When you walk with a toddler and a dog, safety is always a concern. Here are some tips for how to safely walk your dog with your toddler and enjoy your time outdoors.
Read our related article on How to Walk Dogs With Strollers. Keep your dog, baby, and yourself safe while out on the town!
In This Article:
How to Walk Dog with Toddler
- Make sure your dog is obedience trained and knows how to “heel,” “sit,” and “stay.” This will help keep them under control while you’re out walking them.
- Always have a sturdy leash and collar on your dog. You don’t want them getting loose and running off while you’re trying to keep an eye on your toddler.
- Keep your dog close to you while walking them. This will help avoid any problems with them getting too close to cars or other dangerous areas.
- If there are other dogs or people around, make sure your dog is on a tight leash and avoid getting too close so they don’t get into a fight or run to someone they don’t know.
- Keep an eye on your toddler at all times while walking the dog. This is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure both their safety and the safety of your dog.
With these tips in mind, you can walk your dog safely with your toddler.
Best Leashes for Walking a Dog
We love to walk our dogs, but not every dog walks well with a simple collar and leash. Many dogs need additional control to stay safe when walking.
We recommend using a Martingale Collar for dogs who jump or are frequently hyper or out of control.
This type of collar delivers safe and humane feedback that keeps the dog calmer and helps them learn to walk safely.
These are our favorite Martingale collars that we tested on our dogs.
Some dogs need a harness instead of a leash to walk safely without pulling and choking.
Many harnesses offer front chest clips that also discourage pulling and jumping which keeps your dog and toddler safer when walking.
How to Walk Dog with Toddler – the Rules
It can be a challenge to keep both your dog and toddler safe when you’re out for a walk, but it is definitely doable. Here are a few additional tips to make your walks more enjoyable with your dog and toddler.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for busy streets, other dogs, and anything else that could potentially cause harm to either your dog or toddler.
- Start off slow. If this is the first time your toddler and dog are going for a walk together, take things slowly at first. Let them get used to walking together before increasing the pace.
Read More: How to Ease Dog Anxiety On Walks. Help your dog start to enjoy daily strolls with our comprehensive guide.
Train Your Dog to Handle a Toddler
It’s important to realize that a dog and a toddler are very different. Dogs are social animals, but they’re also instinctively protective of their pack – which includes you and your family.
On the other hand, toddlers are still learning how to interact with the world around them and haven’t yet developed a sense of personal space.
That’s why it’s so essential to train your dog on how to calmly and safely interact with your toddler before taking them out in public together.
Tips on How to Train Your Dog to Handle a Toddler
- Get started early. The best time to start training your dog on how to handle a toddler is when the child is a newborn.
- Be VERY consistent with your dog when it comes to training them how to handle a toddler. Always reinforce good behavior and never tolerate a dog’s bad behavior around the child.
- Start slow. Start by having the dog watch from a distance as you interact with the child, then gradually have them come closer until they’re comfortable.
- Teach basic commands. It’s important to teach them basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and down. This will help your dog obey when you’re out in public.
- Use positive reinforcement. Whenever your dog exhibits good behavior around the toddler, praise them and give them a treat.
Read our related article on How to Train Your Dog Around Your Toddler for more tips and tricks!
How Do I Make My Dog Stop Growling at My Toddler?
When walking a dog with a toddler, it is important to be aware of how the dog may react to the child before you head out to the street.
Some dogs may be very protective of their owners and may growl or even bark at strangers, including small children. If this is the case, it is essential to train the dog not to act aggressively towards the child.
One way to do this is by having the child stand close to the dog while giving it a treat. This will show the dog that the child is not a threat and will help associate them with good things.
Read our related article on How to Protect a Child From a Dog Attack. Dog attacks happen, and they can even come from your own pet. Learn how to prevent attacks and what to do if it occurs.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQS)
How Old Should a Child Be to Walk with a Dog?
This is a question that many parents ask themselves when they first get a family pet. While there’s no set answer, generally speaking, kids should be at least four years old before attempting to walk a dog by themselves.
Of course, every child is different and some may be ready to start walking the dog solo earlier than four years old while others may not be ready until they’re older.
If you’re unsure of whether or not your child is ready to take on this responsibility, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wait a bit longer.
Small breeds are easier for small children to walk, while large breeds are impossible for a child to walk until they are teenagers.
What Do I Do If My Dog Snaps at My Child?
If your dog snaps at your child, it is important to take action right away. First, make sure both you and your child are safe.
Then, put your dog in a place where it cannot reach your children, such as in a crate or another room.
Finally, talk to a professional about how to correct this behavior. Your dog’s safety and the safety of your child are top priorities, so do not hesitate to take these steps if necessary.
Why Is My Dog Aggressive Towards My Child?
There are a number of reasons why your dog may be acting aggressively towards your child. It could be that the dog is afraid of them, or it could be that the dog is trying to protect its territory.
In either case, it’s essential to take steps to ensure that your child is safe around the dog.
If you’re concerned that your dog may be aggressive towards your child, it’s important to talk to a professional about how to best handle the situation.
A professional trainer can help you assess the risks and train the dog to behave.
One way to help keep your child safe is to teach them how to properly interact with the dog. This includes teaching them how to approach the dog, how to pet it, and how not to startle the dog.
You should also make sure that your child knows not to put their face close to the dog’s face, as this could trigger an aggressive response.
Another way to help keep your child safe is to keep the dog on a leash at all times and avoid walking in areas where there are other animals or people that may trigger aggression in the dog.
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