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All Dogs Can Bite

All Dogs Can Bite

Children Should Always Be Supervised Around Your Dog(s)

This is a really important topic, and one that only seems to get attention when it makes the news. I would like to give you my perspective and a few tips that may help you keep your house a safe place for any children that may come around.

When kids, especially young children are around dogs, they need to be supervised. When kids, especially young children are around dogs, they need to be supervised. That is not a misprint or error. I wrote it twice because it is the first rule of dog-child interaction. Understand that no matter how social, docile, loving, and goofy your dog may be, if it has teeth, it can bite.

Here are a few reasons why supervision is important:

(1) Your dog is not a little person. You can tell your toddler to “Be nice,” and there is a pretty good chance he or she will understand. Tell your dog that and I’m fairly certain he hears, “Blah, blah, blah, blah-blah.”

(2) Young children do not know how to approach a dog. They are fascinated by your furry, four-legged, stuffed-toy like creature that moves around, that seemingly begs to be chased. Young children also tend to move in a jerky or wobbly manner, or they can unintentionally fall on your dog.

(3) Young children are innocently clueless about the language of dogs. Dogs will give a warning before biting, kind of “Stay out of my space” or “You’re too close.” Adults can miss the signs of an impending bite, so why would we expect a toddler to recognize the warning signs?

(4) Young children like to grab stuff, like tails, noses, ears, and fur. Dogs are not necessarily on-board with swatting, poking, and pulling, even if they put up with it for a while.

(5) Young children tend to be at eye-level with a dog. An infant crawling on the ground can be face-to-face with a small dog, and a 4 or 5-year old can be face-to-face with a larger dog. This is the perfect target for a dog acting aggressively, for whatever the reason.

(6) Young children are strangely attracted to food and water bowls. In general, dogs should be fed separately to avoid aggression over food. Your dog will not differentiate between a dog getting too close and a child getting too close.

A dog bite can happen in an instant. You can go from “Aww, isn’t that cute” to “Oh no, stop!” in just a fraction of a second. We love our dogs. We love our kids more. It’s best to keep an eye on both when they are together, and yes, train them both. Here is a short video of what can happen without proper supervision:

Here is a another recent video of a dog bite waiting to happen. Fortunately, it does not, but I would NEVER allow this. Would you? Think about it… different dog, same boy (all dogs are the same to him), parents momentarily lose track of the boy, disaster.

Do you have comments or questions about dog bites? Let us know on Facebook: All Dogs Can Bite

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