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Dog Safety

Dogs are man's best friend. It is hard to find a better pet and a better friend than a good dog (sorry cats!). As lovable as these great pets are, it is important to always treat dogs with respect due to the fact that, under certain situations, they can hurt you. You can respect your dog by giving him or her space and following a few key rules.

The key to success is learning dog-manners. It may seem silly to learn manners around a pet, but this will lead to safety success when meeting or hanging out with dogs, especially new ones. The easy way to remember dog manners is to think of these two words: DOG and SAFE.

Outlined below is what these words stand for:

D: Don't Tease, Please
O: Only Pet with Permission
G: Give Space

S: Slow Down
A: Always Get Help
F: Fingers Together
E: Even Good Dogs Can Bite

Let's take a closer look at these manners.

Don't Tease, Please
Never tease a dog by taking away its food or toys. Just think about how you feel when you get teased. It is easy to frustrate or anger your dog by doing this, which could result in a bite.

Only Pet with Permission
Only pet a dog if you ask the owner for permission. Some dogs are not friendly to strangers.

Give Space
It is tempting to run and hug a cute dog. However, physically crowding a dog can confuse, anger, or frighten the animal. Give dogs space.

Slow Down
Some dogs love to chase, so slow down around dogs and try not to make any quick, unexpected movements. When you are going up to a dog or leaving a dog, make sure you are walking so the dog won't chase you. If a dog starts to chase you, stop moving and slowly back up.

Always Get Help
If you see an adorable, poor lost dog it is human nature to want to help this creature help. Let your parents or older siblings know what is going on so they can find the best care for the animal.

Fingers Together
When feeding food or treats to a dog, make sure to keep the food in the palm of your hand with your fingers closed over the object. This way, the dog will not be confused and think one of your fingers is part of the snack.

Even Good Dogs Can Bite
It may be shocking and disappointing to learn that your beloved dog is capable of biting, but know that any dog can bite if it feels scared. Take care to make sure you don't bother a sleeping dog or force a dog into an enclosed space where it feels trapped. Also, keep watch for warning signs of a bite, such as the dog's upper lip curling up, growling, snarling, and barking.

In addition to following your dog manners, it is very important to keep an adult around when playing with your dog or with new dogs. Just in case something happens, an adult will be able to help. By keeping an adult around and always following your dog manners, you and your dog will be happy.

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