Children are naive when it comes to their dangers of animals, especially dogs. Most children fail to appreciate the inherent dangerous propensities of dogs – because even if the dog is domesticated, it is still a wild animal. Therefore, parents and guardians need to teach children how to behave around dogs.
Below are some tips from experts for parents, guardians, babysitters, and day care providers and workers they can use to teach their children how to act around dogs:
1. If a child is playing with a dog, he or she should always be supervised by an adult.
2. If your child wants to pet a dog that is being walked by its owner and the dog is leashed, ask the owner’s permission first. Also, looks for signs of friendliness from the dog such as a wagging tail, ears not pinned back, teeth not shown, etc. Tell the child to make a fist so the dog can smell the child before the child pets the dog. Hold your child’s hand as he or she pets the dog.
3. Never let your child approach a stranger with a dog alone. Teach your child to not go with a stranger to look for a puppy as well.
4. Teach your child to never get between two dogs fighting.
5. Never let your child approach an injured animal, even his or her own. An injured animal can be very irritable and is more likely to attack.
6. Teach your child to never approach a loose and/or unsupervised dog. Instead the child should stand still, not make eye contact, and otherwise appear submissive so as not to come off as a threat to the dog.
If you would like to read more on this topic see Tips for parents on how to teach their children to act around dogs.