Very Good Advice on Protecting Children from Dogs

Posted in the Ottawa Forum


Ottawa, Canada

#1 Jun 6, 2013
When your child can speak and understand, it’s time to teach the first rule about meeting a new dog — to steer clear of any animal whose owner is not present. If a dog is tied up outside a store, keep walking, Ms. Payne says,“no matter how cute he looks, no matter how white and fluffy he is.”

If the owner is around, the second rule is always to ask, both the owner and the dog. That means asking the owner:“Is your dog friendly? Does he like children?” and then if both are yes,“May my child pet him?” It’s important to remember that some dog owners can be a little biased about their dog’s friendliness (especially if they don’t have children), and that’s why you want to “ask” the dog, too. Approach him calmly, again with a flat hand. If his tail is wagging and he has that doggie “smile,” he is probably safe to pet. If his tail is between his legs or standing straight up, his body is stiff, his mouth is closed or he seems the least bit unenthusiastic, say “thank you” and calmly walk away.

In a situation where the dog begins to act aggressively, or if your child feels afraid for any reason, there’s an easy rule to teach:“Be a tree.” In other words, stand very still and look away.

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