Living with kids and dogs is not always easy,
but the rewards are worth it!

Kids and dogs can be best friends ... if a wise parent sets them up for success.

Being the parent with kids and dogs can be challenging. Good kids and good dogs will have miscommunications every day.

But there are many simple strategies you can use to make your life less chaotic, more cooperative, and lots more fun.

A good trainer can help a lot! Check the links below to find a qualified trainer near you.

Books & Resources

Living with Kids and Dogs book

Living with Kids and Dogs

A Parent's Guide to Controlling the Chaos

The award-winning parents' guide to managing kid-and-dog interactions from birth through teens. At last! A kids-and-dogs book for parents written by someone who "gets it."

Living with Kids & Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind provides busy parents with simple, realistic advice to help ensure that the relationship between their kids and their dog is safe and enjoyable for all.

Puppy Training for Kids Colleen Pelar

Puppy Training for Kids

Kids and dogs are naturally attracted to each other, and this book introduces boys and girls to the responsibilities and the joys of puppy care, training, and companionship.

Young readers will find advice on exercise, selecting chew toys, clicker training, teaching the puppy to meet both human and animal friends, and much more. Sidebar features advise parents on guiding their children toward responsible dog ownership. The book is filled with engaging and instructive color photos.

Kids and Dogs Professionals Guide Colleen Pelar

Kids and Dogs

A Professional's Guide to Helping Families

Kids and dogs have misunderstandings every day. Most aren't serious, but some can be downright dangerous. If a bite occurs, a child could be injured and the dog could lose his home--or his life!

Trainers, take the guesswork out of kid-and-dog interactions using these tips, tricks, and techniques. On every page, you'll find things that make your work with dogs--and their families--easier!

Dogs Demystified Family Dog Cheat Sheet

Family Dog Cheat Sheet

The most important things you need to know about dogs distilled into 16 full-color laminated pages. Includes three straightforward ways of categorizing behavior that take the guesswork out of understanding dogs and seven easy-to-identify stress signals that point out when a dog needs your help.

Dogs Demystified canine stress signals bookmarks

Canine Stress Signal Bookmarks

100 colorful bookmarks showing photos of common canine stress signals: lip licking, turning away, mouth closed, half-moon eye, yawning, and shaking off. You'll love having these bookmarks to teach your clients about dog behavior.

Find a Dog Trainer

You'll be amazed by how much a qualified, positive-reinforcement dog trainer can help.

Because all Family Paws Parent Educators have been specifically trained to work with kids and dogs, I encourage you to check this list first.

If you can't find a Family Paws trainer near you, check the directories on the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and the Pet Professional Guild.

Colleen Pelar, CDBC, CPDT-KA

As a dog trainer, I loved helping kids and dogs develop strong, respectful relationships. Kids can be amazing dog trainers--often better than their parents! Having a dog in the family just makes life better in my opinion.

I am a firm believer in setting everyone up for success by using training, communication, and management techniques that minimize stress and help put everyone on the same team. Fear- and force-based methods are absolutely inappropriate for training family dogs.

After 28 years as a dog trainer, my focus has shifted to providing resilience support and education to pet professionals. I am no longer training dogs.

If you're looking for a trainer to help with your dog, check the resources above

If you are a pet pro who'd like to learn how to continue making a difference without burning yourself out, come visit me at