Dog Bite Prevention Week May 19-25

Children and Dogs: Signs of a Stressed Dog.

Kids and dogs seem like a natural fit, right, perfect play mates?! Growing up with a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences children can have yet more and more children are being bitten by the family dog.

Dogs first language is body language and energy. When a dog feels stressed or fearful their only way of telling us is through their body language. If parents don’t understand how to read a dog they won’t be able to teach their children how to be safe around dogs.

Here are the signs of an unhappy or stressed dog:

• Walking away from the child, leaving the room

• Hiding: under a coffee table, behind an adult, in their crate

• Getting stiff for freezing in place

• Looking Away

• Tongue Flick

• Raised paw

• Curled lip

• Growling.

• Direct stare

• Standing stiffly on tips of toes

• Whale eye

• Pressed up against a person, wall or piece of furniture with rounded back oriented away from child

All of these body languages are in the Dog Decoder app and are always readily available on your phone to use to teach your children how to be safe around all dogs.

The picture below is an image in the app wonderfully illustrated by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings. The dog has walked away from the child and is hiding under a table, stiff, crouched with rounded back and whale eye. If this child persists in playing with the dog there’s a good chance the child will be bitten. Please we owe it to our dogs to learn what they are telling us and we owe it to our children to teach them how to be safe around dogs.