Can children and dogs play together?

Children with dog

Riley, Jack and KoKo

Dogs and children usually co-exist happily together but parents have a duty to educate their children on the do’s and don’ts of how to behave with a dog.

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Sadly, we are hearing too many horrific stories of dogs attacking children. Blaming the dog is not the answer. The answer must lie in educating both the adults AND the children how to behave with any dog whether it is their own or not.

Dogs are pack animals with an inner wolf mindset. In a pack, environment dogs are taught about hierarchy and respect for boundaries from a very young age.

When we bring dogs into our families the dog expects discipline. All dogs NEED rules and boundaries from the pack leader and If they aren’t given these then many dogs make their own. Some dogs need this leadership more than others.

Dogs see life differently to us. They see young children like a puppy so while many dogs are very tolerant of children it’s not the case with all dogs.

Adult Rules for child/dog safety

  • NEVER leave a dog alone with a child or baby
  • Children (under 12 years) should not walk a dog without adult supervision
  • Never allow a young child (under 10 years) to feed a dog unsupervised as some dogs can be very protective over food and see a small child as a threat to the dog’s food supply.
  • Do not allow your child to pull on the dog’s collar –It could snap or bite them
  • Never allow a child to discipline a dog without your supervision
  • When visiting friends or family who have a dog do not allow your child to play in the garden with the dog unsupervised.

Children’s Rules or child/dog safety

  • Never pat a strange dog even if it’s owner is present
  • Never go up to a dog that is sleeping or eating (allow it some space)
  • Stay away from a dog that is tied up outside a shop etc.
  • Never ever pull a dog’s tail or ears. Dogs feel pain as well as us!
  • If a dog runs at you barking STAND completely still and put your hands in your pocket
  • Stay away from a dog that has puppy

Woofs from KoKo

 

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