Dogs are fun, lovable animals. It’s not a surprise that children are drawn to them. However, despite their good intentions, childrens’ enthusiasm may lead to actions that upset a dog. This can cause trouble. Because of this, it’s important to teach children how to safely interact with dogs.

The first thing to teach them is to never approach a strange dog, especially if it is an unattended dog. If the dog owner is present, always get permission first before approaching.

Teach them to keep their excitement in check while approaching a dog. Running towards a dog can set it on edge. Talking to it in high pitched voices and squeals can also irritate the dog.

Teach proper petting ediquite. For a first encounter, keep your hands on their back or chest. Any other areas are questionable. Children should never pull on their ears or tails no matter how well you know them.

Teach them to respect body language. General signs that a dog wants to disengage include backing away, low growls, laying back ears, and putting the tail between his or her legs. If a dog is showing these signs, leave the dog alone.

Children and pets can get along splendidly if they know how to interact with dogs in a safe manner.

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