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Kids Safety Around Dogs

More than 2 million children are bitten by dogs each year in America.                       

The Humane Society estimates 51% of dog bite victims are children. Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are most likely to be bitten by a dog.  Most of these are bites from the family dog, a neighbor or a dog the child is familiar with. It is important to teach children proper safety around all dogs.

Teaching Kids How To Properly Meet And Greet A Dog

Step One: From a safe distance, look for any yellow ribbons, patches or labels that say, “Do Not Pet” or “Please Give Space.” If you see this, kindly give the dog and owner space, and do NOT approach. 

Step Two: If there are no labels or yellow ribbons, ask your parent or the adult that is with you if you can go over to say hi to the dog. If the adult says yes, calmly walk up to the owner, stay at least 10 feet away and ask, “May I Please Pet Your Dog?”                         ***Remember a person has every right to say no to you. Don’t take it personally if they say no. The dog may be in training, or they could be busy. 

Step Three: The owner may give you certain instructions, such as only pet their dog when they are sitting. Make sure to always stop petting a dog if the dog tries to jump on you, or doesn’t seem friendly. 

Step Four: When going up to a dog, walk calmly and politely. Always give the dog space and freedom to move away. 


- Never shove your hand in the dog's face.

- Never reach over top of a dog.

-Never pet a dog from behind.

-Never chase after a dog to pet him/her.

-Never hug the dog, squeeze or tug on the dog.

-Never scream or make silly noises.

-Never put your face in the dog's face.

-Never give the dog kisses or do anything to provoke or scare the dog.

-Never run away from a dog.

Instead You Should:

-Slightly lower your body

-Allow the dog to come to you.

-Pet the dog gently on his/ her chest.

-Remain calm.

Step Five: Say thank you, and walk away calmly. 

Key Things To Remember:

-Dogs bite because they are afraid, angry, frustrated, in pain or are protecting something that is valuable to them . Most dogs will give you a warning sign they are uncomfortable, fearful or stressed. Smaller signs of stress that most people ignore are; ears pinned back, whale eye, tail tucked, shedding and/or drooling excessively, dog may turn head away, try to walk away, or may freeze up.

-Never approach a dog (even a dog you know)  without an adult present. 

-If you see a loose dog without an owner, (even if it's a dog you know) do not approach the dog. Walk calmly away and tell an adult you know.

- If a dog is running towards you or scares you, your first instinct may be to run away. Do not do that. Instead, stand like a tree, ignore the dog, look away from the dog, and cross your arms. Never run, or scream. If you do this, the dog may chase or attack you. 

-Just because a dog looks friendly doesn't mean he/she is. A wagging tail doesn’t mean the dog is friendly.  Learning to read Dog Body Language (A way dogs communicate through their body) is important to learn. 

-Respect a dog’s space. Never reach through a fence or car window to pet a dog.

-Always make sure it's okay with the owner before giving a dog a treat. If you give a dog a treat, give it to the dog with a flat hand.  

-Never try to pet a dog while they are sleeping, or try to wake up a dog by screaming at them.

Never bother a dog eating a meal, or chewing on a bone. Avoid taking any toys or food directly out of a dog's mouth. If a dog has something unsafe in his/her mouth, tell an adult. 

-If you are at someone's house and they have a rambunctious dog, don’t feel embarrassed to ask the owner to put the dog somewhere else. If you are afraid of the dog, and don't feel comfortable telling the owner, tell your parents so they can speak to them.

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