Friday, 18 July 2014

Dogs & Children Part 2: Teaching children to interact with dogs

We all remember the excitement that most of us will have had as children when we got to play with a puppy or dog, or even better, our parents brought one home!   However, a childs boisterous behaviour can be scary or intimidating for a dog, particularly one who has not had a lot of dealings with children.

It is important to teach children the appropriate manner in how to interact with dogs - much as we would not tolerate them shouting in our face, pulling our hair, picking up our food or climbing all over us, we have to teach children that that same behaviour is not appropriate towards dogs.  We should instead be advocating that all animals should be treated with kindness and respect.

Now we know children aren't perfect, and that dogs aren't perfect either (even if us doting mums and dads of either might think so!).  It is not that we should expect everyone to behave perfectly, but starting at a young age to teach children to respect all the living things around them will hopefully minimise the risk of a child exhibiting behaviour that a dog finds threatening, thus ultimately leading to potentially tragic consequences, in worst cases for the child, or more commonly for the dog, who on biting out or fear or defence, can then realistically expect to be rehomed....or not.

On teaching a child to treat a dog with "kindness", this is a brilliant infographic from Dr Sophia Yin, highlighting the point I made above - behaviour that is unacceptable toward adults, is equally as unacceptable towards animals (dogs or otherwise).

How kids should not interact with dogs spaniels tail

The next post in the series will talk about safety tips on living with children and dogs.  We hope you are enjoying this series!

Dogs & Children Part 1: Not reading the signs!
Dogs & Children Part 3: Top 10 Safety Tips
Dogs & Children Part 4: 6 ways to help a child with a fear of dogs


  1. Great tips, and love the infographic! Thanks for linking up tot he parade!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  2. Wish every child would be taught to interact properly with pets. It would be so much better for child and pet. Oh, and parents. :)

  3. Great post, Lottie! It should be mandatory for all families with young peeps thinking about a puppy to read this.

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  4. Those are very important tips to help prevent dog bites. You know, the dog always gets the blame!

  5. Love the infographic. If more people would follow this advice, there would be a lot fewer dog bites.

  6. That was some good advice. We're going to print out the poster and show it to our favorite miniature human's Mom and Dad the next time they come over to visit us.

  7. What a wonderful infographic ... some really great tips on it and it is cute too! Teaching children proper manners around dogs is so important. Thanks for the wonderful series and post!

  8. Another great info sheet.
    Luv's Cat Flap Cavalier X