Dogs & Kids

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:

Wendy Wahman’s Don’t Lick the Dog

(Click here if the video won’t play.)

What’s been your best experience with your dog and kids?  Your worst?


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