Dogs and children – the perfect combination, right? Not always. It’s important to teach small children how to be around dogs, how to safely greet dogs and how to respect dogs.
Our first class with the three year olds consists of teaching the children to always respect a dog.
What should you NOT do around a dog:
- Never tease a dog
- Never rush up into their face
- Never pull their tail, ears or other areas of their body
- Never be rough or too loud around a dog
- Never touch a dog without permission
- What you SHOULD do around a dog:
- Always ask the owner if you can pet their dog
- Always put your hand out, palm down, for the dog to sniff
- Always pet the dog under his chin or belly or wherever the owner suggests
- Always speak quietly around, a new dog especially
- Always respect the dog and back away if showing signs of stress
Children as young as two can learn these few tips and be safe around any and all dogs. I can’t tell you how many times I ask a group of children “who has a dog at home?” And then they proceed to tell me:
- My dog jumps all over me and pulls me down
- My dog barks and barks and barks
- My dog bites me
- My dog pees all over the house
- My dogs fight with each other
- I’m afraid of my dog
- When I hear this I worry about the household. The children should never be hurt by their family dog, never be afraid of their family dog and should learn from the earliest age how to live with animals, respect animals and teach animals good behaviors. It is NEVER acceptable for a family pet to bite or be too rough with family members, especially children. This is not play.
It is never ok to allow a child to bully an animal or be bullied by the dog.
So much about human interaction can be learned early on from how we teach our children about animals. Be kind and patient and loving and you will raise a well-mannered dog. Be kind and patient and loving and you in turn will have a well-mannered child. One learns from the other and accepting bad behaviors from either is never the way to establish a calm, peaceful household and child who understands the importance of caring for, living with and loving their pet and all living creatures.
Love Dog Adventures’ Anti-Bully Program “Power of Pets: Be Cool. Not Cruel” teaches these concepts through the eyes of the dog. For more information about this educational program, contact Sue at 917-301-4710 or email@example.com