Keep Your Children Safe Around Dogs
There have been a few sad stories in the news lately about children being harmed by dogs. You can help to protect your children by teaching them how to behave around dogs. Here are some tips for keeping your children safe when they come into contact with dogs.
Teach them never to approach a dog they don’t know
Explain very clearly to your children that they should never, under any circumstances approach a dog they don’t know.
Ensure they are supervised at all times around dogs
Never leave children alone with dogs, ever. Even if it is for just a few seconds.
Explain to them that dogs are animals
A lot of people make the mistake of humanising their dogs. Explain to your children that dogs are not like humans and they will behave like animals do.
Teach them to always ask owners first
If you know a dog and you are happy for your child to stroke them it’s still important to ask the owner first. Teach your child that they should always ask the owner before they stroke a dog, even if it is one they are familiar with.
Show them how to correctly approach a dog
Demonstrate how to safely approach a friendly This could be explaining thing such as offering them a closed fist to sniff and then gently stroking them under the chin. Tell your child to always avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Teach the basics of dog body posture
Ask a dog trainer or behaviourist to explain the basics of canine body posture. For example, they might explain that a dog that is wagging its tail and has a relaxed body posture is more likely to be safe to approach.
Explain things that dogs don’t like
Explaining things that dogs don’t like is crucial as children don’t always understand this. For example, not all dogs enjoy being cuddled as this invades their space. Children should never approach a sleeping dog, a dog with puppies, a dog that is hiding or try and take a toy or food away from a dog.
Explain what to do if a strange dog runs up to them
Give your children some advice on what to do if a strange dog runs up to them. For example they should look away from the dog, make no noise, turn their back on the dog. They should not run away from the dog but move away slowly.
Please not assumes no liability for the content of this page. Please consult with a dog trainer if your dog develops any issues. This content is simply advice to try and teach your children to behave appropriately around dogs.