ABCs of Dog Safety at Fox 50 Family Fest

What a fun crowd! Dozens and dozens of kids and their parents visited the Durham Regional Hospital booth, where Buddy the Dog and I taught them the right way to meet a dog. Each time a child was able to state the ABCs of Dog Safety and role playIMG_1632 them with me and Buddy, they earned a sticker, a hand stamp, or a toy for their dog at home. And I got to hear stories from kids about how they had been bitten by dogs, about their favorite dogs, and about their dog friends at home, like China the red nosed pitbull and the blue heeler rescued from the shelter. I even learned how to ask, “May I pet your dog?”  in Chinese. One of the babies pictured in Happy Kids, Happy Dogs visited the booth with his parents and younger brother; how time flies. Older kids and their parents got a kick out of reading Don’t Lick the Dog, and soon I will contact the winner of the raffle of Happy Kids, Happy Dogs.

If you didn’t have a chance to stop by the booth, here are the ABCs of Dog Safety:

Ask permission.

Ask, “May I pet your dog?” before you touch a dog. Always ask, even if you know the dog and even if you think the dog looks friendly.

Be a tree.IMG_1635

Stand still with arms at your side. If the dog does not come closer, do not touch. If the dog comes close to you, then the safest place to pet is the chin or chest.

Chin or chest is where you should pet.

Do not hug or kiss a dog or hold your hand out toward his nose (the dog can already smell you). Those motions can scare a dog and lead to a bite. If the dog comes close to you, stroke under the chin or on the chest. If he doesn’t come close, count his spots or admire his collar, but don’t touch.

It was an all-around great day. Next year I hope to make it over to the face painting booth…

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3 thoughts on “ABCs of Dog Safety at Fox 50 Family Fest

  1. These are great tips! I always wonder at the best way to encourage parents and their little ones to slow down around my dogs. My pups are really friendly, but not all dogs are… plus I want my dogs to know that they don’t get to greet every person we cross paths with.

    Glad you had a fun event 🙂

  2. Sounds like you have a great balance in the way you want to approach it.

    Sometimes it is pretty tough to help everyone stay calm. I was walking a foster dog not long ago, and three little kids rushed up. I literally stepped in front of the dog to block their ability to touch him. They looked a little stunned, but then they saw the smile on my face and heard my offer to learn how to pet the dog one at a time. I like to think if we all take advantage of these small learning opportunities, those kids will grow up not only without dog bites, but hopefully they will tell *their* kids about the best approach.

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