5 Things to teach your kids before a approaching a new dog
Just like teaching your kids the proper way to address an adult for the first time, it’s equally important they know how to approach a dog they’ve never met before.
Act calmly around the dog.
Dogs have an innate ability to sense emotions, and can sense if you’re scared. Likewise, if your child is running all over the place, the dog will want to play and get excited and be harder for the owner to calm down.
Ask the owner first, before approaching.
Is it okay to pet your dog? It’s always best to ask first before petting a dog you don’t know.
There could be many reasons a dog doesn’t want to be petted. Sometimes service dogs can’t be petted. The owner is the one who knows best how the dog will respond to new people.
Talk to the dog
Ask the dog’s name.
Sometimes the dog will respond better when you call them by their name.
Talking to the dog will sometimes help them know you are friendly.
This post has some great tips and conversation starters for figuring out if a dog is a boy or girl, before calling them the wrong one.
Approach the dog slowly.
Don’t make quick moves, in case the dog is timid. This can sometimes scare the dog and make them snap or bite at you, if they feel threatened.
Always let the dog smell the back of your hand first.
Extend your hand in a fist with the back of your hand facing the dog to let them smell you first. It is important to keep your fingers in a fist, in the event that they might try to bite, your finger won’t get grabbed. This can usually put the dog more at ease now that they’ve had a chance to “sniff you out”.
- Remind children that just because their own dog lets them hug all over them & pull their tail, doesn’t mean all dogs will enjoy this. Each dog has it’s own personality, and some are better around small children.
- When approaching a dog inside a fence, never put your hand over it or through the rails. This makes your hand an easy target for the dog to bite, especially if the dog feels like you are encroaching on “their” territory.