It is said that each year more 4 ½ million people are bitten by a dog. It is also thought that the age of more than half of the victims is under 14.
How can you help prevent a potentially dangerous situation in which your child can be a victim of a dog bite?
The Family Dog
The best way to prevent dangerous interactions with a canine is to carefully pick the breed of the family dog. Doing a bit of research before going out to buy or adopt a dog can guide you to a breed that is less likely to bite.
Dogs such as Labradors, Collies and Golden Retrievers are mild mannered dogs and rarely take a bite out of children or adults.
Learning the behavior of a variety of dog Breeds can lessen the chance your child will be bitten by the family pet.
Socializing your dog to all the situations it will face in adulthood also lessens the risk of your dog biting not just your child but anyone else. You should expose your new puppy to a variety of situations that include other animals and people of all ages so that they feel comfortable when they are faced with these types of situations. Don’t stop the socialization once your dog is full grown.
Enroll your puppy or dog in an obedience class. When you have control over your animal and a bond is forged between you, your dog will be less likely to turn aggressive.
Don’t play games with your dog that will bring about aggression such as tug of war or wrestling. Don’t allow your pet to mouth your family even in play.
Always have your dog’s vaccinations up to date just in case any unthinkable should happen and he bites your child or someone else. If you have a male dog it is recommended that you neuter him. This will cut his aggressive tendencies as well as promote peaceful dog behavior.
You should never leave a baby or young children alone with a dog even if you think you know that animal well. Accidents can happen and with a dog bite it can result in serious consequences.
Educate your child about your dog’s rights. Let them know it is not okay to disturb a sleeping dog or interfere with a dog while it is eating. Even if a dog seems to be friendly, use caution when encountering a strange dog.