Important Holiday Safety Tips for Children and Dogs 

Every year thousands of kids are bitten by dogs. Very often this is caused by the child's behavior being unpredictable and perceived as threatening to a dog's personal space and feeling of security. 

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There is a much higher incidence of children being bitten by dogs during the holidays. Many times families with kids visit relatives or friends who have dogs and the dogs are not used to having kids around. In this podcast we will review some of the steps you should take to ensure the safety of the children around dogs and how you can teach them to have pleasant introductions and positive interactions with them. If you are worried about how your dog might react to having kids around, it may be best to put him in a separate room or put him in day care or overnight boarding while you have guests.

What to Teach Your Children NOT TO DO:

  • Don't pester the dog by chasing it. If the dog is trying to get away, let him be.
  • Never take food, bones or toys away from a dog.
  • Don't lean over or put your face in a dog's face - they will feel threatened.
  • Never wake up a sleeping dog.
  • Never attempt to climb on top of or ride a dog.
  • Don't hug a dog around its neck- it is threatening to them and they don't like it.
  • Do not create chaos around the dog by running, screaming or yelling. 
  • Do not approach a dog that is elevated above you on a sofa, chair, etc.

What Positive Things a Child Can Do:

  • Go outside on a supervised walk with the dog.
  • Learn to gently pet the dog from under his chin.
  • Give the dog a treat for doing a trick, i.e. sit, down, etc.
  • Play ball with the dog.


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