Watching the relationship between dogs and children can be beautiful but as every child turns into a teenager, every baby turns into a toddler and a bit of “full-on” playing becomes inevitable. Sophia especially has a huge amount of energy which luckily for me Frank usually enjoys, he plays so lovely with her and runs around with a toy, she chases him giggling and then he turns to give her the toy back..but on some occasions, when he wants to chill, Sophia does not get that and she wants to keep going.
To try and manage her energy around Frank and to calm the situation down, we decided to teach Sophia to gently give treats to Frank, getting her to make him follow her commands such as “sit” “stand” “high five” or “stand”. She does sometimes need reminding not to shout at him and instead say the command calmly but she is getting there and we’ve found it a great way to get them both to focus and have fun at the same time.
This in my hopeful opinion does two things 1. Calm Sophia’s crazy playing down and keeps Frank happy as he is getting treats. and 2. it teaches subliminally her to learn about obedience and rewarding good behaviour. Teaching tricks to dogs is also very good for them as it keeps their brain stimulated so win win really. Obviously, we do need to be careful on how many treats are given and we only give clean, healthy treats which are good for him.
This won’t work for every dog and Frank is very obedient and does tricks well but even if they don’t it helps the child to concentrate and calm down, helping them to feel like they have achieved something and who knows you may discover Ceser Millan attributes in them after all!