Teaching Kids to Read a Dog’s Body Language
Learning how to read a dog’s body language is very important for both adults and children. Learning their cues can help prevent some of the millions of dog bites that occur every year according to the American Veterinary Association. Most of these bites are done to children because they are more likely to approach a dog that is unfriendly compared to adults. Avoiding bites can be as simple as teaching your kids how to read a dog’s body language. Dogs will signal when they need to be left alone. Below are some tips to help observe a dog’s body language to get an insight into their mood.
A dog’s ears can give a lot of insight into the type of mood that they are in. If the ears are relaxed in a neutral position, the dog is most likely in a calm and non-aggressive state. If, on the other hand, the ears are cocked back and against their head, this can be a sign of anger or nervousness. Dogs should not be approached when their ears are in this position. They should be left alone for a while. If their ears are perched forward, this might signify that the dog is on full alert and ready for action. This is another time when a dog should be left alone.
The tail of a dog, assuming it has one, can be a great and easy way to tell what kind of mood they are in and if they want to be approached. If their tail is wagging, that is a good sign. A wagging tail usually means that the dog is happy and in a playful mood. When they tuck their tales between their legs, this can usually mean that they are nervous or afraid of something. Alternately, if the tail is up high or straight out, they might not be in a playful mood and are typically upset. Unless the dog is wagging its tail, it is best to leave the dog alone.
Look at Fur
Another indicator to watch for on a dog is their fur. Generally, a dog will have its fur standing up if it is upset, nervous or angry. This is a good indication that you should stay away from them. If their fur is normal and lying down, that is a good sign. This, along with a wiggly tail and relaxed ears, is a good indication that a dog does not mind being pet or played with.
The way a dog is behaving is a great way to know how they are feeling. If they run up to you and roll over on the ground, this is a good sign that they are in a playful mood. Attorney Lawrence Buddoo has handled many dog bite cases and he urges parents to warn children that if a dog ever stands away from them and their ears are cocked back flat on their head or they are growling, then they should stay far away from them. Children should know that it is important to let a dog show them that they are ready for interaction.
Teaching kids how to read a dog’s body language is important for keeping them safe. They should know that it is important to study the entire animal before coming to a conclusion about the dog’s mood. Each part of the dog is important in figuring out how the dog is feeling and if they want to play or be petted by you.
Guest post contributed by Shelby Warden a mother of two and a legal researcher that monitors safety issues that pertain to children. She contributes articles for Lawrence Buddoo, a personal injury attorney that is experienced with dog bite cases. If you or a loved one have been bitten by a dog, the Law Offices of Buddoo & Associates can help you receive appropriate compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.