Kids need to learn how to stay safe around dogs, says report

Last updated at 05:37
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Lisa from the UK's leading vet charity gave us some tips about staying safe around dogs

More needs to be done to teach you guys how to stay safe around dogs, says a new report.

We are a nation of dog lovers, but unfortunately - occasionally - some dogs can cause injuries to people if they bite.

A group of MPs thinks that experts on animal behaviour and charities need to come up with a plan to teach you and your parents how to treat dogs in order to stop this from happening.

They also think that dogs owners whose pets misbehave should have to go on special training courses.

There are even charities which think that dog safety should be something that is officially taught in schools. But ministers haven't said there are any plans to do this.

Figures show that children under the age of nine are more likely than any other age group to end up in hospital as a result of having been bitten by a dog.

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We went to speak to Lisa from the UK's leading vet charity to find out her top tips for keeping safe around our canine companions. Here's what she had to say:

1) Don't do anything to a dog that you wouldn't like to have done to you - Just think, you wouldn't like someone to pull your hair or poke you, so don't pull a dog's tail or ears, or poke it, as it might cause a dog to be defensive.

2) Don't get in a dog's face - Dogs don't actually like people to get too much in their personal space, so it's best to avoid this.

3) Don't disturb a dog when it's eating, drinking or sleeping - They like to be left on their own when they're doing these things, so just leave them to get on with their dinner or their nap.

4) If you're worried, act like a tree - This might sound a bit odd, but if you're at all worried that a dog is maybe getting anxious or might lash out, hold your hands in front of you and bow your head. Don't make eye contact with the dog either. This will show the dog that you are not a threat.

The most important thing is that if you are at all anxious about being around dogs, make sure that you're always with a responsible adult when handling them.