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Teaching Your Kids to Be Safe Around Dogs

By Jason Bottlinger on February 15, 2022

It is a natural defense of dogs to bite. Even the friendliest dog can become frightened or angry in certain situations. If you have dogs in your home, visit people with canine family members, or go around them in other places, it is important to teach y­­­our children how to be safe around dogs.

Safety Tips for When Your Family Gets a New Dog

  • Children should be taught to respect other living creatures. Teach them to always be gentle when you bring a new dog into the home. Show them how to approach and pet the dog in a calm and friendly way. Allow them to stroke the animal gently, but never to squeeze or pull on the ears or fur.
  • Supervise your children around the family dog, not only to protect them from harm, but also to protect the dog from being unintentionally harmed by a child. Never leave a baby unattended around a dog.
  • Do not allow a child to try to remove an object from a dog’s mouth. (Do not attempt to do this yourself — find a thing of equal value to the dog to offer as a trade.)
  • Socialize and make the dog part of family activities early on.
  • Get the entire family using positive reinforcement training techniques. Avoid physical punishment, as it can make the dog fearful, resentful, or aggressive.
  • Do not allow children to play rough with a dog.

Safety Tips for When Your Child Encounters a Dog Accompanied by an Owner

  • Teach your child to always ask permission from the owner before touching or petting someone else’s dog.
  • Once permission is given, the child should say “hello” to the dog and approach slowly – never run up to the dog.
  • The child should hold out a hand, palm down, letting the dog sniff, then let the dog decide for itself how close it wants to get to the child.
  • Teach your child never to approach a dog that is eating, chewing on a treat, sleeping, or with puppies, and never to reach through a fence or barrier to pet or touch a dog.

Safety Tips for When Your Child Encounters a Stray Dog

If your child encounters a stray dog with no owner present, it is crucial that he or she remains as calm as possible. Teach your child not to scream or run from the dog, but instead, to tell it in a firm, loud voice to go home. If the dog does not leave, the child should walk calmly away.

If the dog looks threatening (ears laid back, body tense, tail up), the child should tell the dog to go lay down in a firm voice but should not yell or scream. Teach your child not to make any sudden moves but to walk away slowly. Never run away from a dog – it will only trigger a prey response and cause the dog to chase you. If the dog attacks, teach your child to drop into a “turtle” position and yell for help.

Why You Need to Speak with an Omaha Dog Bite Lawyer If Your Child Has Been Bitten

Dog bites require immediate medical attention and may cause long-lasting injuries. There is always a risk of infection when a dog’s teeth puncture the skin. It is important to understand your legal options if your child has been injured in an attack by a dog that belongs to someone else. Nebraska is a strict liability state for dog bites, meaning the owner will be liable for damages.

Call an Omaha dog bite attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you pursue compensation for your child’s injuries.

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