This morning I had the pleasure of dogsitting the cutest little, sweetest little puppy in all of SF! It was a beautiful day, so we took a long walk down by Crissy Field. Tillie wanted to play with everyone she saw. She stopped to mingle with other dogs, chased after joggers, and came to a screeching halt every time we walked past a parent pushing a stroller. She especially likes kids and desperately wanted to play with every kid we came across. Some of the children she met seemed comfortable with dogs, and others were a bit more reserved. It got me thinking...have you talked to your children about how to interact with dogs?
Tillie is a very sweet and mild-mannered puppy and I had a close eye on her... but not all dogs are so gentle. It's important to teach kids what is safe and appropriate when interacting with other people's pets. Here is some basic advice to offer your children:
- If a strange dog is off leash and running towards you, don't run away. The dog will think you are playing and continue to chase after you. Instead, stand very still and quiet and let the dog sniff you. The dog will likely get bored and leave you alone.
- If you'd like to pet somebody else's dog, first ask the owner if it's okay.
- If the owner says it's ok to pet the dog, let the dog sniff you before you pet.
- Remember to pet gently. Never poke or pull or tease a dog.
- Do not try to pet a dog while she's eating or sleeping.