Children and 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;
  • 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, sleeping or playing with their toys.