Kids and Dogs, Children and Dogs
How Kids Should Greet and Pet Dogs
Two of my personal favorite things in life are dogs and kids. I know some of you may think I’m nuts, but I truly adore a good relationship between these two playful creatures. A relationship with our family dog can be one of our fondest childhood memories, I know it was mine. But it can also be a memory of stress, anxiety, injury, or even fatality. I will write a post or two in the future on how to actively supervise your children with dogs, and yes, they need you to actively engage in this relationship. But for now, let’s talk about teaching your children how to greet and possibly pet a dog. Click this post if you want to learn tips on how adults should greet dogs.
- No running. Walk up to the dog’s owner and stop about 5′ away and ask if you can pet their dog. Look at the owner when you ask and wait for the answer. Sometimes the answer is no. Not all dogs like to be petted, and some dogs even have injuries where petting hurts.
- If the owner says, “yes” ask what the dog’s name is before petting. Calmly say the dog’s name and quietly tap your outside leg and say “Hi, Dexter (insert the dog’s name).” You want the dog to come up to you; don’t rush up to the dog.
- If the dog comes up to you, gently pet under the dog’s chin, chest, and side area. If the dog moves away at any time, do not follow him; ask him to come back for more petting. If he doesn’t come back, he no longer wishes to be petted.
- When you are finished petting, thank the dog owner and quietly walk away (don’t run).
- Great Job! You made one dog very happy today for being such a gentleman or young lady.
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- Don’t approach any dog who isn’t accompanied by an adult.
- If the dog is barking or jumping around, do not approach. Walk calmly away.
- Don’t put your face in a dog’s face.
- Don’t approach a dog while he is eating or chewing a toy.
Do you remind your child how to be polite around dogs? Tell me in the comments.