Dog Bite Prevention Tips for Kids


While kids and dogs are often the best of friends, and most dogs show remarkable patience around children, it’s still a good idea to teach kids how to know when their actions might trigger stress in a dog. They should also know the body language signals a dog gives when he might be getting annoyed and running out of patience.


The organization Doggone Safe advocates for dog bite prevention through education, and has a ton of great resources for people interested in learning more about safe canine-human interactions, particularly with kids. Here are a few simple tips to teach the kids in your life about how to safely interact with dogs.


Reasons a Dog May Bite a Child

  • The dog is protecting a possession, place, or person.
  • The dog may be old, injured, or sick.
  • The dog may not have learned proper control and bites too hard during play.
  • The dog’s hunting or herding instinct could be triggered by the child’s voice or movements.
  • The child has done something to provoke, startle, or frighten the dog.
  • The child unintentionally hurts the dog by stepping on his tail, etc.


Dog Bite Warning Signs

  • The dog turns his head away or walks away from the child.
  • The dog looks to you for help.
  • The whites of the dog’s eyes can be seen.
  • The dog yawns and/or licks his lips when the child is nearby.
  • The dog will start biting, scratching, or licking himself.
  • The dog does a vigorous shake after being touched.


A bite is likely to happen soon if the dog freezes into a stiff position, especially with front legs spread and head low, looking at the child with lip curled to show teeth.


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