While most family dogs are famously loving and protective with children, it’s always a good idea for parents and other adults to remind children about how to interact safely with dogs, especially unfamiliar dogs. The organization Doggone Safe is dedicated to the mission of dog bite prevention through education. They have a lot of great safety tips on their website, with a special focus on child safety. Here are a few tips for adults to teach kids about dogs (click HERE for the full list of dos and don’ts):
- Remind children that they need to be patient when they are in the mood to play with a dog. Kids should never bother a dog that is eating, sleeping, playing with a toy or bone, is hurt/sick, or has puppies.
- Teach kids the best places to pet a dog, like the chest or the side of the neck, and make sure that they avoid pulling on ears, tail, or fur.
- Kids should learn that a dog’s crate is the dog’s special place. They should be told not to stick their fingers or hands into the crate, and not to play inside the dog’s crate. With adult supervision, a child can play “in and out of the crate” by tossing a treat in the crate and then letting the dog go in to get it.
- Tell kids that they should not put their faces too close to a dog’s face, or lie on or hug a dog, especially an unfamiliar one. They can sit near the dog and pet the dog’s “safe” places like the chest and side of the neck.
- Teach kids to walk around a dog that is resting on the floor, and not to lean over or step over the dog.