Dogs And Children Necessary Safety Precautions

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Dogs And Children Necessary Safety Precautions

by Eric Letendre

Young children and dogs should not be left alone together unsupervised. As wonderful as your dog may be, it is wise to remember that they are carnivores with an incredibly punishing bite and use their jaws for both self-defense and aggression. Every year an unnecessarily high number of children are bitten by their own dog or a dog belonging to someone else.

Most of these bites could have been prevented through better management. It is every parent?s responsibility to teach their children proper behavior around dogs. Those of us who own dogs are responsible for their behavior around children. Pet owners who have children obviously have a double role.


Many of the things that children do naturally, such as running, shrieking, and boisterous play can be very stimulating to a dog. If your children are roughhousing with the dog and/or playing with a group of friends, it would be wise to separate them from your excitable dog. Put your dog down for a nap in his crate, or let another family member entertain him.

Encourage your children to be quiet and calm when they interact with the dog. Teach them how to reward calm, attentive behavior and how to ignore the dog when he is behaving inappropriately.

Include your children in the dog?s training. How much they participate will be dependent upon their age and interest.

If you are doing hand feeding exercises with your dog (as you should), have your children help with the feeding. The exception to this is if your dog shows any signs of food bowl aggression. If you notice your dog guarding his bowl and acting aggressive around his food bowl, do not let your children help with feeding exercises, and contact a professional trainer for help.

Teach your children how to play games that will enhance their relationship with your dog. All retrieving games and hide ?n seek are excellent games for dogs and children. They also help keep your dog well exercised and tired. Tug-O-War should never be played between children and dogs.

Practice handling exercises with your dog regularly by touching his ears, paws, and tail while gently praising and rewarding him with treats. Also practice rolling your dog gently over on his back. Hug your puppy on a regular basis from the time he is very young. Hugging is instinctively very unnatural and uncomfortable for your dog, but he can be taught at an early age to accept it and even enjoy it.

This will help your dog learn to tolerate all the ways children may interact with him including tugging on his ears or tail, hugging, and even grabbing. This is your insurance policy, if, in spite of your diligence, a child grabs, squeezes, or hugs your dog, he will not react aggressively.

If you are concerned about your dog?s behavior toward your children, contact a professional trainer immediately.

Eric Letendre the author of The Amazing Dog Training Man invites you to visit for leading edge dog training tips, instructional video clips and articles that will help you train and understand your dog. You can also get free dog training updates with a free Smart Dog Newsletter subscription, available at

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