Top Ten Tips for Keeping Kids & Dogs Safe

6. Teach kids to leave your dog alone if he is eating, resting, or enjoying a high-value item like a chew or toy.

7. To prevent resource guarding, only an adult should remove objects from your dog’s mouth. Trade the object for a treat.

8. Reward your dog with treats and praise for positive, calm encounters with children at home and in public.

9. Reward your dog for sitting to receive petting and attention rather than jumping up on kids or guests. Turn your back if the dog jumps.

10. Use crates, baby gates, or exercise pens to ensure both dogs and kids have enough personal space.

1. Proactive adult supervision is crucial to prevent problematic interactions between kids and dogs. If you can’t supervise, separate.

2. Learn to recognize your dog’s stress signals so that you can intervene when he needs help.

3. Play with your dog using toys rather than roughhousing or using hands as toys, and instruct kids to do the same.

4. Kids can play low-arousal, object-focused games like fetch and hide-and-seek rather than chase and tug, which raise dogs’ arousal.

5. Encourage kids to walk and speak calmly around dogs.  Running and screaming can make dogs overexcited or fearful.

The Five Types of Supervision

If you can't provide active supervision, be proactive and use environmental management to keep kids and dogs separate, including closed doors, baby gates, exercise pens, and crates.  Learn more about supervision and dog body language at Living with Kids & Dogs and Family Paws.

Be A Tree

The Be A Tree protocol prevents child-dog incidents by using negative punishment to dissuade a dog from jumping, mouthing, charging, and biting.  The protocol works exactly the same whether the dog is threatening or friendly but overaroused, and with both known and strange dogs.

Stop The 77

Did you know that 77% of dog bites to children are inflicted by the family dog or the dog of a close friend?  Learn more at Stop The 77.