What Makes a Good Dog a Good Kids' Dog?

Introducing a Dog to an Older Child

When introducing a dog to a child, do so under supervision. If it's a large dog, or an adult that's not used to children, keep the dog on leash. If it's a small dog or puppy, have the child sit on the floor so there's no chance of tripping over, dropping or chasing the puppy. Have the child give the dog a treat. Teach the child how to handle and pet the dog gently. Tell children never to run and scream around dogs.

Dogs and young children should always be supervised for both of their well-being. Talk to children about how to avoid dog bites:

  • Never approach a loose dog.
  • Never pursue or chase a dog that is trying to get away from you.
  • Never pet a dog without the owner’s permission.
  • Never approach a dog with puppies.
  • Never tease a dog, especially with food or a toy.
  • Never tease or taunt a dog that is chained up or behind a fence.
  • Never put your hand through a fence to pet a strange dog.
  • Never enter a yard with a dog in it without permission.
  • Never put your hand between two strange dogs, or any dogs that look like they may fight.
  • Never get in the middle of a bunch of dogs.
  • Never try to break up a dogfight.
  • Never try to touch a dog that has been injured or who is in pain.
  • Never approach a dog that is eating or chewing a bone.
  • Never approach a scared dog.
  • Never bother or surprise a sleeping dog.
  • Never try to take a toy away from a strange dog, even if it’s your toy.
  • Never place your face near the face of a strange dog.
  • Never run toward, away from, or anywhere around a strange dog.
  • Never make loud shrieks around a strange dog.
  • Never stare a strange dog in the eye.
  • Never assume that a wagging tail means a friendly dog.

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