Reflecting on Child Safety Week 2023: A Look Back at Fostering Safe Environments for Children and Dogs

Teaching children how to approach dogs safely: Building a Safe and Happy Relationship

Child Safety Week took place from 5-11th June 2023, and Safe Paws UK, in collaboration with DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the Child Accident Prevention Trust, was dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of child safety around dogs. The week was packed with educational resources and events aimed at reducing incidents like the staggering 1,700 children admitted to hospitals due to dog bites in the previous year.

Best Behaviour School for Dogs, who are renowned advocates for child-dog safety, spoke to Meridian News TV in June 2023 about this critical subject, emphasising the importance of education and responsible behaviour around dogs.

Don’t miss out on the fantastic resources produced by DEFRA and the Child Accident Prevention Trust. Visit: Child Safety Around Dogs.

Children and dogs ebook

Lessons from Child Safety Week 2023

  1. Education and Awareness: The week highlighted the importance of teaching children to respect a dog’s space, understand their body language, and avoid sudden movements or loud noises.

  2. Supervision: The critical message of never leaving a child unattended with a dog, regardless of the dog’s temperament, was emphasized.

  3. Safe Spaces: Creating designated areas in the home where dogs can retreat for space, and teaching children to respect these zones, was discussed.

  4. Gentle Handling: Demonstrations on how children should approach and pet dogs gently were provided, including the importance of asking for permission before petting someone else’s dog.

  5. Lead by Example: The role of adults in demonstrating respectful and calm behaviour around dogs as a model for children was underscored.

Kent’s leading Dog Behavioural Company, Best Behaviour School for Dogs, have identified two essentials for keeping your child safe around dogs with an aim to reduce this huge number of dog bites.

  • Close supervision when dogs and children are together 
  • A better understanding of dog behaviour

In order to help towards this goal, the Behaviourists at Best Behaviour School for Dogs, Pippa Apps, Megan Dickson and Vix Davies have been rolling out a programme throughout Kent Primary Schools in order to teach children about dog behaviour. The workshop involves taking dogs into schools and showing children how to approach dogs, vital dog body language and teaching a child not to approach a dog without the permission of the handler. 

This workshop has also really helped nervous children become more confident with dogs as they have had the opportunity to have a safe and structured interaction with the dogs brought in. 

Founder of the company, Pippa Apps studied Animal Behaviour and Psychology and has a wealth of theoretical and practical experience within the field of canine behaviour. As a respected and published behaviour specialist she is asked to speak and consult on all domestic canine issues privately and educationally.

Equip Yourself with Knowledge

In the spirit of continued education, we encourage you to download our free PDF guide titled “Teaching children how to approach dogs safely: Building a Safe and Happy Relationship”. This guide is an invaluable resource for families looking to foster a safe and harmonious environment for children and dogs alike.


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