How to Train Your Dog Around Your Toddler: QUICK TIPS

If you have kids and a new dog, you may be wondering how to train your dog around your toddler without losing control.

While it can feel overwhelming to train a dog with a toddler around, it can be done, and it can even be a fun bonding time for everyone involved!

If you haven’t already chosen a dog breed, then choosing the right breed will help you to be successful during training.

Some breeds are naturally more tolerant of children than others.

Breeds that make good choices for families with toddlers include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Tips to Help You Train a Dog Around Toddlers

How to train dog around toddler
You can train a puppy with a toddler and have a fun time bonding.
  1. Start early. The sooner you begin training your dog around your toddler, the better. This will help your dog get used to having a small child in the home.
  2. Be consistent during dog training. Make sure everyone in the family is on the same page when it comes to rules and expectations.
  3. Use positive reinforcement. Reward your dog for good behavior around your toddler. This could include cuddles and pets, verbal praise, treats, or a favorite toy.
  4. Avoid punishment. Punishing your dog is ineffective and can lead to aggression. If your dog does something wrong, redirect his attention to something else.

With a little patience and consistency, you can successfully train your dog around your toddler. Creating a harmonious home for both your child and your pet is possible with a little effort.

Read our related article on How to Train a Dog That is Not Food Motivated. Dog not interested in treats? Check out these tips!

How to Communicate Training Principles

It can be frustrating to know how to train your dog around a toddler, but it can be done with a little preparation and a few keys to communication.

  1. Start with housebreaking the dog and teaching basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. This will give you a foundation for training your dog around your toddler.
  2. When introducing your dog to your toddler, have them on a leash and be prepared to use treats or positive reinforcement to get them to behave.
  3. Make sure that you are always paying attention to both your dog and your toddler when they are in the same area so that any signs of trouble can be nipped in the bud quickly.
  4. Teach your toddler how to properly approach a dog and how to pet them gently – this will help keep both parties safe during interactions.
  5. Finally, remember that children and dogs learn at their own pace, so be prepared to take things slowly and have lots of treats on hand!

If you want to train the dog outdoors, we recommend using a light-up LED collar for your dog. It helps the dog stay safe and is fun for playing fetch and taking walks after sunset.

Dogs Breeds That Are Very Friendly with Toddlers

Dogs that are very friendly to toddlers come in all shapes and sizes. From the big and cuddly Newfoundland to the tiny and energetic Yorkie, there’s a dog out there that will be perfect for your family.

We mentioned a few dog breeds that are great family dogs. Here are four additional breeds that are known for being especially toddler-friendly.


Newfoundlands are gentle giants that love spending time with their families. They’re always happy to cuddle up with a child and can be easily trained to behave around toddlers.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are also known for being gentle and patient with children. They’re always up for a game of fetch or some tummy rubs, and they have a natural instinct to protect kids.


French Bulldogs are another breed that is known for being good with kids. They’re calm and patient, and they love nothing more than a good nap next to their toddler’s best friend.


Yorkies are small but mighty dogs that are always up for a game of chase. They’re energetic and playful, but they also know how to relax and take it easy.

Yorkies make great family pets because they get along with everyone in the house, big and small.

Things to Avoid While Training Your Dog

Dogs and children can be best friends
When trained properly, dogs can make great companions for the whole family – including your toddler!
  1. Don’t use punishment as a way to train your dog around toddlers. This can lead to your dog becoming fearful or aggressive around children.
  2. Avoid using food as a reward when training your dog around toddlers. This can create a begging problem for you and your toddler.
  3. Don’t let your dog jump on or play too roughly with toddlers. This can scare the child or lead to them being injured by the dog.
  4. Avoid leaving the dog unsupervised with a toddler. Even if the dog is well-trained, accidents can happen.
  5. Make sure you are consistent with how you train your dog around toddlers. This will help them to learn the rules quickly and avoid any confusion.

Many parents worry that their dog will be jealous of their new baby, but this is usually not the case. Dogs are very social creatures and generally love being around people, even small children.

Why Does My Dog Hate Children?

This is a question that many dog owners ask themselves, especially when their beloved pet seems to act out in aggression or fear around small children.

It’s normal for dogs to be a little bit wary of toddlers, but there are a few things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable around your little one.

One of the best things you can do is introduce your dog to your child gradually.

If possible, have someone else hold your child while you approach your dog with a calm demeanor and give him some treats. Once your dog seems relaxed, try holding your child while continuing to offer treats.

Train children to treat the dog respectfully, never pulling, pinching, yelling at, or stepping on the dog in any way.

Help the dog and child learn games to play together, and offer group cuddle time to help them relax and enjoy each other.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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