Parents should involve their children in training their dog as it helps them get a sense of responsibility, an expert has said.
Steven Havers, dog behaviour and training expert at haversspecialiseddogtraining.co.uk, explained that if children are not involved, they can end up abandoning the animal.
He said: "I would positively encourage any parent or parents to involve their children on the training of the family dog so the sense of shared responsibility is developed and encouraged.
"If responsibility falls to the parents, that is showing the children they can choose to abandon their dog to someone else."
He added that involving children in training helps to show them they have played an important role in the dog's life.
These comments follow research by scientists in Finland, who found babies in dog-owning families were less likely to get inner ear infections and require antibiotics.
Mr Hayers said that as well as boosting children's immune systems, his own children benefited from having dogs because they learned to respect animals and treat them with kindness.