Child and Dog Safety – Key Points

It would seem that almost daily there are reports in the press on dog attacks, with attacks on children sited as the most common and concerning issue. It is however perfectly possible for dogs and children to co-exist happily and safely together, providing you follow some common sense precautions.

Some Initial Things to Consider

You should never presume that any dog will be 100% trustworthy and happy with everyone all the time. Even the best trained dogs are occasionally unpredictable. Below are some basic guidelines for living responsibly with dogs and children.

  • Before you bring a new dog home, research breeds that are good with children as some breeds of dog are better with children than others.
  • Take your dog to formal obedience school – ideally with your children, if they are old enough. This will help them both learn how to behave toward each other.
  • Give your dog a quiet space in the house where they can relax and not be disturbed.
  • Do not ever leave a child alone with any dog, and always make sure you know what your child is doing with the dog at all times.

Teaching Children

Children’s lives are enriched by dogs. Dogs can teach children about empathy and responsibility, and they can even help increase self-esteem. However, children need to proper teaching on how to behave around dogs. Below are some basic guidelines to teach to any children who spend time with your dog.

  • Always stroke or pet dogs gently, do not tug, pull or grab.
  • Do not run or scream near dogs.
  • Do not stare straight into a dog’s eyes.
  • Leave dogs alone when they are eating or sleeping.
  • Always treat dogs with kindness and respect.
  • Do not take a dog’s toys or bone away from him.
  • Always ask for permission before approaching another person’s dog.

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