Teaching your children how to interact with dogs is one of the first lessons a child learns especially if they have a family pet. The bond between a child and a dog can be a beautiful thing with the dog being the child’s protector. There are situations to avoid with children especially if an older moodier dog is involved. These dogs can tend to snap when bothered so make your child aware that it is a grumpy old dog. The following are situations to avoid as well as how to teach your child to interact with dogs.
Give Respect To Get Respect
A relationship between a dog and human should be established on respect. Gentle petting of the back can help calm a dog down as they might snap if their face is touched first by a child they are not familiar with. Teach your child that if you would not want someone doing it to you then you should not do it to a dog. Messing with a dogs food is the number one thing to teach your child not to do. Some dogs have food aggression so have your child leave a dog alone when they are eating regardless of how friendly they are with the dog.
Do Not Pet A Unfamiliar Dog Without Permission
One thing that can drive a pet owner crazy is a small child touching a dog without permission. The dog could bite trying to protect their owner or from being startled. Tell your children to ask the adult with the dog whether they can pet it. If the person says no it is time to move on but if they say yes they should pet them cautiously. Some children might try to pet a stray dog that they see but let them know they should immediately come inside if they see one. You do not know how a stray dog will react to a child approaching it or running towards it.
Signs of Aggression
There are plenty of signs of aggression that you can teach your child to avoid. Growling or barking are the obvious signs but also if a dog tenses up when approached. The tail wagging generally means the dog welcomes the attention but a tail straight down between the legs is not a great sign. Dogs that might bite should be avoided and your child should know the signs so they can make the appropriate judgment call.
When Bitten Expose To Dogs To Avoid Fear For Life
At times a dog might bite due to no fault of your child and depending on the severity you might need to consult a personal injury law firm. You should not have to pay for medical expenses due to an aggressive dog getting out of their yard. The best thing you can do is expose your child to other dogs showing them that not all dogs will bite. This will help alleviate a pain if you have your child avoid dogs after being bitten. A healthy fear or awareness of dogs is not bad but you do not want it to turn into a phobia.