The Dawg Trainer Visits Central Elementary School – Dog Safety for Children

Jilly and I were invited to speak at Central Elementary School on July 10th. I had a very hard time thinking up what to talk about to the children of the school until I started doing some research. I found that 50% – 75% of dog bites reported in the United States each year were children. I know from personal experience that most children do not know how to approach a strange dog. I can remember a trip to PetsMart with one of my dogs where a child came running up from behind my dog and I and grabbed him around the back legs and gave him a hug, resting her head on his back. Thank goodness I heard her coming and I had a well trained dog with me or that could have become a scary situation. I have not had an adult do something like this yet, but I have had adults make the wrong decision when it comes to approaching a strange dog. I believe everyone could use a refresher course in safety.

Statistics show that there are common patterns surrounding dog bites. A few of these patterns include: more than one dog, a dog is in the backyard at a neighbor’s, no adult supervision, and the dog is normally kept on a chain or a rope.

There are many ways to keep a child safe around strange dogs. Talk to your children about these safety steps:
1. Always stay calm around dogs. Do not make loud noises or sudden moves. Talk softly.
2. Do not run up to a dog.
3. Do not hug a strange dog.
4. Do not put your face near a dog’s face.
5. Do not touch a dog that is growling, showing his teeth or barking alot.
6. Only approach a dog when a grown up is around and watching.
7. Do not take toys or food away from a dog.
8. Do not bother a dog when it is sleeping.
9. Do not pull a dog’s tail, fur or ears and do not poke at a dog through a fence or with a stick.
10. When a dog approaches you, stand still and quiet. Keep your hands at your side and allow the dog to sniff you.
11. Do not run away from a dog that is chasing you. Stand like a tree. If the dog knocks you down, curl up in a ball with your arms over your face and head.
12. Avoid eye contact with dogs that are barking loudly, showing their teeth or growling. Back off slowly and walk away.
13. Always ask the dog’s owner if you can pet their dog.
14. If the owner says yes, slowly reach towards the dog and make a fist so the dog can sniff your hand and then pet the dog under the chin.

The Humane Society of the United States has a Dos and Don’ts coloring page to help your children spot the proper responses and improper behaviors. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a Yes or No Picture Page to help your children practice their new knowledge of dog safety. Also check places like Dog Bite Law, Kids and Dogs: Safety First, and Kids and Dogs Safety Tip Sheet.

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to “The Dawg Trainer Visits Central Elementary School – Dog Safety for Children”

  1. Guidingadog Says:

    Guidingadog…

    […]The Dawg Trainer Visits Central Elementary School – Dog Safety for Children | St. Louis Dog Trainer Blog[…]…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

2008 TheDawgTrainer All rights reserved

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).