A new study has found that puppies can help children stay away from bad behaviour.
The study, carried out by the University of Western Australia, shows that puppies can have beneficial effects on children’s social skills and help keep them out of trouble.
UWA looked at the emotional wellbeing of over 1,600 children between the ages of two and five years old for the research.
The study took five years to complete, and it found that kids who took their pups out for a walk at least once a week, or who regularly interacted with the dogs they owned, had better social lives and were less likely to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Kids who camefrom dog-owning homes were also found to be 20 per cent less likely to have emotional problems.
Study author Associate Professor Hayley Christian, said: “While we expected that dog ownership would provide some benefits for young children’s well-being, we were surprised that the mere presence of a family dog was associated with many positive behaviours and emotions.
“Our findings indicate that dog ownership may benefit children’s development and wellbeing and we speculate that this could be attributed to the attachment between children and their dogs.
“Stronger attachments between children and their pets may be reflected in the amount of time spent playing and walking together and this may promote social and emotional development.”