SAFETY TIPS TO TEACH CHILDREN (and for yourself!)
By teaching children dog safety at a young age, you are saving yourself and your children from an unnecessary accident. These safety tips should guide you and your child in the right direction to understanding dog language.
- Never run-up to a dog, always approach calmly.
- Don’t make loud noises or sudden moves when approaching a dog, as this may startle or frighten them
- Always hold your hand out first and allow the dog time to smell and become familiar with you before making any other moves or gestures. This reassures the animal that you are not going to harm them, even though you may be a stranger to them.
- Never pull on its tail, fur, or ears. This may hurt the dog and it could act to protect itself.
- Never attempt to play or touch a dog that is eating or in possession of a bone or a treat.
- Never attempt to touch a neighbor’s dog or any unfamiliar dog through a fence.
- Never touch a dog that is growling, showing his teeth, or barking out of control.
- Do not touch the animal’s eyes. This can be a sensitive area for most pets.
- Don’t approach a dog that is a “watchdog” protecting its property. They are trained to defend the property any way they can.
- If a dog is leashed, always ask the dog’s owner for permission to pet it before doing so.
- If a dog is chasing you, stop running, as this behavior only encourages him to chase you.
If you or your child is bitten by a dog, the owner of the dog could be liable. However, New York law states that if there is no evidence that the owner knew that the dog had “vicious propensities” – which usually means that the dog had bitten someone before – they are not liable. This is often referred to as the “one bite rule.” If you have any questions regarding a possible dog bite case make Buzin & Berman #yourfirstcall