It is our job to teach children to respect animals and interact with them appropriately. Here are some tips:
- Be polite and kind to pets
- Learn to recognize when your dog is scared or anxious
- Play appropriate games with pets such as fetch, training tricks (like roll over, shake etc.), going for walks, playing hide-n-seek
- Supervise all interactions; accidents can happen in a split second
- Train your dog to associate kids with positive experience so he’ll be more likely to tolerate your child in case she accidentally interacts inappropriately.
There are many things we should teach our children about interacting with animals, just as we would teach them how to interact appropriately with other children.
- Avoid bothering dogs when they are eating
- Avoid taking dogs bones or toys
- Avoid putting your face in a dogs face/personal space
- Avoid bothering animals when they are resting; Let sleeping dogs lie
- Avoid grabbing a dog’s tail and ears
- Avoid climbing on or trampling a dog. Do not allow your child to “ride” your dog. Even though it may seem cute, this can be very upsetting and lead to bites.
- Avoid hugging; most dogs do not like it.
- Avoid hollering and shouting which can be upsetting to dogs. Use your inside voice!
Please consult a reputable, licensed trainer or dog behaviorist if you have questions or concerns about child/dog safety.