Keeping Our Children Safe Around Dogs
University of Waikato have published a dog safety booklet for parents/caregivers and teachers you can download it here
This booklet provides research-based practical guidelines for safe interaction between children and pet dogs. There are also versions in Te Reo Maori. The dog safety tips are summarised below.
FOR PARENTS & CAREGIVERS:
- Supervise children at all times when they are interacting with a dog – especially visiting children;
- Never leave your baby (or young child) and dog alone together even to answer the door or go to the toilet – take either one of them with you;
- Never tie a dog leash to the baby’s pram – hold it in your hand;
- Consider putting a muzzle on your dog if it’s tied up in a public place – this protects both children and your dog;
- Discourage children from disciplining a dog.
- Not to approach a dog that is eating, sleeping, has puppies or is hurt;
- To be as still as ‘a statue’ if a dog rushes at them (they need to drop any food or toys they are holding and stand still and straight, with feet together, their fists held under their chin and their elbows close against their chest);
- Never stare a dog in the eyes or scream and run away;
- That not all dogs are as friendly as their own dog;
- Always to ask the owner’s permission before patting a dog – it’s best to pat a dog on the chin chest or side of the neck;
- Never to deliberately tease or annoy dogs
The authors also developed two age-appropriate educational resources for children.
Obtain a copy of the children’s booklet (about 8-9yrs) in English – here
Obtain a copy of the children’s booklet (about 8-9yrs) in Te Reo Maori – here
Obtain a copy of the children’s leaflet (about 5-6yrs) in English – here
Obtain a copy of the children’s leaflet (about 5-6yrs) in Te Reo Maori – here