Dalmatians are generally good with children, as the affectionate and the caring demeanor of the dog will project positively upon your children and their relationship. In fact, you should do whatever you can to ensure they have as good a relationship as possible. This will take the heat off when you’re not home and the child is left with the dog.
At first, it’s advisable to never leave the dog and your child unattended. There are certain things that must be made clear so you have the peace of mind that nothing bad is going to happen when you’re away.
Similarly, if they do get along very well it doesn’t mean you can let the child be the primary caretaker for the dog. That is still your job, and you can’t expect your children to hold that responsibility.
Potential Issues You Should Address
Your child should never scare the dog because that’s when he might react unexpectedly. Teach your child not to scream when he is close to the dog as it might startle him. If your dog is still a puppy don’t let your child carry him around. You never know when he will drop him and he can get seriously injured.
Your children should never tease the dog unnecessarily. It’s fine to let them play; but you have to realize that the Dalmatian doesn’t have endless patience. Unless he’s very well-trained he will likely snap sooner or later.
Don’t let your children walk the dog outside without your supervision. Dalmatians are very strong, and are strong-willed to pull on the leash if they sense a lack of control.
Also, if you’re outside and the dog catches a glimpse of a cat or something distracting, he will be too much to handle since he likely weighs more than your child. Another potential problem is strange dogs. If they decide they feel threatened by your Dalmatian your child will not be intimidating to a pack of strange dogs.
Establish Rules For Other Children
Play rules apply not only for your child, but also for other children who come by your house. In fact, they need to know the rules even better because the dog is not familiar with them as he is with your own children.
Don’t let other children feed the dog unless you are there. The dog should not accept treats from other people if you don’t give him the okay. If he’s well-trained he will wait for your okay even when you are giving him treats.
One very popular mistake that creates tension and hurts the overall quality of your family relationships is to completely ignore the dog when you’re with your child. This way, your Dalmatian will see your child as competition for attention. Never forget to give some attention to the dog even when you’re playing with your child.
The most important thing is to be clear about the boundaries of the interaction between your dog and your child. Never let it get too far and try to always be there to supervise things. Finally, let your child do his part in taking care of your dog.