Dog/Child Interaction: How to Develop a Safe Relationship

Dog Child Interaction How to Develop a Safe Relationship - Long Island Pet Pages Dog News Dog Child Interaction How to Develop a Safe Relationship - Long Island Pet Pages Dog News

Dog-child interaction is the single most important issue to deal with if you have a child and a dog. Children love dogs but dogs don’t always love children. When you bring home a new puppy, your child should be trained together with your dog. Dog owners need to remember that it takes two to tango. Children aren’t often taught how to treat a new doggy which can make his life a living hell. This is not only torment for your dog but can be dangerous to your child. Never trust your child alone with ANY dog, regardless of how gentle that dog is known to be. A child tends to know just which buttons to press to turn the gentlest animal into a dangerous beast. Most dogs initially feel threatened by a child because they are at eye level, they have high-pitched voices and make vigorous movements. The dog senses that the child is somewhat unpredictable. Dog-child interaction should be monitored in order to make sure that child and your dog are getting along.

What you should teach your child

  • Do not let your child hug the dog until the dog-child relationship has developed and they’ve become comfortable with each other.
  • Children are accustomed to showing their affection with a hug, but some dogs will tolerate it while others will not.
  • Never approach a strange dog without asking the owner if it is o.k. to do so.
  • Allow the dog to sniff you before you try to pat him.
  • Stay away from stray dogs. A stray dog may carry disease or try to attack.
  • Never scream or run away from a dog. This will only start a chase.
  • Never run towards a dog or around a dog.
  • Never approach a dog face to face. This is threatening to them. Always approach a dog from the side. This will allow the dog-child relationship to develop.
  • Never look a dog square in the eyes.
  • Never tease or hit a dog whether he’s loose, tied up, behind a fence or in a crate.
  • Never play rough games with a dog, such as tug-of-war. This will encourage a dog to become aggressive.
  • Never pat a dog on the head. Always approach him under the chin or on his back.
  • Never bother a sleeping dog.
  • Never bother the dog while he’s eating or chewing his favorite bone.
  • A dog is not a toy. Never yank on his ears or pull his tail.
  • If a dog poses a threat, teach your child to stay perfectly still with arms at the side, avoid eye contact, don’t scream. If there is no one around who can pull the dog away, have your child use a jacket, schoolbag, garbage can cover, or anything he can find as a shield while backing away from the dog slowly.
  • If a dog has knocked your child to the ground, he should curl up into a ball with his hands behind his head to protect his face.
  • Never give the dog table food.
  • Always play with your dog under adult supervision.
  • Always be kind to your dog. This will help develop a dog-child friendship.
  • Always protect your dog from harm. (Continued…)

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