Did you know? According to the ASPCA, a child or a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be seriously injured by a dog bite. Sadly, most of the serious injuries are inflicted upon a young family member by their own family dog. Sadder still, most of these bites are completely preventable.
We at 6 pack of dogs encourage everyone to be proactive and learn about dog-bite prevention. To this end, We will list the 6 of the most common reasons, with a quick explanation, as to why your family dog might bite your child.
- An eating dog - Teach your children, early on, that they should never bother their dog while he is eating. Big or small, Aggressive or passive, all it takes is one second for your dog to feel his food, his most important basic need, to be threatened. When that happens, a normally sweet dog may snap/bite your child.
- A sleeping dog - Teach and caution your children about startling their sleeping dog. Think of yourself when you are in a deep sleep and someone wakes you suddenly. You wake up disoriented, ready to protect yourself if necessary. It is the same for even the sweetest dog. He is not aware of who is waking, jumping, or jostling him and his initial reaction mite be to bite.
- Dogs giving birth or caring for puppies - Dogs in labor, giving birth, or with puppies 6 weeks old or less instinctively protect their their babies. Children, even those that normally play with the mom, should stay away from the puppies. It is natural for dogs to protect their babies when they feel their litter vulnerable. Only you, the actual owner and usual "Alpha", should be around your dog at this time. We all know it is very tempting to let your children see the birthing process, just be sure to keep them far enough away so as not to pose a threat to mother or puppies.
- Child hurting a dog - Young children (between 9 months to 6 years) often do not know they are hurting or what even hurts a dog. When this occurs, a bite might sometimes occur. Teach your children what hurts your dog and why. Hitting, kicking, pulling ears, fur or tail are things younger children do to dogs and puts them at risk of being bitten. If you have a child or children that are at a stage where they may knowingly or unknowingly hurt a dog, please do not allow them to be around your dog unsupervised.
- Child teasing a dog - Always remember, children learn from their parents. As an adult, you usually know when you have gone too far if you are teasing and playing with your dog. Your child, on the other hand, does not yet understand those limits. When they see you do something, they try to copy you. When that involves tricking and teasing your dog, it could a recipe for a bite to occur. Teach your children what teasing is and if you see it - stop it. By all means, if you have a young child that you know is prone to teasing your dog, always supervise your dog and child.
- Child afraid of dog - Dogs can smell fear. If a child or,even an adult is afraid of a dog, that dog knows it and is not sure what that person is going to do. Often, dogs take that fear as a threat and attack to protect itself. If you have a child afraid of dogs, work with him/her not to be afraid. If you cannot by yourself, find a place with a controlled environment with other dogs for you, your child and dog to work things out. Regardless of the situation - please take care if you have a child that is afraid of your dog. Do not leave them together unsupervised.
Remember - kids and dogs are wonderful together -- when adults use common sense and put safety first.
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