Proper Child and Dog Etiquette
Teaching your child proper etiquette when dealing with dogs is very important in creating healthy and happy relationships between doggo and kiddo alike. It’s important to keep both your child, your dog and other people’s dogs safe when it comes to pup and kid interactions!
Supervise At All Times
The most important rule you can follow when introducing children to dogs is to supervise them at all times. This is something that should be continued until your child is at an appropriate age to be left alone with a dog. It’s not worth the risk! Both children and dogs can be unpredictable, so behavior needs to be monitored consistently.
Teach Your Child How To Properly Interact With a Dog
The first step when meeting a pooch is to offer a hand for the dog to sniff, and then slowly and gently stroke the dog’s head and neck, avoiding sensitive areas such as the ears, stomach, tail and feet. Make sure your child knows that a dog isn’t a giant stuffed animal! No squeezing, poking, or pulling at any time.
Always Ask A Dog Owner If It's Okay To Pet Their Dog
When introducing your child to someone else’s dog, make sure that they always ask the owner if it’s okay to pet their dog first. Lots of kids first instinct when they see a dog is to run up and pet it – this can be very dangerous! Owners know their dogs best and will let you know if they’re child friendly or not.
Pay Attention To Body Language
Dogs emotions are very easy to read when it comes to body language. A relaxed dog with a wagging tail portrays ease and comfort, and is exactly how a should be acting when around children. If your dog shows any sign of anxiety – large eyes, stiffness, fear, growling, putting their tail between their legs or putting their ears back (these are only some actions,) they can be unpredictable and children should be removed from the situation.
Never Bother A Dog Who Is Eating Or Sleeping
A dog who is startled awake may instinctually snap or nip at who is waking them up. Dogs often can also be protective over food, and any interruption can cause aggressive behavior. It’s important to teach kids that dogs need to have their personal time and space, especially when eating or sleeping.
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