It is very important to teach children to be safe around dogs, both dogs they don’t know and dogs they do.
It is also important that children are taught to be safe around their own dogs.
What to teach your children to keep them safe:
- Never approach a dog without first asking the owner if you can; if you cannot ask the owner, leave the dog alone.
- Keep calm around dogs; do not make any sudden movements or noises.
- When given permission to pat a dog, first offer the back of your hand for the dog to sniff, then stroke the dog, starting under the chin; the ‘safe and sound’ approach.
- Keep away from dogs that are eating or sleeping.
- Do not touch dogs that are busy, ill or tied up.
- Do not eat around dogs.
- Do not tease dogs; don’t pull their ears or tails.
- Only play with a dog when an adult is nearby.
- Don’t play rough games with dogs; play fetch or similar games instead.
- Don’t give your dog too many kisses and cuddles; dogs can feel smothered too!
- Don’t run away from a dog screaming and waving your arms in the air.
- Don’t approach a dog with its puppies.
- If a dog jumps up at you or if you are frightened by a dog then ‘be a tree’. Stand still, drop anything you are carrying and cross your arms across your chest. Wait for the dog to go away.
- If you are knocked over by a dog ‘be a stone’. Curl up into a ball with your knees, feet and head on the ground and cover your head with your arms. Wait for the dog to go away.
Lastly, parents, never leave a child unsupervised with a dog!
For more information have a look at the Kennel Club’s Safe and Sound website.