How to Train Our Kids to be Around Dogs

"The Fairy Dogmother" Laura Nativo Teaches Your Kids to be Around Dogs

Say our kids see a dog they want to pet. What’s the first thing they should do?

• Ask the owner! • Is the dog friendly? Does it like children? Is it afraid? • Don’t be upset if the owner says no. It’s in your best interest! Say the owner says it’s okay to pet their dog. What’s the next step?

• Ask the dog! • Make a fist with palm down so the dog can sniff • A fist is important because if he bites then you won’t lose a finger • Dogs rely on body language
What are some body language signs from a dog?

• Licking his lips means he’s anxious • Yawning is also a sign of being anxious (don’t confuse it with being content!) • Holding breath & freezing is a big warning. He’s anxious and ready to bite • Turning his back is generally a sign he doesn’t want to be bothered • Ears back is on alert and tense • Loose waggy tail is an open invitation for affection • Quick sniff and relaxed body is an invitation with indifference • Don’t let your child pet a dog that does not look willing even if the owner says “oh, he’s fine. Go ahead.”
Trust the dog. Not the owner.

• After he’s sniffed there’s places to pet • First, dogs are very sensitive around eyes and ears • Don’t pet the dog on the top of their heads • Focus on scratching neck, chest, under chin (once he’s more comfortable) and along the back is always safest • Remember: slow, gentle, and long strokes as opposed to patting and scratching Say your child wants to give a dog a treat. What’s the correct way to do this?
• Don’t use your fingers
• Put the treat in your open palm with your fingers pressed together and let them take the treat so you don’t lose any fingers. Get more dog friendly tips from Laura Nativo at and on Twitter @LauraNativo.

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