With Our Resident Animal Behaviourist 

Teach Kids How to Behave Around Dogs

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Teach kids to: OBSERVE

Understand how animals communicate through their body language.

  • Dogs communicate with their whole body- from head to tail. 
  • Teach kids how to observe a dog, not touch.
  • Find out more about how dogs communicate by getting in touch with an accredited behaviourist or force-free training school.
  • When adopting a pet be sure to research many great online resources relating to understanding your animal’s behaviour and body language cues.
Stranger Danger: DO NOT TOUCH

A good life lesson for children is to teach them never to pet an animal they do not know.

  • “Leave them alone and do not touch” – this safety rule is there to prevent potential bites and also disease exposure from strays or unknown animals in the community.
  • Teach a child that if a dog chases them, “STAND LIKE A TREE”

What this means is, plant their roots into the ground:

    1. Stand still, like a tree
    2. Arms (branches) to their chest and
    3. Look at the ground (do not stare at the dog). 

Important to note:

Usually, an energetic dog will become more excitable if a child starts running and screaming.  

Whereas, if the child is taught to stand still this prevents a situation from escalating, so a parent or caregiver can intervene if necessary.

Other important lessons!
  • Teach children that animals need to give their consent to being touched, picked up or handled.
  • Not all animals enjoy patting, handling, being brushed or being picked up.
  • Teach children to give them space while they are eating and not to disturb them while sleeping.
  • A lot of pets do not like to be hugged as it is not a natural interaction for them – it can feel threatening or restrictive.
  • Teach your child to avoid startling a resting dog and to rather call the dog over to them than invade their personal space.

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