Question from a parent: New puppy for my son

Recent Activity Forums Kids Question from a parent: New puppy for my son

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    • #1821
      A.L.L. Official avatarA.L.L. Official
      Keymaster
      Points: 116

      Question from a parent: New puppy for my son

      We received this question from a parent. Please share below.

      Our family recently lost a loved one, and we were thinking about getting a dog for our 11 year old to help him cope with the loss. My son is high functioning, and our neighbors have a small dog that he enjoys petting and playing with. However, I have noticed he does hesitate to be comfortable around other puppies. I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for finding a companion that would be suitable, and how to introduce the puppy to our family? Thank you

    • #1829
      HopefulMom7 avatarHopefulMom7
      Participant
      Points: 12

      Hi there! I’m a fellow “au-some” mom (for 20 years) and have worked with young kids in a 1-to-1 setting. First, I’ll tell you a brief story that happened once on the job, then offer a couple other ideas: One day we took the kids to a farm for hippo (horse) therapy. Clearly, the one little girl was petrified of the horses. Each child wished to ride on them except [Lacey]. So I knelt at her level and just quietly told her how sweet and gentle they were. Then I described exactly what it would be like to ride one of them in the “ribbon circle,” and pointed out how happy the the other kids were as they rode. With that, she brightened up and decided to give it a try. Maybe a half hour later, she snuck up behind me and slipped her hand in mine, smiling (although without eye contact)–as if to say, “Thank you for explaining this to me.” I was stunned and excited all at once. My other ideas off the top are: 1) You can create a social story about the day you plan to purchase the puppy. Illustrate exactly what it will be like. It would probably make things even easier to call up the place in advance, explain your child’s condition, and ask them to verbally walk you through the puppy purchasing process prior to your arrival with your child. 2) You could take him to the park to try and have him get used to as many dogs as possible. Maybe do this every day for a week until he’d show a notably higher comfort level. Our son has shown terror in the face of dogs in the past. But I noticed on the summers when we had him visit parks regularly, his comfort level increased. He still wouldn’t pet them; but at least he’d walk by without trying to climb up my body or run in the other direction. Also, if you hate the idea of writing a social story, you can just talk your child through the process every day, and certainly make that phone call I mentioned. I wish you the best!

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