Children are curious by nature, but that curiosity can turn dangerous if it leads them to approach a strange dog. Although most dogs are friendly and would be safe to pet and, there are some that are territorial or simply unaccustomed to interacting with strangers. As such, they could lash out when brought near a child. To make sure your kids are never put in such a situation, consider some of the tips provided by the American Kennel Club as featured in a report out of the Palo Verde Valley.
First, you should make sure your kids aren’t simply going up to strange dogs to pet them. Tell them that they are always to ask the owner first, and if the owner isn’t around, for instance if you pass by a fence, then it’s best to move on. Some dogs could be biters, and others could be service animals that can’t be interfered with.
If an owner does give the go-ahead, then children should move toward the dog from its front, avoiding sudden movements and keeping their voice down. Hands should be kept down and not waved around. Basically, they ought to avoid doing anything that could startle the animal.
There are a few situations where kids shouldn’t attempt to pet a dog. If a dog is eating or sleeping, it’s best to leave them be. The same goes for if the animal is chewing on a toy. They might lash out if a child tries to take that object.