I love walking my standard schnauzer in the park. My dog loves all the smells and the change of scenery. She also loves all the people she meets especially the children. The children are naturally attracted to my dog, Misty. I have noticed many children do not know dog safety and I have become concerned these children may get bit by a dog that is not friendly like Misty. When children run up to my dog I take time to go over dog safety rules with them. Ask First
Ask the dog’s owner if the dog is friendly and likes to be petted. A dog may be frightened and feel threatened if a child rushes up and begins petting it. I explain to the child some dogs are not out going and don’t like strangers. So we never approach a strange dog, never look a dog in the eye and dogs don’t like hugs. Parents need to explain some dogs are old, sick and have been abused. These dogs are the most likely to bite.
Children are normally excited while playing in the park. High pitched whinny voices will get any dog excited and unpredictable. I always ask the children to talk softly and stand by her shoulder to stroke the back of her neck.
I like to take a moment to instruct the children never to allow their face to get close to a dog’s face. Never grab ears or tales. Treat the dog like they would like to be treated. No one wants to be mulled, tugged on or poked.
Read The Dog’s Body Language
This is a perfect time to talk to children about dog language. I show the children Misty’s has a wagging tail, relaxed body and perky ears. This is a perfect example of a happy dog.
Then I ask them to explain to me what a mad dog looks like. I usually get “growling” as an answer. I explain first thing to look at is the ears and tail of a dog. Ears back, mouth closed, eyes staring and a tucked under tail is the first way to recognize an unfriendly dog. Do not approach and never run away from a dog, they will chase you.
If the dog’s owner declines your request to pet their dog don’t be upset. They know their dog the best and don’t want to be liable for any thing that may occur. Remember most dog bites occur when well meaning children invade a dog’s space without knowing how to interact with the animal.
Please take time with your children to discuss dog safety rules. I have included a great kid friendly video on dog’s body language below. Take time to watch it with them.
I have included a link on How to Handle a Dog Attack. http://www.wikihow.com/Handle-a-Dog-Attack
I also suggest this wonderful book that teaches your children about dog safety. You can purchase it through Amazon.
“FRIENDLY” Green Color Coded 4 Foot Dog Leash (Known As Friendly) PREVENTS Accidents By Warning Others of Your Dog in Advance!
Color Coded Dog Leash PREVENTS Accidents By Warning Other of Your Dog in Advance! “Caution, No Dogs, Nervous, Blind, Deaf Dog,
“NERVOUS” Yellow Color Coded 4 Foot Dog Leash (Give Me Space) PREVENTS Accidents By Warning Others of Your Dog in Advance.