The roles of a responsible pet owner and dog-smart parents are to teach children to stay safe around dogs.
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 scream or run 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 supervised by an adult.
- Report strays or an unusual acting dog immediately to an adult.
- Do not disturb a dog while 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 around dogs?
“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 interact to keep them both safe.
Doggone Safe offers these tips for parents & guardians:
- 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.
- Be a tree if a strange dog approaches. The more boring you are, the faster the dog loses interest.
- Do not tease the dog or invade its space.
- Actively supervise children while around the dog.
- Invest in growing a relationship with the dog through training.
- Involve all family members in training classes.
- Choose positive reinforcement obedience classes.
- Do not pin, shake, choke, roll, or hold the dog down. They may redirect any anxiety onto a weaker family member.
- Make children a positive fact of life. Training can help in this. Condition your dog that good things come from children.
- Spay or neuter your dog. Altered pets are calmer and healthier. It also controls the pet population.
- Take your dog into the world. Expose them to lots of new positive experiences.