I could probably blog about dogs and kids for days, but for today I just want to share a few posters that I recently came across.
These posters are from Dr. Sophia Yin, an animal behaviorist and veterinarian. The first gives a summary of how kids should interact with dogs. The second, how kids should not interact with dogs.
I particularly like the second poster. As a, ahem, passionate dog owner, nothing infuriates me more than parents who don’t teach their children about how to appropriately interact with dogs. If I had a nickel for every time a child ran up to Teton and tried to pet him without my permission, I’d be rich. It’s up to us as dog owners, in my opinion, to always assume that a child does not know how to interact with dogs, and err on the side of caution. For example, if I’m walking Teton and a child runs toward us, I always move to the other side of the road so Teton is not frightened. I’ve also been known to put a child in his or her place if they try to pet Teton without first asking permission. If a complete stranger walked up to you and hugged your toddler, would you like it?
The upside to dog-kid interaction is that rare occasion when you have a child ask for your permission to pet your dog. It’s rare, but when it happens I always thank both the child and parent for asking permission and being polite.
Here’s another fun way to teach kids about interacting with dogs: