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With the warm weather upon us, more children will be bitten by dogs. Think about it, the kids are outside more, the dogs are irritated when they're overheated...

Do you allow your kids to pet strange dogs? What about your own pets -- do you keep an eye on them around the kids in fear that something could happen?

We want to hear from you.

Tags: animals, family, pets

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We don't have a dog, but the rule I tell my kids is "Don't ever touch an animal without asking the owner if it is okay first." That way, the owner has a chance to let us know if it is a friendly or tolerant animal first. Although I love dogs, (and most other animals) I believe that even the most even-tempered animal... is still an animal.
If I worry about my dog, its for her own safety, not my toddler's. My dog puts up with a lot of crap, and she's only like, 4 pounds. I always keep an eye on my daughter while she's around the dog, just to make sure Cocoa doesn't snap and bite her. Mostly, she just looks at me with "just kill me already" eyes. As for other dogs, my kid id inexplicably terrified of the big ones and indifferent to the little ones. She usually hides be hind my legs and says, "shoooooo dog"
Im always weary of stanger pets. animals are animals and you never know how they are going to react. We have a chihuaha that is great with the kids but can sometimes get moody if the kids are too rough. So I try not to have my kids pet other dogs, but if I cant stop it then im just extra careful or bend down with them. Unless its a puppy of cours!! who can resist petting a puppy??
A child or an adult should always ask the owner if it is alright to pet the dog. If allowed you should let the dog smell your hand first then you can pet them. Never pet a strang dog or without permission you may draw back a nub. My doggie Bengie is my little buttercup my daughter gets on his nerves because she is always picking him up and trying to treat him like a baby doll. He bit her once, I guess he could not take it any more, but for the most part he is a very sweet. I do watch him around guest because if your dog bites someone you are responsible.
Hi everyone! I do worry about one of my dogs around my son. Our oldest dog, Bailey was a rescue dog and we believe was abused when he was a puppy before we got him. He has food aggression and when we feed him, we have to feed him alone in the bathroom. We try to explain to our three year old that he shouldn't bother any dog while they are eating, but especially Bailey. My heart would break if we would have to get rid of Bailey, he was my first dog:) My husband and I have had the discussion that if anything happens, we wouldn't have a choice but to find a new home for him.
As a general rule, I don't let my kids touch dogs that they don't know unless the owner is there and says that it is okay. My teenager walks out dog every day to a dog park and he sees a lot of aggressive dogs so thankfully he's very careful, but my twins who are only 2 need constant reminding, because they think that every animal is their personal play toy.

Our dog is great with the kids, however I do have to remind them not to go near him when he's eating because he gets very protective over his food.
I don't allow my children to pet strange dogs without asking permission of the owner of the dog. It's proved invaluable to me. At times, dogs love children and welcome their touch. Other times, dogs are skittish around children because children are not predictable, don't approach the dog with palm up, or move too quickly for the dog to be comfortable. I've never been mistaken with this approach. I have a dog. He's wonderful around children and enjoys their attention but that doesn't mean that I would promote him to "babysitter", especially with a toddler. Toddlers don't have the knowledge that what they do can hurt an animal and a hurt animal becomes a dangerous one. Tail pulling, eye poking can all be interpretted as signs of aggression - and dogs will claim their "space" - just as humans do or protect themselves when they feel threatened - just like humans.
Great post....just days after I post about our family getting a rescue dog. I don't allow my kids to pet dogs without asking their owners. I have watched my kids very closely around our new dog. I worry about my kids getting bit by dogs. I spend a lot of time teaching my young children how to act around animals. How to approach them with an open hand. Not to grab a dog from behind and not to touch a dog without an adults permission. I hope it helps.
My husband and I have cats...and I trust a cat more than a dog because if cats dont want to be bothered they go the heck away from u!!!
I currently have 5 dogs and one 10 yo girl. She was raised with dogs and knows how to appraoch them. She also knows the rule about helping a stranger find his puppy or kitty... they can find them theirselves!

We trust all of our dogs with our children as well as other children. We raise our dogs to good with kids. We mix their food with our hands to get our sent on it when they are puppies.. it discourages food aggressiveness. Our daughter helps with training to. we have her put her hands in the dish when the puppies eat and to pet them and touch their legs and do things a small child would normally do. There are many things we do to prepare our dogs for encounters with children... adults?? not so much!

even though we aren't having anymore children I think its always important to train your dogs for that possible encounter because you never know! The only dog in our pack that annoys the kids is our bulldog.. he likes to lick faces and since he cant reach the kids faces when ey are standing he will jump and lick! its actually kinda funny.. but we discourge this behavior because he is heavy and could knock a child over.

What I hate is people that dont leach their dogs or keep them in a fence. They let them go where ever! So when I want to take my dogs for a walk I have to worry about my dogs fighting because the "stray" animals will challenge my dogs and they think I am also in danger.. or when my daughter and I bike ride they chase us. I have ZERO tolerance for that!
I keep the dog away from the kids, not because I'm afraid the dog will hurt them, but because the kids may accidentally hurt the dog! He's just a little guy and though he loves the attention he gets when out on walks, little fingers can accidentally poke their way into his eyes, paws and tail gets stepped on....so I try to avoid those situations. I've noticed that most parents will have their children ask politely if they may pet the dog, and then I normally allow it. Its just when a big group of children swarm him (with no adult present) that I have a problem!
We have a fenced in yard with a sign that says beware of dog (should say dogs since we have 6 beagles)

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