Child safety around dogs
For me, the importance of child safety around dogs has just become very real, now we have a new addition to the family.
The most important factor for safety around dogs and children or babies is supervision.
No matter how much you trust your dog (or child for that matter) they should never be left unattended.
It only takes a second for a situation to change, and can be very unexpected and seem out of the blue.
As much training as we can do with a dog, can never stop natural instinct, so if a dog feels scared or frightened or uncomfortable they can react.
This is why it just as important to ‘train’ your children how to act around your dog, and that is simply with respect and care.
No dog, no matter how well they seem to tolerate it, likes being grabbed, jumped or sat on, or having there personal space invaded, so it is important to teach your child this.
Loud noises and fast movement could easily scare a dog into reacting negatively, so calmness is key with having a happy dog.
Most parents teach there children not to steal, pinch, hit, or disturb people when they don’t want to be disturbed, so why is it any different for a dog.
It may all seem like common sense, but dogs injuring children in their household is becoming an increasing common occurrence,
and although the dog is just following their natural instinct in reacting to a situation that they are unhappy with, it is unfortunately always the dog who faces the punishment.
One way to avoid injury is to recognise the signs that a dog in uncomfortable, so I have included the canine aggression ladder below as a guide.
On a side not, you should never punish a dog for showing warning signs, such as growling, as this can then lead to them skipping that step all together and going straight to biting.
Teaching a child these simple things, can teach them how to be safe around dogs and how to have a mutually happy relationship with them.
To end this on a positive note, here and some of the pros of dog ownership for children.
Pros of Dog ownership for children
- Responsibility- As they get older they can start helping out with the care of the dog, teaching them a sense of responsibility and giving them a sense of accomplishment.
- Safety- Who doesn’t feel much safer with their dog in the house?
- Friendship- Having a dog can teach your child the value of friendship and having someone who depends on them.
- Confidence- Allowing your child to help with a dogs training can help grow there confidence, and teach them a form of strength by getting the dog to follow a command.
- Being Safe and Gentle- Having their own dog at home teaches a child how to be gentle and safe around dogs and recognise difference dog behaviours, which they can then follow through to other dogs they may encounter