A dog can be an excellent addition to a family. They are loyal companions, fun playmates, and offer children the opportunity to learn about responsibility. Whether you decide to get a pet for your household or simply want your children to learn how to interact with other people’s dogs, it is important to teach them how to safely behave around them.
The Do’s and Don’ts
- Do: Teach your children to respect a dog’s space.
Dogs do not always enjoy being lathered with attention. Like people, they also need a safe space to sleep and eat without interruptions. However, it is also important to help your dog build tolerance, to help avoid the possibility of aggression should a child invade his space.
- Don’t: Allow your children to interrupt the dog if he is eating.
Children naturally want to interact with a dog, but there is a time and place for it. We would not appreciate someone putting their hands in our bowl of food, so do not let them do this to a dog. It might evoke aggressive behavior, which can put children in danger.
- Do: Encourage safe and fun interactions.
Dogs often have a lot of energy and love to play, so teach your children how to appropriate play with the dog.
- Don’t: Allow children to roughhouse.
Your children might not mean any harm by it, but a dog will not understand the difference between play-fighting and true acts of aggression. If your child pulls on a dog’s tail, this could spark an act of retaliation.
- Do: Approach dogs with caution.
Dogs have a lot of personality and are just as prone to feelings of anxiety as we are. Therefore, it is important for children to approach them with caution. Teach them to outstretch their hands first, so the dog can sniff them, providing a sense of reassurance. If the dog growls, teach your children to step back.
- Don’t: Encourage them to run away.
When we experience fear, running away is usually our first instinct, but it is not always the right one. If a dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior, running is not a solution. Teach your children to slowly back away. If they run, the dog will likely chase them.
- Do: Always emphasize the importance of being respectful.
A dog is a living being, not a toy, and will react to behavior that appears to be threatening or aggressive. Remind them that everyone, including dogs, need space and respect. This will set the necessary foundation for them to become responsible and loving pet owners.
If you or a member of your family was bitten or attacked by a dog in Georgia, it is crucial to discuss your situation with an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney. The costs associated with any injuries sustained can add up, which is why receiving compensation is vital to recovery. At Kaufman Law, P.C., we pride ourselves on always putting the needs of our clients first. Contact us for a FREE consultation.