I wanted to share this because it is really important to remember safety around dogs with children. Whether it is a strange dog that might not be friendly or your own dog that a kid might inadvertently hurt, no one wins in a situation where a kid is hurt and a dog has to be put down. Here is some advice I found online.
Could you be one of them? Chances are, yes, and not because you’re a bad
parent, but because dogs are so often misunderstood. So don’t feel bad
if you’ve made a few mistakes; we’re here to help you fix them.
Can you plead guilty to any of these?
1. Taking pictures of your kids “loving up” your dog
Parents love pictures of their kids smooching their dog - sadly, most dogs aren’t fans.
So asking your kid to trap your dog in a hug and then pose face to face is uncomfortable for your dog and risky for your kid. The fix:
Teach your kids to ALWAYS pet gently with ONE hand (it’s less tempting
to hug). And if your pup can’t sit still for a picture (without being
held) take candid shots of everyone having fun safely instead.
2. Letting your kids approach dogs any time they choose
the dog world there are times when it’s just not cool to be all up in
each other’s bees-wax. When it comes to eating, chewing, sleeping, or
being confined it’s polite to let them be. Even the nicest dogs can snap
when interrupted one too many times. The fix: Teach kids when to have fun with dogs, and when to give them the space they need.
3. Asking the owner, not the dog
are great at reminding their kids to ask the dogs’ owner before
petting. But the problem is that 99% of owners say ‘yes’ regardless of
whether the dog actually likes children. The good news is that the dog
will tell you herself how she feels, so make SURE to ask her too. The fix: Tell
your kids to wait 6 feet away and encourage the dog over. If she
happily goes up to them, then game on! If not, it’s totally cool to
pick another dog or another day.
4. Grabbing stuff from your dog’s mouth
seems harmless enough to make your dog give up stuff she shouldn’t
have, right? After all, she could trash it or earn herself a trip to the
vet. True, but it’s HOW you do it that counts. Without meaning to, you
can easily train a dog to be dangerous around stolen goods by constantly
taking them away without giving anything back. BIG RED FLAG! Dogs who
are worried about people taking something they have are way more likely
to bite, and kids are often the easiest targets. The fix: Teach your dog to LOVE giving things up by always offering her something better in exchange.
if you’re reading this and thinking “my dog would never…” sadly, we can
tell you that when pushed many dogs WILL. But which ones? A
cute-o-meter certainly won’t tell you - so help your kids be dog-savvy
by teaching them how to act around ALL dogs, and what better place to
start than at home?
Leah Hatley and Justine
Schuurmans are professional trainers and owners of thefamilydog.com, a
website that specializes in educating the whole family on how to
interact with their dog or puppy. To learn more about the online program
and see free training videos visit www.thefamilydog.com.
Wow, there are a lot of inspirational images around at the moment!
Special thanks to Hip and humble home, The old and whimsical world and
Megan M Caldwell who have shared many lovely images on Facebook!