Posted Jul 28, 2017 in Tips
Having a dog in the home with your children is an amazing experience. Your child will learn empathy and the responsibility of taking care of a pet. On the other hand, there are some safety concerns every parent may have. We all know the basics, such as never leaving your child alone with your dog, but have you taken the time to teach your child the deeper skills necessary in understanding how to interact with dogs? Here are some tips on how to teach your kids the correct way to interact with your own dog or just any other dog they meet!
You should teach your child the steps to approaching a new dog they do not know.
After you teach your child how get permission and when it is ok to approach, teach them what to do. Explain that they should have the dog come to them instead of invading a dog’s space. Show them how to hold out their hand so the dog can sniff them and then come near. Explain that if the dog is smaller, they should bend or stoop so they are at the dog’s level. They can pet or gently scratch the dog’s chin or chest. Explain to your child how to pet in the direction of the fur and the proper way to scratch. They should also know to avoid putting their hands over the face and head.
So now that your child knows how to interact with the dogs they meet, teach them what to do if they are alone and they see a dog alone. If your child is comfortable around dogs, they might try to approach a dog that is stray or not on a leash. Explain to your child they should stand still, not make eye contact, and use a deep voice to say “No!” without actually yelling if the dog does approach. Tell them they should look to get help immediately after the dog stops approaching, but do not run away. Just back away slowly.
While nothing can avoid pure accidents, giving your children the knowledge to be safe around dogs is very important. Good luck and stay safe!
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