Dog Bites and Kids, Childrens Safety

This is a concern that many of us have…either as a parent or a dog owner that has neighboring children or little relatives that come to visit. Whatever the case may be the next two posts,  are extremely informative and enlightening.

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Dog Bites and Kids, Childrens Safety

Why are Millions of Kids Bitten by Dogs Each Year

There are a number of reasons why adults and children are often the victims of dog bites. We’re only going to focus on dog bites relating to children. And yes, friendly dogs bite kids everyday in the form of playing.

Why Our Children Get Bit

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, to figure this one out. That the majority of kids love dogs and because of this love they will act like animals with our dogs and sometimes, well a lot of times our dogs will try and teach them doggy rules the only way they know how to, by using their mouth. When a dog uses his mouth on a child sometimes it’s done while attempting to play with the child, and not in any disciplinary or aggressive way.

Sadly when our child comes running and screaming ” Mommy ! Michele bit me” after checking the wound, the last thing we will be thinking about is that the bite was done while playing. For older teenagers or adults that like to roughhouse with their dogs, that type of play is fine. Odds are they have been playing with the dog like that since it was a puppy and by doing so has accomplished teaching the dog how to use their mouth appropriately while playing.

Children Are Often Excited

I don’t have to tell you how excited our kids can get while playing. Your puppy, adolescent or young dogs energy levels are equaled if not surpassed only by the energy levels of our kids. This is one of the two main reasons why so many children get bitten by dogs every year. A child that is running around or just plain playing by himself, will often fall down and go boom. They don’t need anybody else around to get hurt, they do just fine in that department all by themselves.

Now add into the equation a fifty, sixty pound puppy or a ten pound puppy for that matter, and you can see how you may have just increased the odds for your child to sustain inadvertent injuries from your dog.

Kids Don’t Know When To Leave Well Enough Alone

This is the other main reason why kids get bit so frequently, and unfortunately it’s usually in the face. A child will often lay on top of or hug a dog while having his face close to the dogs face, that is the primary reason kids get bit in the face. At times a child will just not leave your dog alone, quite often it’s while the dog is laying down trying to rest. How long a dog will calmly tolerate this type of annoyance and intrusion by a child varies greatly on the personality, behavior and training of that individual dog.

Some dogs will give a child plenty of warning that a disciplinary bite is coming, ( Not that the child will understand the dogs body language, anyway ). Some dogs will give a moderate amount of warning, and some dogs will snap relatively quickly. Now, a  minute percentage of dogs will let kids do absolutely anything they want to them. But don’t count on your dog being one of them, and please don’t let your child do that. It’s just not nice for your dog, and you may be putting your child at an unnecessary risk.

After a dog has warned the child in the only way he knows how to, it’s then and only then that the child will get bit. And because of the child’s face being in such close proximity to the dogs mouth, that’s usually where the location of the bite will occur. Again, I must reiterate this type of bite is the result of a disciplinary action by the dog, and not out of aggression.

Post Script

Unfortunately there are many of us that do not have the experience nor the abilities to correctly read dog body language or distinguish whether or not our dog has the propensity to eventually bite a child. Every year millions of dog owners will say ” the bite came out of nowhere”. While all along the dog has been giving us the signs that a bite may becoming, and we didn’t understand those body languages.

End Part 1



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