Children & Dogs
How to keep everyone safe and happy!
Children and dogs can form strong, loving bonds, with ownership of a pet teaching children kindness and respect for others. Pets can improve childrens' social skills and cultivate responsibility.
However, it is estimated in the US that 77% of dog bites to children are from family or friends' pets. These bites do not come from bad or nasty dogs, and, contrary to popular belief, bites RARELY happen out of the blue — and your kids’ actions can play a HUGE role in how safe they are around the dogs they love and live with. All too often, miscommunication is at the root of the issue. We expect dogs to read our likes and dislikes — but often have no idea how to read theirs.
Watch this video from the Family Dog Project with your children to really understand both sides of the story:
You CAN help make it safe.
Check out these resources from the RSPCA & the Dogs Trust to learn how best to help your child interact with your dog, and check out the body language resources below. See if you & your child can learn the signs different dogs show to communicate they are uncomfortable.
See here for many videos to watch with your children on how to approach, play and interact safely with dogs: www.stopthe77.com
Take Blue Cross Body Language knowledge check: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/be-safe-dogs
Read about the Kennel Club Safe and Sound Project: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/safe-and-sound/