This video created by TheFamilyDog.com says it all. I find it so heart breaking that dogs end up biting children – with the terrible consequences of being given away, sent back to the shelter, or worse, put down. The child is left with the heartache of having been bitten by their beloved pet, not to mention having a lifelong fear of dogs from that point forward. And if it’s a stranger’s dog that bites, that family is negatively affected as well. If parents realized there is training available about dog bite safety for children, these things would never have to happen.
You can visit TheFamilyDog.com to get more information about their dog training program for children. The Kids’ Club section of this website is chock full of super fun activities your kids will love. They have videos, jokes, fun facts, quizzes, word search puzzles and even recipes for treats they can make themselves for the pooch! Signing up for this program is such a HUGE bonus for YOU, because you won’t have to nag them (or force them) to sit down for their lessons about dog training because they’ll have so much fun watching the dog training videos in this program (you’ll see one of their videos later in this article). They’ll be enjoying the videos so much, they won’t even realize they’re learning! You will likely still have to remind them of the rules sometimes, but this program shows you how to do that in a fun way. You’ll be saying things like, “Remember your Special Agent skills!” It really is the fastest, easiest, most FUN way to teach your kids not only about dog bite prevention, but how to be a responsible, capable dog owner for the rest of their lives. You can get more information about this program in my article, Dog Training for the Kids.
Dog Bite Prevention
Kids need to be aware that any dog can bite – small ones, large ones, even the really cute friendly types – if provoked. The majority of dog bites happen with a dog the person knows – either their own dog, or a neighbor or friend’s dog. You can protect your children from dog bites by teaching them the right way to behave around dogs.
Children should never approach a growling, scared or barking dog.
Children should not approach a dog who is eating, sleeping, chewing on a bone or toy, or caring for or nursing puppies. Dogs are more likely to bite if they are startled, or especially when caring for their puppies.
Children shouldn’t try to pet a dog who is in a car or behind a fence. The dog’s instinct may be to protect their territory.
Children shouldn’t pet unfamiliar dogs without asking the owner’s permission first. This one really upsets me. I had a miniature dachshund named Taz for several years who was frightened by children. It always shocked me how parents would let their children come running toward my dog and start petting her furiously. Luckily Taz never bit anyone. But honestly, I wouldn’t have blamed her! (But of course the parents would’ve blamed ME! grrrrr)
Even when given permission by the owner to pet the dog, the child should put their hand out for the dog to sniff first. Then pet the dog on the shoulders or chest, not on top of the head.
Children’s should go near dogs who are outside off-leash. If a loose dogs comes near the child, he shouldn’t scream or run. It’s best to avoid eye contact with the dog and stand still until the dog goes away. The child can slowly walk away after the dog has lost interest.
If a dog knocks a child down or if the child falls down, he should curl up and place his hands and arms around his head to protect the neck and ears. Staying still and quiet in this position makes it likely the dog will go away.
A child should never try to outrun a dog. Instead, they should try throwing the dog something like their jacket, bag, even their bicycle – something for the dog to grab onto that he can put between himself and the dog.
For more dog bite training tips, click HERE.
Pretty Scary, Isn’t It?
This is a very serious topic. Reading articles like this and educating yourself about ways to protect your child from dog bites is smart. But it really is important that your children receive correct, accurate and thorough training about dog safety. I can’t stress it enough. I strongly recommend you visit TheFamilyDog.com and sign up for their Kids Club Dog Training program. They have videos, games, puzzles, quizzes, jokes – it’s a super fun way for kids to learn about dogs. Here’s an example of one of their videos for kids:
We’ve just touched on the basics here in this article about ways to keep your children safe from dog bites. Please go to TheFamilyDog.com and check out their dog training program for kids. I hope so much that this article prevents a future tragedy! Debra