(Note to parents: most dog bites involve unsupervised children who unintentionally provoke a defensive reaction from the dog. This list of rules for kids has helped educate many children as to the proper way to deal with a dog or a puppy. Those children too young to read can have the list read to them, and it really makes a big impression when the list is posted on the refrigerator, at their eye level, so feel free to print it out for that purpose. (In fact, as a public service, feel free to print it out and give it to anyone who needs it!) However, this list is not a substitute for intelligent parental supervision, and it is strongly recommended that parents do not leave young children, or children who have not been educated to the safe way of dealing with a dog, alone with any dog, for any length of time. Remember, parents, even a grown dog deserves the same protection from your children that you would give any toddler.)




The puppy (or dog) belongs to Mom and Dad. To help keep the puppy or dog, and me safe, and for me to earn the privilege of playing with it, I must follow these rules:

  1. Talk to the puppy in a normal voice. No screaming or yelling at her.

  2. Approach the puppy quietly. Walk, don't run. Make a fist and let her sniff it before you touch her.

  3. Pet the puppy gently, on the back, from head to tail. No petting tail to head.

  4. Be kind to your puppy. No hitting or kicking allowed. No jumping on the dog. No riding the dog like she was a horse. No stepping on the dog's toes. No dressing up the dog in doll's clothes. No pulling tails or ears.

  5. Play 'fetch the ball' with your puppy. No roughhousing. No tug-of-war. If you're not sure, ask Mom or Dad.

  6. No puppy on the furniture (even if you lift them) until they themselves can jump up there. Young puppies can become injured if they jump off the furniture by themselves.

  7. Remember that your puppy is just a baby and gets tired quickly. If the puppy is sleeping, leave it alone.

  8. If your puppy is in the crate, leave her alone. That means you play in another room or away from the crate. No sitting on top of the crate while the dog is in it. No putting food or toys in through the openings. When the puppy is in the crate pretend there is a big DO NOT DISTURB sign on the crate door.

  9. No bothering the puppy while its eating. If the puppy is in the process of eating you pretend that the big DO NOT DISTURB sign is there.

  10. If the puppy is doing something wrong, tell it "Angghhh" in a low, serious voice.

  11. If the puppy does something right, sound happy and excited when you tell her, "Good girl!"

  12. When you have been given permission to give commands to your dog, only give a one word command. Say "sit" and not "sit-down". Only say it once and only say it if you know how to make the puppy do what you want.

  13. Make sure all visitors read this list, or have it read to them. You are responsible for protecting your puppy from people who might not know how to treat a dog.

  14. Help Mom and Dad by being the one to put down the puppy's food bowl when its time to eat. No feeding between meals. Some people food can make a dog really sick, so no sharing your snacks with the dog and no feeding from the table.

  15. No picking up the puppy. Only mom and dad are allowed to pick up puppy. If you want to hold the puppy ask mom or dad for help. You sit on the ground or floor and have mom or dad place the puppy in your arms. You must not stand up with puppy in your arms. Puppies can get hurt or die if you pick it up wrong or drop it by mistake.

  16. Be patient. Before you know it, your dog will be trained and ready to be the friend you really want to have. In the meantime, practice giving the commands to brothers and sisters (take turns!) and to your stuffed animals.

  17. Love your dog but respect him or her, too.


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