Teach your children (and yourself) well

Teach your children (and yourself) well

A great deal of dog attacks could be prevented through knowledge. 

This of course means ALWAYS training and properly socializing your own dog, but it also means learning the correct ways to meet and interact with others. 

1. ALWAYS ask before petting.

2. When greeting a new dog, first allow them to smell your hand.  If they "invite" you to continue petting, begin with a pet on the side, back, or if warranted, under the chin.  Never reach over the head of an unfamiliar dog.

3. Avoid direct eye contact.  Some dogs will find this threatening/challenging.

4. Approach slowly and calmly, but with confidence.  Let the dog approach you first where possible.

5. Stand straight or squat, but don't ever crouch over a dog.

6. Turn your body to the side.  A direct approach can sometimes signal aggression to dogs.

7. Learn about dog body language.  What are they telling you in the moment? What can you do to show them you are less threatening?

Where children are concerned...

1. NEVER allow an infant or small toddler to play on the floor or at eye level with a dog, no matter how familiar.

2. Be sure that your child knows to never put their face in a dog's face.

3. Be sure that your child knows how to pet a dog gently.

4. Be sure that your child knows that dogs are generally not fans of being squeezed or hugged. 

5. Be sure that your child knows not to approach a dog from behind.

6. Be sure that your child knows not to take toys or other items from a dog.

7. Be sure that your child knows not to bother a dog when eating.  Never allow an infant/toddler to eat where the dog has potential access to their food.

8. All interactions between infants/toddlers and dogs should be directly supervised and closely monitored.

9. Teach children the "Be a Tree" technique for whenever they encounter a dog on the loose. Per the AKC, "Be a Tree" refers to standing still with your arms tucked into your sides and your hands folded in front of you while you look down. This is the safest posture for kids around a loose dog because they aren’t doing anything to threaten or spook the dog like making eye contact or triggering the dog's chase response with movement.

By learning and teaching these important rules, you help to save lives and allow dogs to live safely and without prejudice in our human world.

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