A dog that comes to a family with children must learn to treat them with respect. Likewise, children must learn to treat dogs with respect and to behave calmly around them.
Children pose a challenge for dogs in many ways: Children’s behavior is unpredictable – they romp around, are quiet for a while, and then start running again. Their voices are also louder and shrill than those of adults. This type of noise and movement excites most dogs. Therefore, even the most trusting and harmless dog should never be left unsupervised near small children.
But even children can learn some rules on how best to behave towards dogs.
10 most important tips for children when dealing with dogs:
- Always treat a dog the way you would like to be treated yourself, so don’t pull on their ears or their fur.
- If a dog is friendly, pet it gently, not on the head, but on the side.
- Never stand directly in front of the dog, but approach it from the side.
- Don’t walk at eye level with a dog and never stare directly into their eyes. A dog may take this as a threat. Look at his muzzle or ears instead.
- Watch your movements around a dog – don’t yell or rant if you don’t know a dog well.
- Don’t try to grab the dog’s tail – dogs don’t like that. Best you stay away from the tail.
- Don’t tussle with a dog, even if it’s small and you know it.
- Do not disturb a dog while it is eating or try to take its food away.
- Never run away quickly from a dog – every dog has a hunting instinct and will give chase.
- If you want to pet a strange dog, ask its owner first. Never rush at a strange dog!
If children follow these rules when dealing with dogs, the first encounter between child and dog can become the beginning of a strong and long friendship.