Are dogs and toddlers a safe combination?

Don't miss a thing

Dogs and toddlers don’t always mix well together. We’ve all read horror stories about the tragic incidents in which children have been attacked and even killed by dogs. Just last week a child was horribly hurt in one such attack. So how do you go about teaching your toddler how to behave around dogs, if you’re not an owner yourself?

Since my daughter started toddling around, I’ve been conscious of her vulnerability. I don’t want to make her afraid of the world around her, but she’s still only a tiny thing.

As all parents do, I worry about the risks of letting her run up to dogs – or dogs run up to her.
buy azithromycin online no prescription

So what should I do?

As with everything, when you have a young child you’re trying to balance risk and freedom.
online pharmacy buy flexeril online best drugstore for you

You don’t want to wrap your child up in bubblewrap all the time – but just one mistake around a dog could have terrible consequences. I don’t want her to grow up thinking all dogs are dangerous, but I know deep down that some of them are.
online pharmacy buy strattera online best drugstore for you


I should make it very clear that I’ve got nothing against dogs myself. I know most dog owners are responsible and have their pets well trained. Children can learn a lot about the world from spending time around dogs, including the right way to behave around animals.

But at a year-and-a-half old, my daughter is too young to process a lot of dangers right now. And, put simply, a lot of dogs are badly controlled.
buy zithromax online no prescription

Some of the littler ones we see when we’re out walking in the park yap and growl, which can be very scary if you’re a tiny person. Some of the larger ones, while friendly, are so intimidating by their sheer size. 

So what’s the best way to greet new dogs? Should I lift her up when dogs are around, or let her carry on walking and meet the dogs low down? Am I being overprotective? Or have you had a bad experience with a toddler and a dog?

All advice and anecdotes would be gratefully received – hit me up in the comments.


Don't miss a thing

More from Dadsnet...

How To Help A Bullied Child

How To Help A Bullied Child

For parents, the specter of bullying looms as a persistent concern. Amidst the veil of secrecy shrouding our...


  1. Steve Robinson

    Years ago I often visited the local garden centre with my daughters, then aged 4 and 6. The 4yo was alone in another part of the place with the previously benign garden centre dog.

    Daughter came to join me at the till where I was paying the bill, she held my hand and I realised she was crying. The dog had bitten her from eyebrow to lip.

    My daughter was and still is sweet natured and would not have done anything untoward to provoke an attack. I never saw the dog again but it shows that even the most placid dogs can turn unexpectedly.

  2. E Davies

    The dogs trust offer some really useful advice on what to teach kids in terms of dealing with dogs.
    The first thing is to teach the child to ask the owner before going near or touching a dog as the owner will be able to advise. Young children can be quite scary for dogs too as children can be loud, make high pitch noises and be quick and unpredictable in their movements. So where possible, teaching children to be calm, slow and gentle would be a good start.

    In terms of dealing with dogs that are over friendly, try teaching your child to cross their ams over their chest and turn their back on the dog. This will likely only be an option with an older child rather than a toddler. Where you can, Tey to get the child to understand that running away is one of the worst things they can do aa many dogs love to chase. However, I do understand that it goes against instinct. Hence the turning back and crossing arms. All that said, I’d the child is distressed, removing them from the situation and tying again at a later time isn’t a bad idea. You may find you have friends or family who have a dog that may be a better option to teach your child rather than those you meet out and about. Good luck

  3. Jenny Thompson

    I have a large dog. When my grandchildren are here, I have a 2 1/2 month and a 3 yr old. MY dog follows the 3 year old around, more so when she is crying. He is all perked up while doing this. When the infant cries he wants to almost be on top of her, sniffing her face. When the other dog goes near them when they are crying, the big dog will look at him and he qill quickly coward down. Is he protecting, or about to bite?

  4. Error

    With the Rad Dad Squad, I feel like a “rad dad” to me is when you re able to get down on your kids level and play with them and do the things that they like to do, and love it just as much as they do

Submit a Comment

Enjoying Dadsnet?

Become a member for FREE!

Simply enter your email below to receive exclusive updates and content.

Success! Check your inbox as you'll receive an email from us shortly.