. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Both children and dogs often get hurt due to a lack of understanding when it comes to interacting with each other. This is something that in most cases and with proper instruction it is possible to prevent. Here, the onus is on the dog’s owner and the child’s parents to make sure the proper training is provided. By following a few simple rules, set out below, you can ensure that children and dogs can enjoy each other’s company.

General information about dogs.

For as long as people remember, dogs have been man’s most loyal companion. Long ago, wolf pups were bred for children to play with. Later, the man used his qualities for hunting and protection. Dogs were later used in warfare to render opposing sides unable to fight. The dog we know today is presumably descended from the smaller Asian wolf and was bred, by man’s desire to display and compete, into the wide variety of breeds we now have.

The body language of dogs.

Those who have seen and observed dogs have surely noticed that not all dogs react to all situations in the same way. This can stem from race and/or the stage of life the brain is coded into. To begin with, we must bear in mind that a dog is a living being and, like humans, it also has mood swings.

In general, one can categorize all the different features into three types:

  1. The cheerful, playful and self-assured dog that apparently nothing can shake.
  2. The nervous and withdrawn dog, with body language that always indicates fear, who prefers to hide behind his human companion. Care must be taken with this type because if he is distressed, this fear can often cause the dog to turn into the third type:
  3. The aggressive dog; body language of this type usually includes growling and signifying a need for caution before approaching the dog. However, if a nervous dog becomes aggressive from being distressed, there may be no prior clues to his intentions.

How should you approach an unknown dog?

  1. Dog on leash with owner?
  2. Dog on a leash without an owner?
  3. Stray dog ​​with owner?
  4. Stray dog ​​without owner?

In the first example, you should not approach, pet, or touch the dog without asking the owner first. If the owner says it’s safe to interact with the dog, just approach it head-on, because the dog needs to be aware of what’s going on. Otherwise, the dog may get scared and might even bite.

In the second and fourth examples, you should not approach the dog at all. It is not possible to interpret what the dog is trying to do from his body language unless he has a proper understanding of dogs. Regarding the fourth example, in no way should you increase your walking speed; running away screaming is even worse because this could stimulate the dog’s hunting instinct, which certainly won’t help defuse the situation! Slowing down is much better, and if you are followed, stand still facing the dog. The dog will usually lose interest and after a while will walk away.

In the third example, dog owners should be encouraged to only release their dog in areas where other people cannot be threatened. If dog owners always adhered to this rule, we wouldn’t have euthanized dogs because they hurt someone while acting on instinct and hunting. Other than that, the same applies as in the fourth example.

This article focuses heavily on dogs that children are not familiar with. My next article on the subject will look at how children should interact with their family dog.

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