Let's start here: any dog can bite. Even the most friendly and easygoing dog will bite if provoked. Believe it or not, the vast majority of dog bites are from a familiar dog - often the family pet. When a bite occurs, both the dog and child pay a very high price for it. Children can be physically hurt and emotionally damaged if they get bitten. The dog often ends up in a shelter.
The most important thing you can do to prevent dog bites at home is supervision. Number 2 is training, for both the kids and the dog. Teach your children to respect your pets and train and socialize your dog.
Most dogs don't like to be hugged. Some will tolerate it, but that doesn't mean they enjoy it.
Tell your kids not to kiss Fido; dogs like to be petted instead.
Keep your children away from the dog when he's eating. Even if your dog is OK with it, no one wants to be bothered when they eat.
Don't stare at the dog and don't put your face in the dog's face.
Kids should never throw anything at the dog, yell, hit, tease, or pick him up.
Don't ride the dog, no matter how large they are.
Make your dog part of your family! Don't lock them up, tie them up, or keep them outside all the time.
Teach your children that if the family dog has grabbed something that belongs to your child, they should get an adult, not attempt to get the toy back by themselves.
Remind your children that pets have feelings and can feel pain, just like they do.
Consider your child's age. If they are very young, you can't expect them to remember the rules.
Children should never put their fingers in the dog's eyes, ears, mouth, or bum (with very young kids this frequently happens - it looks like a target).
Set up a crate or private space for your dog. Teach your child that when Fido goes to his space, it means he needs a break and a nap.
Show your kids how to touch the family pet. Petting on their back is good, with soft, long strokes.
Work with your child to teach the dog new tricks; it's fun for everyone.
Talk in a calm, happy voice to Fido. Many children read books to the family dog, which is an excellent activity for both of them!
Teach youngsters to be kind to all animals.
Do things your dog likes - fetch is a fun game for everyone.
Teach your kids to let sleeping dogs lie; no one likes being roused from a nap!
Please watch the following video; it will help you and your children learn how to read dog body language. It's fun to learn, and it's a life skill you will often use.
Dog Body Language (includes a fun picture quiz)
You'll have a safe and happy home once your pets and kids understand each other!