Be a responsible dog owner

Date published: 22 August 2022 10:21
Dated: 22 August 2022 11:15:50

With the warmer weather and children across South Yorkshire enjoying their summer holidays, we expect to see an increase in families enjoying days out at local parks or visiting each other’s homes; and to protect them, we are urging dog owners to be responsible and safe with their pets.

Within South Yorkshire an average of five incidents per day are recorded for dogs causing fear, harm or injury to people or other animals- we believe that simple steps taken by owners could stop some of these happening.

Dogs are part of the family, and will be used to the members of their family that live in the family home, they may be less familiar or unsure with people visiting. So if you are planning to host a summer BBQ for friends or family, or have your children’s friends round then please prepare, understanding your dog, what they like and dislike can help you understand and manage situations that may become stressful or overwhelming for your dog.

If you do not own a dog but are planning to visit the home of someone who does, it is important to speak to your children about how they are expected to interact with their dog.


For safe interaction with dogs, follow these important steps and tips:

  • Always supervise your dog and children, pay attention to what is happening so you can intervene at the earliest opportunity
  • Encourage gentle stroking, do not allow children to pull, grab or sit on the dog
  • Do not allow children near your dog if it is eating, sleeping, or with items that belong to him/her such as toys
  • If you see that your dog is becoming worried or agitated, or the child is becoming frightened then intervene and provide a safe space for each of them to have some time alone

During the Covid-19 pandemic there was an increase in families having a pet dog. These dogs were no socialised with other dogs, or unfamiliar people due to lockdown restrictions. Now that all restrictions have lifted, owners and their dogs can now enjoy green spaces, but again this comes with responsibility.

Dog Legislation Officer Paul Jameson explains more about dog safety when out in public spaces, he said: “Parks will have more people and dogs in them over the summer months.


“Plan your walk, you know your dog, if they are likely to become, stressed in large crowds and busy areas, walk them in a morning or evening and avoid public parks and paths.

“Keeping your dog on lead can stop him or her running over to families with children or other dogs and causing fear or harm, it’s important to remember not everyone likes dogs and some people are frightened, which can change your dog’s behaviour.

“Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing an identification tag, should you become separated this can ensure your dog comes back to you quickly before becoming stressed or worried.

“Your dog is your responsibility, the safety of those around you relies on you as an owner taking action.”

We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer. If you would like more information on dog safety, interaction with children and toddlers, visit the Blue Cross website.

Operational Support Unit Chief Inspector Lee Carlson added:  “Sadly it is a fact that dog bites have seen a substantial increase recently.

“I urge all dog owners to make sure pets are kept under control and not to find themselves responsible for their dog attacking a child or young person.

“I also ask the public in general to help us by reporting any concerns they have about aggressive dogs in their community.”

You can report concerns you may have about a dog being out of control via the online portal or via 101.

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