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Should Kids Be Allowed to Hug and Ride Dogs?

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

Do you allow your child to 'ride' your dog?

This should never be allowed.


Truth is, you never know how an animal is feeling... and most are extremely good at hiding when they are pain.

Your dog could be hurting. And you may not even know it.

Some examples include:

  • Sprained foot from running

  • Sore back from being overweight

  • Infected ears from swimming in the lake

  • Irritability from loud noises

  • Feeling run down from a virus

  • Sore joints in the winter

  • Cranky and less tolerance from old age

  • Tooth pain

The list is truly endless. The dog in the first picture on this post is clearly overweight, head held low, and panting. He looks distressed.

Who is advocating for his comfort?!


Who should be saying "No." ?

As adults, we may fully expect the pet to decide when he has had enough.

Maybe we just assume they will move away when they get fed up.

I've heard this saying more times than I can even count: "He's such a good dog! He would never hurt anyone!"

Unfortunately, the only way animals can communicate is with their mouth.

Everyone, including humans, has a threshold.

Yes, dogs can and will tolerate a LOT.. But when they decide to say "No!" in the only way they know how... It may be too late..

We, as adults, must say "No!" before the dog does.

Prevention is the best and most effective tool we have to avoid bites.

What happens when a bite or full on attack takes place?

When a dog bite happens, I want you to ask yourself something:

Who's fault is it? ...

The dog's?

Because they bit a child in the face?

I've seen this happen.

And the animal will usually pay the price; with their life.

Because they didn't have an advocate.


50% of all dog bite victims are under 12 years of age and statistically, it is usually a family dog...

Who has decided to stand up for himself, because no one else will.


Be a leader, and an advocate for safety.

Teach kids to read dog body language.

Learn about consent testing.

And above all, please use common sense.

True responsibility:

Read this mother's brave story about how she took full responsibility for her dog attacking her child.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what is right, and even more so to stand up and admit when you were wrong.

We MUST teach ourselves, children, and others how to appropriately interact with these animals.

They are animals.

They have feelings, instincts, AND very sharp teeth!


As always, feel free to pass along this important message!!

Encourage safe interactions between your kids and pets, especially dogs! Get them involved with age appropriate chores, and even puzzle games!

And if you are wanting to learn more and be an advocate or teach your kids in a fun way how to appropriately interact with pets, head on over to the Pawsitively Safe page!


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*Some graphics in this post are courtesy of Family Paws Parent Education.

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