Safety Tips for Kids from the AKC

Safety Tips for Kids from the AKC:

  • Always ask a dog's owner if you may pet the dog. There may be a very good reason why a dog should not be touched. He may be "on duty" as a handicapped person's assistance dog, or he may be injured, ill, or afraid of children.
  • Approach a dog from the front or side. Hold your hands low and speak softly. Surprising a dog from behind, forcing him into a corner, waving hands in the air or screaming may overexcite him, causing him to snap in fear or even in play.
  • Let a dog eat in peace. Many dogs get defensive at the food dish. Your dog shouldn't be allowed to growl when you get near the food dish, but you shouldn't interfere with his eating.
  • Watch out for special toys. Some dogs have powerful feelings for their playthings. Never take a bone or toy from a dog's mouth unless you have trained him to drop it and give it to you first.
  • Be careful if you wrestle or play tug-of-war games. Dogs may get too enthusiastic and forget you're not a dog. You may consider alternatives such as fetch, Frisbee, hide and seek, agility courses and flyball as outlets for your dog's energy.
  • Respect a dog's space. Dogs naturally defend their territories. Sticking your hand inside a strange dog's pen or in a car window where a dog is sitting may cause him to defend his territory by biting you.
  • Leave fighting dogs alone. Do not try to break up a dogfight. Most fights end quickly, but it's a good idea to remain quiet and get an adult who can break up the fight with a garden hose or lemon juice in a squirt bottle. Trying to separate or yelling at fighting dogs makes them more excited, and they might turn on you.
  • Observe dog body language. Watch out for a dog who is barking, growling or showing his teeth. Beware if his ears are back, legs stiff, tail up or hair standing up on his back. Slowly walk away and say "No" firmly with your arms by your side. Do not scream, stare into his eyes or run. If you run, he will chase you and may attack.
  • Tell your friends what you know. When friends come to your house, introduce them to your dog and tell them about the rules.

For more ways to teach your children about responsible pet ownership, visit the American Kennel Club's website at


For Kids: Things You Should NOT Do

  • Don't ride a bike with your dog on a leash.
  • Don't skateboard with your dog on a leash.
  • Don't roller blade with your dog on a leash.
  • Don't exercise when it is very hot or very cold.
  • Don't let your dog run loose near traffic.
  • Don't exercise your dog right before or after he is fed.


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