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Posted on 10-22-2012

When kids and dogs get along and respect each other, it’s a beautiful thing. The trust and emotional connection kids develope with their pets is an important part of their early lives that they remember forever.  As a parent or owner of a dog, you are responsible for teaching kids how to behave around dogs, cats and all animals and vice-versa. In many cases if proper training and education are not taken seriously from the beginning, disasters can occur. The safety and well-being of all involved are crucial to how your kids will feel about dogs and cats and other animals the rest of their lives.

Teaching Kids How to Behave Around Dogs

Parenting and pet ownership are not that different so even if you only have one of the fore mentioned participants, inevitably contact with the other will occur at some point so it is very important to take measures to introduce pets to other children or your children to other pets. Households with children and pets have a responsibility to make every effort to properly socialize and teach everyone to be friendly, and gentle with each other.

Teach your children to have gentle hands when touching animals. You may want to have the child practice by gently “petting” a stuffed dog or a friend or neighbor’s dog that has been deemed friendly. During these times explain to the child that poking, slapping or squeezing can hurt the dog and we must never hurt any animals.

Even though dogs can’t speak like us dogs have ways of telling us what they like and don’t like. As adults, parents and dog owners, WE need to know or learn the body language of dogs and teach our kids how to recognize and interpret a dog’s body language also.   Below are some common "signals" dogs display to us.

Additionally, here is an incredibley important chart illustrating the improper and proper way for kids and adults to greet dogs.  As always, please make sure you teach your kids how to properly approach a dog and ALWAYS have them ask permission to approach or pet a dog they do not know.

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