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D2004-06

Dear Daisy Dog

Would you give me some pointers on how to teach my son to pet a dog without being bitten? We don’t have a dog.

Daisy Responds

Children who shriek and run around make me nervous. I would never bite them, but I know other dogs who might.

Your child shouldn’t disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating or playing with a toy. It’s also best not to approach a dog in a confined space, like a car or fenced yard, because the dog might feel he must defend his territory.

While you’re teaching your son proper manners around dogs, remind him to ask the caregiver’s permission before petting a dog.

I like to sniff kids before they pet me, just to be sure they’re safe, so tell your son to move slowly.

Some dogs interpret petting on top of the head and staring as threatening, so have your son pet the dog on the side of the neck or under the chin, and caution him not to stare into the dog’s eyes.

For more information, see www.nodogbites.org.

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