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!)