Friday, April 16, 2010

Teach Your Children Well....About Your Dogs

As much as we sometimes think of our dogs as humans, they are not. They are domesticated, but are still animals with animal instincts. The instinct to protect their food, their territory, and their health and well being in general. They act and behave, relate and respond, like animals. By instinct.
Teach your children how to respect dogs. Teach them that dogs are animals, they do have feelings, and they can be hurt, just like the child.

Here are a few common sense rules to teach children of any age how to safely, responsibly and lovingly interact with your dog. Hopefully you will have a lifetime of happiness with no misunderstandings from the dog or children, and no one getting bit.

When approaching a dog make a fist,  hold it out upside down and let the dog sniff you. (with adult supervision only) and for children 5 or 6 years and up.

Do not approach the dog when he is eating or at his food bowl.

Do not approach the dog if he is eating or chewing a treat, or his toys. And never try to take a toy from a dog.

Never wake a sleeping dog. Dogs can wake up groggy or grouchy. They can "react" and bite. NO MATTER WHO IT IS. (Let sleeping dogs lie)

Do not hang over a dog or put your arms around their neck. This can be perceived by the dog, as a dominant stance. He may bite, as a way of rejecting the dominance.

Never pull a dogs tail, ears, or any part of the dogs body. And be very careful not to step on the dogs. Again, this can cause a reactionary bite. 

And last, but probably most important, we recommend you never leave any child under the age of 8 or 9 alone with the dog. I realize that seems like a pretty old age, but you'd be surprised what children under that age, do no know. (You'd be surprised at what some adults don't know!)


  1. Karen, you don't need to be a kid to do something stupid. Not that many years ago on Valentines day one of my setters was asleep on the bed and I thought she looked a little funny so a bent over and gave her a poke. I still have a scare on my nose and chin where she nailed me. She didn't mean it and was very upset when she realized what she did but it was my fault. A little closer to the eye and it could have been a lot worse Let sleeping dogs alone is not just an expression and I have the scars to prove it!

  2. Art, I have heard of, probably, a half dozen people that has happened to, over the years. Same story.....same outcome. Even I, bumped Happy one night with my foot and he woke up growling and biting. Fortunately, I yelled his name out and he realized it was me and stopped before he broke the skin. He too, was a little upset. It was very close. I believe it is purely instinct. That's why this warning is so important. Doesn't matter how "nice" your dog is. It can happen to anyone, any time. Thanks for your story Art! And I'm sure who ever said, "let sleeping dogs lie", probably had a scare on their nose too!

  3. Karen,
    Great post with very excellent points. Many people think that their dogs are as domesticated as humans. They expect them to behave like perfect citizens and when they dont, unfortunately many dogs find themselves at the mercy of the pound. It absolutely annoys the crap out of me when someone behaves irresponsibly and their pet pays the price for it. The first step in avoiding this is to "teach your children well". Thanks for enforcing the basics, as many people seem to foget them. :)

  4. Thanks for your comment Leigh. I hate seeing dogs in a shelter or pound. Makes me cry! Makes me angry.