Children & Dogs

Children and dogs

Children and dogs can be great companions, and their relationship provides a valuable opportunity for children to learn responsibility and empathy. Similar to teaching your dog obedience and how to interact with people, children need to be taught how to interact with and treat a dog.

Keep children and dogs safe by following these simple, common-sense rules:

  • Never leave a child alone in the same room as a dog.
  • Teach your child never to approach a dog when the dog is:
    • Eating or enjoying a treat
    • Chewing on a toy or has another high-value item
    • Sleeping
    • Unwell, injured, or tired
    • Deaf or blind
  • Teach your child to be kind and polite to dogs. No climbing on them, hitting them, or pulling their ears or tails.
  • Know the signs and behavior of a dog that is uncomfortable or unhappy. If your dog shows these signs, separate your child from the dog.
  • Establish a cozy spot in your home for your dog to have its own space. Teach your child to leave the dog alone when the dog is in this space.

With proper introductions, training, and diligent supervision, dogs and children can share a wonderful family life.

Children and Dogs Resources

Dogs and Children: A Guide to Staying Safe

How Kids Should and Should Not Interact with Dogs

Kids and Dogs: A Common Sense Approach

Liam J. Perk Foundation®

Poster: How kids SHOULD NOT interact with dogs (PDF download 378KB)