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Speak Dog and Stay Safe

Speak Dog and Stay Safe is a CAPJ campaign designed to teach young children about how to behave around dogs and recognise when dogs are unhappy.  Dog behaviourists and dog trainers work with CAPJ to present this campaign.

This campaign is offered to every primary school year 1 class across Jersey and delivered by CAPJ representatives.  Learn how to be safe around dogs by following our ‘Speak Dog and Stay Safe’ tips!

Child Information
Adult Information
Do you know how to Speak Dog? Want to learn how to work out when a dog is happy or sad by just looking at them? Then read on!!

Meet Spud & Dotty!

They are going to help you speak dog!

Scroll to the bottom of this page and find a colouring sheet, poster competition and safety leaflet to download!

What do you think these dogs are feeling?  Click on the pictures to see if you are right!


What should you do if a strange dog runs toward you?

  • Stand as still and as quiet as a tree
  • Make no noise
  • Drop any food or toys
  • Fold your arms
  • Look at the sky

What should you do if a strange dog knocks you down?

  • Be as small and as quiet as a mouse
  • Roll up into a ball with your face to the ground
  • Cover your face with your hands
  • Make no sound

Never touch a dog unless you have asked its owner first!

Click here to go to the free download page for your colouring sheet, poster competition or information leaflet!

Dogs make fantastic family pets - but we need to remind children to be gentle and kind and to respect the dogs.

It is hard to know what a dog is thinking, but there are things to look out for to give you clues.  It’s not easy for young children to understand these clues so here are some explanations and tips for you to teach your children.

Studies have shown that young children are unable to recognise an angry dog – in fact they think a dog baring his teeth is smiling.

When wanting to take a closer look at something, young children automatically lean in nearer.  Combine this behaviour with a dog that is eating his food, playing with his toy, sleeping or feeling under the weather and you could end up with an unintentional injury.

 Teach your child to say hello to a dog

  • Always ask the owners permission before you touch the dog
  • Show your child that the dog needs to smell your hand first
  • Encourage your child to stroke the top of the dogs back and not their head or neck area

Click here to download your free dog safety leaflet

 Signs of an unhappy dog

  • Dog yawning
  • Dog licking his lips
  • Dog trying to become as small as possible and cowering
  • Tail beneath his legs
  • Dog growling and bearing his teeth
  • Ears flat against his head
  • Head low and looking with the whites of his eyes showing
  • Turning head away or just moving from you

Most children are  bitten by dogs they know!

What dogs don’t like

  • Ear or tail pulling – Teach your child to be kind
  • Screaming – Encourage your child to speak gently and be calm near your dog
  • Hugs – Show them how to reward their dog  e.g. with training treats or toys
  • Someone’s face close to theirs – Show them how to keep their distance
  • Having someone take their food when they are eating – Make sure there is somewhere quiet for your dog to eat their food
  • Having someone take their toy when they are chewing it – If you need to take something away, distract them with another toy first
  • Sitting in the car and someone puts a hand through the window to stroke them – Teach your child never to stroke them through a car window
  • Someone leaning over their fence or gate and stroking them – Lead by example and do not lean over to stroke them
  • Being disturbed when they are sleeping – Let sleeping dogs lie