This checklist is intended to help identify potential child safety concerns for parents considering a home-based day care for their child, agencies conducting a safety audit of a home-based day care and for social services agencies conducting a safety audit of a foster home or permanent home for children. The information gained from using this check list provides information to be used as part of an overall assessment. Appropriate steps should be taken so that the proposed child care location meets all criteria in the low risk category.

High Risk – Dog should be removed from the premises before children can be left at this home if any one of these boxes is checked.

  • Dog is chained or tied up or there is evidence that dog is kept tied up.
  • Dog seems uncared for; house smells like urine or feces.
  • Dog comes to the door barking and growling and continues even after owner answers the door.
  • Owner is rough with the dog, yelling, hitting or grabbing it by the collar to get it to comply.  
  • Dog seems afraid of the owner or ignores the owner’s attempts to control it.
  • Dog is a kept as a guard dog.

Moderate Risk – Dog should be confined with no access to the children, pending evaluation by a dog behaviour specialist and remedial training of the dog if required.

  • Dog comes to the door barking and/or growling, but stops when told to do so and seems friendly when the owner answers the door.
  • Dog insists on getting between you and the owner or the owner’s child.
  • Dog is overly excited and races about or jumps all over you.
  • Dog holds his tail up in the air and wags it slowly or not at all.
  • Dog wags his tail low to ground or between his legs.
  • Dog seems fearful and hides, retreats from you or barks at you.
  • There are multiple dogs.

Low Risk – Dog should never be left alone with the children, even if the risk is low

  • Dog is on a loose leash, in a crate or in a down stay when the owner answers the door.
  • Dog greets you in a calm and friendly manner with wagging tail. Dog obeys the owner and the owner rewards this.
  • There are well-defined areas both inside and outside for children and dogs where each has no access to the other.
  • There is a crate or other location where the dog can go to get away from the children.
  • The dog owner agrees to supervise all interactions with the dog.
  • The dog owner has taken part in dog bite prevention safety training and understands how to read dog body language and how to keep children safe and what to do in case of a dog bite incident.

Dogs and children are unpredictable. The use of this information does not guarantee that no dog bite will occur.

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