How do you stay safe around dogs?

The roles of a responsible pet owner and dog-smart parents are to teach children some basic safety tips.

  • Do not approach unfamiliar dogs.
  • Do not surprise a dog by petting it. Allow them to sniff you first.
  • If you’re approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless like a tree.
  • Do not look into the dog’s eyes.
  • Ask permission before petting a dog.
  • Do not run or scream away from the dog.
  • If the dog knocks you over, become a ball and stay still like a log.
  • Do not play with a dog unless it’s supervised by an adult.
  • Report strays or an unusual acting dog immediately to an adult.
  • Do not disturb a dog while they are sleeping, eating, or tending to puppies.
  • Immediately report a dog bite to an adult.

What can parents or guardians do to keep their children safe?

Children should never be left alone around dogs, Green Acres Kennel Shop owner Don Hanson said. Parents and guardians must maintain supervision at all times when a child and dog are interacting to keep both canine and child safe.

The non-profit Doggone Safe, offers these tips for parents and guardians.

1. Teach your child not to hug or kiss a dog on the face. A safer place is to scratch the dog on the chest or the side of the neck.

2. Be a tree if a strange dog approaches. The more boring you are, the faster the dog will lose interest.

3. Do not tease the dog or invade its space.

4. Actively supervise children while they’re around the dog.

5. Invest in growing a relationship with the dog through training. Involve all family members in training classes. Choose positive-reinforcement obedience classes and do not pin, shake, choke, roll the dog, or hold the dog down. He may redirect any anxiety onto a weaker family member.

6. Make children a positive fact of life. Training can help in this. Condition your dog that good things come from children.

7. Spay or neuter your dog. An altered pet will be calmer, healthier, and also controls the pet population.

8. Take your dog into the world. Expose the dog to lots of new positive experiences.