Dogs have feelings, personalities, moods, and concerns just like us. We have to remember these things when we interact with them. Just because we may be excited and want to play, doesn’t always mean they want to.
Dogs don’t communicate the same way we do. They can’t speak, so they have to use other forms of translation to communicate with us. Barking, growling, whimpering, and body language are just a few ways to help us understand what they are trying to tell us. When we learn their ways of communication it keeps us safe and our dogs happy.
Don’t Bother Dogs
Here are some very simple things to remember. If you learn them, and follow these rules, you will be safer around dogs.
Don’t bother dogs who are eating. When dogs eat, they are not thinking about anything else. If you get too close to the dog while he’s eating, he may think you are trying to take his food. Let your dog eat his food by himself. Stay a good distance away and when he’s finished, let him outside to do his business.
Don’t bother dogs who are sleeping. When dogs are sleeping, and you wake them up by touching them, they can become surprised or scared and try to bite. Don’t ever climb over a sleeping dog. To wake up your dog or any other dog, stand far away and call the dog’s name. And if you don’t know the dog, do not wake him up. Just leave him alone.
Don’t bother dogs who are protecting their territory. Dogs feel a need to protect their territory. A dog’s territory can be many places: his yard, his home, his car, his crate, his doghouse, his toys. If you don’t know the dog, just stay away. Don’t ever stick your fingers into a crate, a car window, or through a fence. Don’t bother a dog who is chewing on a bone, or playing with a toy by himself.
- Stay away from dogs who are in fenced yards.
- If a dog is in a crate, wait until the owner lets him out so that you can pet him.
- Stand back from cars where there is a dog at the window.
- If a dog is playing with his toy, wait until he brings it to you.
- Be cautious around older Dogs
- Stay away from dogs you don’t know.
Don’t bother dogs who are old or not feeling well. Dogs who are old may not hear or see very well. They can be surprised easily if they don’t see or hear you coming.
Old dogs also have body aches and pains that may make them grouchier then they used to be. Be gentle with your old dog and don’t surprise him. Let him come to you when he wants attention, or invite him to play with you only when he is awake.
Don’t Tease Dogs
To understand how a dog feels when being teased, imagine being teased by someone at school. Teasing can become frustrating and make you angry. The same thing can happen to a dog that is teased. But he can become angry and bite you.
Dogs can also get upset if their hair, ears, or tails are pulled. Just remember, if you wouldn’t lie it then neither do they.
Dogs have feeling too. It’s important to treat them kindly just like we would treat our friends or family.
- Treat your dog with kindness and respect.
- Pet him and brush him with a gentle hand.
- Talk with a normal voice.
- Give your dog enough room so he doesn’t feel crowded.
- Don’t bother dogs by getting close to their face.
Give them Space
Dogs usually don’t like you in their face. It bothers most dogs. It’s best never to do that. A dog can bite you very easily when your face is so close. Don’t walk right up to a dog suddenly.
Let other people’s dogs approach you. Get permission to pet the dog. Stand still. Let the dog sniff your closed fist before petting him.
Even your own dog needs space and privacy. Keep your face away from the dog’s mouth and face area. Don’t bother dogs by hugging or crowding them. Most dogs don’t like to be crowded.
Most dogs are not happy when they are crowded. Try not to touch a dog unless there is no one else touching him. One person at a time is a good rule. Don’t climb over dogs or sit on them.
And never touch someone else’s dog unless you have permission from your parents and from the owner of the dog. First ask for permission to pet the dog. If someone is already petting the dog, wait until they are finished.
For your own dog, make it a rule that only one person at a time can pet him. Stay out of corners and under tables.
Try to remember that it’s never safe to bother a dog.
Leave wild animals alone! Wild animals can be dangerous. They look cute and cuddly, but they may bite if you touch them.