It is vital that kids understand the proper way to interact with dogs.
Accidents can happen with even the friendliest pooch if the dog isn't given its space, and children aren't always the best about boundaries. Instead of blaming the dog for snapping when a child is pulling its tail, why not teach your kids how to interact with dogs in a more appropriate manner?
Dr. Sohpia Yin provides an excellent set of illustrations on her blog aimed at teaching parents and children how to do just that. According to Dr. Yin, understanding what bothers a dog is actually simple: if the actions would annoy another person, they probably annoy your dog.
It is important that parents teach their children to read a dog's body language, so the child knows when to back off. A dog that is cowering, hypervigilant, or panting or licking its lips at odd times should always be left alone.
Once your child is taught to be polite and kind to pets, the next step is to make sure he or she knows that there are still many appropriate ways to interact with dogs. Playing fetch, teaching tricks or even taking walks are all safe ways children can interact with a well-trained dog.
When your child follows these instructions, puppy playtime is not only enjoyable for both parties, but far safer.
All images via Dr. Sophia Yin
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