By PETbc Childrens Education Department
When a child encounters an unfamiliar dog, it is important to prioritize safety and minimize the risk of potential accidents or dog bites.
Here are 10 things a child should not do to an unfamiliar dog:
- DO NOT Approach Without Permission: Never allow a child to approach an unfamiliar dog without first obtaining permission from the dog’s owner or handler. Even if the dog seems friendly, you must ask for consent.
- DO NOT Run Towards the Dog: Running towards an unfamiliar dog can startle or provoke the dog, leading to an aggressive response. Encourage your child to approach calmly and slowly.
- DO NOT Reach Out Suddenly: Teach your child not to reach out their hand suddenly to pet an unfamiliar dog. Sudden movements can be perceived as threats by the dog.
- DO NOT Hug or Kiss the Dog: Avoid letting your child hug or kiss an unfamiliar dog. This can be intimidating for the dog and may lead to defensive behaviour.
- DO NOT Put their Face Close to the Dog’s Face: Instruct your child to maintain a respectful distance from the dog’s face. Dogs may feel uncomfortable if someone invades their personal space.
- DO NOT Touch the Dog’s Ears, Tail or Face: Children should avoid touching sensitive areas like the dog’s ears, tail or face, as this can be painful or irritating for the dog.
- DO NOT Disturb a Sleeping or Eating Dog: Never allow your child to disturb any dog that is sleeping or eating. Dogs can become territorial or protective in these situations.
- DO NOT Yell or Make Sudden Loud Noises: Loud noises can startle a dog and could lead to an aggressive reaction. Instruct your child to speak softly and calmly around dogs.
- DO NOT Approach a Dog Without An Owner: If a dog is unaccompanied by its owner, your child should stay away.
- DO NOT Assume All Dogs are Friendly: Teach your child that not all dogs are friendly or comfortable with strangers. Encourage them to be cautious, even if a dog appears friendly.
It is essential to educate your child about proper dog etiquette and safety to prevent potential incidents with unfamiliar dogs. Always supervise interactions between children of any age and dogs, whether the dog is known to be friendly or not.