Q: I live with my in-laws and they have a dog with a hot and cold disposition. One minute hes loving all over her the next he is growling. He has already attempted to bite her. It was only a grazing injury but I'm worried about the next time. How do I teach my 17m old to stay away from the dog when the grandmother just tries to keep them separated? Im at a loss when it comes to discussing this with her. My only recourse is training my child. Please help.
A: Here are Safe Kids tips regarding dogs and children – a split between working with the dog and the child:
Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations; continue this exposure as your dog gets older.
Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between the dog and owner. Avoid aggressive games with your dog.
Vaccinate your dog against rabies and other diseases.
Neuter or spay your dog. These dogs are less likely to bite.
Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
Teach your child to ask a dog owner for permission before petting any dog.
Let a strange dog sniff you or your child before touching it, and pet it gently, avoiding the face and tail.
Never bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
Do not run past a dog.
If a dog threatens you, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still or back away slowly until the dog leaves. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your arms and fists.