I’ve always been around dogs growing up, whether it was the family pet/working dog when my parents had a smallholding or the neighbour’s dog I walked as a teenager. Dogs have been a big part of my life and still are.
It’s the same for the small human, who currently at 3 years old has two rescue canine buddies. I’m basically bringing up 3 under 5’s (1 human and 2 canines) to live, communicate, discover, learn to play together and respect each other. I’ll be totally honest, I’ve stuck to the same constant teaching of right and wrong with a mixture of verbal and dog sign language. Teaching them to respect each other during meal/snack times, respect each others space and bedtime. (Not every dog wants to have to listen to a special live version ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Car’ in succession).
During the day whilst I’m at work the dogs are looked after by my parents and the small human is causing havoc at Nursery. I’m happy knowing they all have time out from each other. Out and about, I’m wary if there is a dog about that’s not on a lead and remind the small human not to approach because some dogs can be scared, shy or just don’t like other dogs or people that they don’t know.
Unfortunately, there have been those times, that have called for unconventional interventions;
I purchased an all terrain 3 wheeled twin pushchair which I put the small human and the dogs in. It came as a surprise to people who stopped to have a peek at the other twin only to see a toddler, a Staffy and a small yappy dog with huge ears strapped in staring back at them.
The time when the small human refused to go into the bath but would happily help me wash with the dogs in the bath. Therefore my mad cap idea was to wash them all together. Yes, I can hear the shock/disgust in your gasps, but I was desperate, plus it worked. Now small human goes happily into the bath…but as long as the dogs are sitting on the bathroom floor with me.
Going for a walk with dogs and small human on a harness linked to a canicross belt.
All 3 escaped through a hole in the hedge to our posh neighbours very manicured garden. They were all spotted having a pee together in succession.
Making cakes then having to answer the door for a delivery. Only to step back into the kitchen to find that everyone was covered in margarine (a nightmare to remove from toddler hair and dog fur).
Finding all 3 asleep in the indoor play house on a blanket surrounded by soft toys and 6 half eaten Mini Milks, a tub of dog treats and a full bread baguette covered in teeth marks.
Whilst on a beach clean, the small human started to shout in a very loud Peppa Pig style voice…’Doggy not flushed the toilet, POO’ whilst pointing at a person walking the dog who was obviously not going to pick up their dog’s poo. Afterwards, another beach cleaner walked over and handed the dog owner a bag.
Tips for Juggling Dogs and Toddlers
So what have I personally learnt so far from having a toddler and 2 rescue dogs growing up together?
- All 3 need space and respect, plenty of praise and love, discipline and time out
- Constant supervision and being able to take a step back but still watching
- Every day they are learning something new about each other
- Team work and looking out for each other
- Outdoor play in the garden or on the beach together is good for leaning, play, physical and mental health
Oh, and there is never a dull moment!
Share Your Experience With Toddlers and Dogs
Having a dog can be really beneficial for children’s development. Click here to read the benefits dogs have on children, or read this blog for the top child-friendly dog breeds.
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