MADISON (WKOW) - Sharon Fankhauser wants to keep children safe, but also redeem the reputation of dogs.
"I guess I am tired of dogs being blamed for bites," said Sharon.
The dog advocate with Midwest Area Pit Stop says a child's energy can play a big role in what happens next. A hyper child can rile up a dog further but a calm kid can have the opposite effect.
She teachers children a move called "be like a tree". You can stand still, tuck in your arms and bow your head. Sharon says it's a good way to get an aggressive dog to lose interest.
She says children should also learn to read a dog's body language. A closed mouth, a yawn, a paw up - that means to stay away.
"You see that white around his eyes?" asked Sharon, pointing to a picture. "That is called a half moon eye. When you see a half moon eye on a dog like that, that means he's not happy."
An open mouth and a relaxed face is a sign of a dog in a good mood, but Sharon says children should never approach any pooch without their parent's and the dog's owner's permission.