I have trained over 150 retriever type dogs since I started rescuing the breed 8 years ago. I see a lot of good ideas here but something else you need to remember is that your dog is not a toy and should not be treated as such by your child. You child should not grow up thinking that is by any means ok to tug, lay on or get into the dogs food, regardless of how they handle it. This is a major reason for many dogs landing in shelters. It is not just the dog needing training, it is the child as well. You also have to remember that while you are taking some time from your dog for the child, you can't take all of the time. You still need to set aside time for walks, throwing a ball, etc.
I would recommend this book: Dogs and children
We also suggest this article for adopters:
Raising Children Network also had this:
Did you know Dog bites are common. Children under 12 are the most likely victims of dog bites. Every year in Australia, about 13 000 dog bites need medical attention in hospital. Young children are most at risk. Preschool children are most likely to be injured by a dog bite.
Even friendly and calm dogs will bite if provoked. The safest thing to do is keep unsupervised dogs away from young children.
Keep a close watch on your dog when your new baby joins the family.
Ask friends and relatives to keep their dogs away from your child.
Always supervise children around dogs.
The dog most likely to bite a child is not a strange dog. It is the family dog, or one the child already knows well. Ear-pulling, tail-tugging and investigative habits of children can cause even placid, friendly dogs to react.
40% of attacks take place in the house or backyard.
30% of attacks happen at the homes of friends and neighbours.
Dog bites can be serious. One and a half thousand people a year are so badly bitten they need surgery – three out of five of these patients are children under 10. Some children are scarred for life, especially if they are bitten on the face. Children can also suffer serious cuts and heavy bruising.
When dogs bite children-
Dogs are likely to bite if:
approached when eating
startled by sudden movements
they’ve been cooped up in a hot car
they are looking after puppies.
Preventing dog bites
Keep them separated
Keep dogs away from babies and young children.
If dogs and children must be in the same place, always supervise them.
Keep a close watch on dogs when a new baby joins the family. It’s safest not to leave your child alone with a dog.
Ask friends and relatives to keep their dogs away from your child. Make sure you and the dog’s owner are both present if you want to introduce your child to a dog.
Things to teach your child
Children learn best by copying what adults do. If you treat dogs respectfully and cautiously, it will help them learn to do the same. Young children need constant supervision when in contact with dogs.
Tell your child:
Never approach an unfamiliar dog, even if it looks friendly.
Never run screaming from a dog – it might encourage the dog to give chase.
Never yell at or surprise a dog, not even the family pet.
Dogs don't like it if you pull their tail, grab their fur or try to sit on them.
Leave dogs alone when they are sleeping, eating or looking after puppies.
Let a dog see you and sniff you before you pat it.
Pat a dog gently on the back, not on the head or the nose.
Be still like a tree and look at the ground when a strange dog comes up to you.
Roll into a ball and lie still if a dog knocks you over.
Things to teach your dog
Obedience training is essential for all dogs, regardless of breed, size or age. A few weeks of dedication and patience will make your dog well behaved and easier to control.
Teach your dog to obey commands from all the family and to respond to ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’.
If your dog is taught, encouraged or bred to be a guard dog, keep it away from children.
If you're bringing home a new baby, give the dog something of the baby's to sniff first. Try a baby blanket or a piece of clothing the child has worn.
Try giving the dog a treat while you're breastfeeding or changing the baby, so the dog comes to see these as good times and doesn't resent the attention your baby is getting.
Give your dog lots of cuddles and love.