Never leave young children alone with dogs especially in the dog’s own home. Until they’re old enough to take care of themselves always supervise children when they’re in the presence of dogs.
Teach children that even if their own dog is friendly and loves being petted, there are other dogs that are fearful and will bite if they’re approached or touched.
Teach children the signs of fear in a dog’s body language – the ears flattened back, the gaze averted, cowering, the tail tucked between the legs, signals that may be followed by a defensive bite.
Teach children the signs of overt aggression in a dog’s body language, a direct stare, ears alert, the hair on the back standing up, the tail raised, teeth bared, barking or growling.
Teach children to be calm and careful around dogs, not to shriek, scream, wave their hands around, cry or suddenly run.
Teach children to never, ever touch any dog they don’t know without first asking the owner whether the dog can be petted.
Teach children not to enter gardens in which there is a dog especially a dog tethered on a rope.
Teach children to leave their own dogs alone when the dogs are eating, sleeping or playing with a favourite dog toy.
Teach children never to take things such as toys, bones or chews from dogs.
Teach children never to sneak up on their dog, try to scare her or force it where it doesn’t want to go.
Teach children not to bend over dogs. That can be interpreted as threatening.
Teach children to always eat their food or snacks where dogs cannot try to grab the food from them.
Teach children never to bury their faces in their dog’s hair, even if the dog is the most gentle of individuals.
Teach children, especially boys, never to play roughhouse games with the family dog, even if you or your partner do. A dog may play reliably with you but may behave more dominantly with smaller individuals, especially if they squeal or scream.
Teach children, especially boys not to intentionally try to provoke a dog. Teasing can trigger both fearful and dominant dogs to bite.
When teaching children to follow these guidelines, teach all adults to do so too. For more information on dog bite prevention, visit: