Kids N Canines: What Every Child Should Know

  • Always ask a dog's owner if you may pet the dog.
  • Some dogs shouldn't be touched. He may be "on duty" as a service dog or he may be ill or afraid of children.
  • Approach a dog from the front or side - not from behind.
  • Hold your hands low and speak softly. Do not surprise a dog, force him into a corner, wave your hands, or scream at him.
  • Dogs may get defensive at the food dish.
  • Don't interfere when a dog is eating and never put your hands between a dog's mouth and his bowl.
  • Some dogs are very protective of their balls and chew toys.
  • Never take a bone or toy from a dog's mouth unless he's trained to drop it or give it to you
  • Avoid teasing, rough housing, or tugs of war games.
  • Dogs may get too enthusiastic and forget you are not a dog. Fetch, Frisbee and agility are better outlets for your dog's energy.
  • Respect a dog's space.
  • Dogs naturally defend their territories. Do not stick your hand inside a strange dog's crate or car window
  • Never try to break up a dog fight. Trying to separate fighting dogs my make them more excited, and they might turn on you or accidentally bite you. Call an adult for help.
  • Observe canine body language: Beware of a dog that is barking, growling, or showing his teeth. Stay away if his ears are back or his hair is standing up on his back. Say "No" firmly and slowly walk away with your arms at your side. Do not scream, stare into his eyes or run away.