers

How to Teach Your Toddler to Play Nicely With Your Dog


How to Teach Your Toddler to Play Nicely With Your Dog

I don’t know about you, but my toddler plays pretty rough with my dogs. Grabbing them, trying to carry them, trying to ride them… you get the picture.

Don’t misunderstand me, he LOVES our dogs, he just doesn’t understand how to play with them.

Here are some tips to help your toddler play nicely with your dogs:

  1. Model for your toddler how they should treat the dog. Be sure to also clearly explain to them what you are doing. Example- “Look at how Spike likes to be gently pet.” Then have your toddler give it a try.
  2. If your toddler is particularly high energy or rough towards your dog, then be sure to always hover over them as they play with it to intervene if needed.
  3. During a play session, only give your toddler one warning for a behavior (ex-pulling the dog’s tail). If they do it again, then just separate the toddler from the dog and try again later. This will help your toddler understand their boundaries with the dog more quickly.
  4. Read your child books that help to show them how to play with the dog.

Doing all of things with consistency has taught my son how to love dogs.



I am a middle school teacher and a mother of two. I have always had a passion for education. As an educator, I know that the children who are the most successful students are those who have families who support their education at home.

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