Dog bites and attacks happen at the most unexpected times. Whether a dog is known to display aggressive behavior or not, they can attack – and mostly do when they are provoked. Whether it is your own dog, or someone else’s dog, teaching your child to respect all dogs and take safety precautions is a lesson every child should have.
Dogs in Public
With school back in session, your child will likely be passing by a ton of houses that have dogs as pets or may run across stray dogs on their route. Teach them to never approach a dog or try to pet a dog when the owner is not around and has given permission. Even if your child has met the dog before, it is not ok to approach the dog without asking permission from the owner.
When my child was 11 he was old enough to stand with the others at the bus stop on his own. Our neighbor down the road had two dogs that we had met on quite a few occasions when the owners were taking them for a walk. My son knew their names and pet them whenever they walked by our home with the owner permission.
One day, while at the bus stop, my son decided to say hello to his furry friends. They were in their fenced yard which was a wire fence that stood about 3 feet high. He reached over to pet one of them and lost the tips of two of his fingers requiring a rush to the emergency room. These dogs were not aggressive and he knew the dogs. The problem was that he reached into their domain – their home – and did not have permission.
Dogs have the right to protect themselves against strangers and their home, it is in their nature to do so.
Children should never be allowed to treat any dog in a manner you would not let someone treat your own child. Pulling their tales, touching their private parts, jumping on them, or any other form of bad behavior should not be tolerated. Dogs should also know that your children belong to you and you are the pack leader of both your children and them.
Set clear rules for your dog on what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do around your children. If you are visiting family or friends with pets, or run across pets in public places, always ask before approaching a dog. Keep everyone safe – including your children and the furry friends of the world.