Springers and Kids
Springers and kids are a great mix. Due to their loyal and affectionate nature, Springer Spaniels make excellent family pets. I have two kids who completely adore our Spaniel, George, and usually ask for him first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Young kids need to know what the ground rules are for treating the family dog, this will also set them up for life as they will understand how to treat other peoples dogs.
Young kids can be over enthusiastic when around family dogs and can unintentionally hurt them. However even the most laid back Springer has a snapping point, and many dogs can become defensive when cornered and can lash out. Don't expect your dog to put up with constant eye gouging and ear or tail pulling; as you wouldn't put up with it yourself.
I would suggest if you are getting a Springer Spaniel Puppy that you get them used to ear pulling, or at least increase their tolerance levels by pulling their ears gently as they grow up. We did this with George and I am so glad we did, as one of the first things kids go for when they meet him are indeed his ears. Springers and kids are a great mix but you also have to prepare both your Springer, and your kids.
I would also suggest a good level of obedience training and socialisation for your dog, to prepare both your Springers and Kids to be around each other. Kids are unpredictable and the more your Springer Spaniel is prepared for this the less likely any incidents will occur.
Adult supervision of kids around any dog is essential. As much as I love and trust George, I would not leave him alone with my kids, as he is an animal whose instinct is to protect himself when threatened, and as lovely as I think my kids are, I know they can make him feel uncomfortable with their hugging and playing with his ears.
With this in mind, I do have a "safe place" for George to go to when I can't keep my eyes on both him and the kids. For example, during the kids bath time, I put George in the bedroom and close the door so I can concentrate on getting the kids ready for bed. As I have put him in my bedroom, the place where the Alpha sleeps, he feels he is not being punished but looked after.
Springers and kids can be the best of friends if the ground rules are set, and your kids will grow up with the most amazing memories of their childhood Springer companion, I speak from personal experience.
Introducing a new baby to your Springer Spaniel. If you are expecting a baby I would suggest you check this article. This is based on my expeience of having two children in the past eighteen month and aims to smooth the process for you.
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