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Educating children about how to behave around dogs

Dogs make wonderful pets for many doting families in Indiana, and many people go to great lengths to ensure the comfort of their four-legged friends. However, there are times when unwarranted attention can create danger when a dog is provoked to attack. Often, these situations involve children who may mean well when approaching a dog but end up startling or angering the canine instead. 

Parents who make it a priority to teach their children about how to behave around dogs may be better able to prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring. According to, there are effective ways for people to approach dogs, as well as pet them to create a positive and safe experience. Some of the behaviors that parents should teach their children to avoid include the following:

  • Putting their face right in front of the dog's face. 
  • Yanking or pulling any part of the dog, especially fur, tail and ears.
  • Wrapping their arms around a dog or attempting to give a hug.
  • Yelling, running or other rambunctious behavior that could startle or anger the dog.

Children should also be reminded to give dogs their space, even when petting them. If a dog is showing signs of distress or moving away as a child is petting him or her, the child should stop petting the dog. When children understand that dogs like to be pet gently and slowly, they can avoid making the dog nervous or uncomfortable. reports that 1,000 people seek treatment for dog bite-related injuries on a daily basis in the United States.   

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