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Children and dogs

Children should always be supervised when they are around dogs.

It is important for children to recognise the warning signs given by dogs, the correct way to approach a dog and what to do if approached by an aggressive dog to help reduce the risk of a dog-related injury.

Being safe around dogs

When meeting or engaging with a dog, children should:

  • Ask the owner for permission before approaching or patting an unfamiliar dog;
  • Approach any dog slowly, hold out your arm but keep it low with the back of your closed hand facing the dog;
  • Stroke the dog gently on the chest, shoulder or back – avoid the head;
  • Stand still if being approached by a strange dog;
  • Do not run, squeal or scream around a dog;
  • Do not touch a dog that lifts its lips, bares its teeth, snarls, growls, snaps or raises the hair on the back of its neck or back;
  • Leave dogs alone when they are eating;
  • Be mindful of taking a dog’s toys away;
  • Respect a dog's sleeping area as it may be protective of its bed.