Almost all dog owners will find that kids and canines get on incredibly well together and that their pet pooch makes a perfect childhood companion for their little ones.

However, it is important to remember that a nervous dog combined with young, boisterous children can be a dangerous combination, as an anxious mutt is liable to lash out with a snarl or even a nip if they feel threatened.

In fact, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has revealed that under-tens account for the highest rate of admissions per age group for bites and strikes from dogs, making up 16 per cent of these incidents.

And while these cases are rare, they are also largely preventable, so it is really worth taking the time to educate your youngsters on how to behave around dogs, as well as teaching your pup to act calmly around kids.

"Dogs are a big part of our lives and it is likely that every child will come across a dog at some point this year, at home, at a friend's or just out on the street," says Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko.

"During the summer holidays is a great time to sit down with your child and speak to them about dog safety."

Any boisterous or threatening behaviour such as screaming and running can make a dog over-excited or anxious, so encourage children to be calm and gentle when around a pet pooch.

Teach your youngsters to stroke the dog on the head or chest rather than pulling at their fur, and help them feed the pup dry dog food treats so both child and canine associate each other with positive experiences.

Finally, make sure your children know not to disturb your pooch while they're eating their premium dog food or sleeping, as these are the times that a pup is most likely to become defensive or territorial and may lash out.

Written by: Hannah