As most family dog owners know, a dog can be an amazing friend for a child. However, there can be exceptions to this rule, and whilst rare, there are dogs that can bite with no prior warning of bad behaviour. Whilst you probably think that your dog would never bite a child, it can still happen, and there are precautions that you can take in order to reduce the chances of dog bites occurring.
If you have children, then you must teach them how to pet and behave with your dog appropriately. As soon as your child is old enough to understand, teach them that is can be dangerous to approach your dog face to face, and to try to avoid kissing or throwing himself at the dog. This type of affection which is both sudden and direct can sometimes lead even the most docile of dogs to bite.
This guide was written by the Accident Claims Web who are a UK-based legal website who specialise in compensation claims for people and children who have been the victim of a dog bite. If you would like to find out more about how they work, or if you have suffered and want to make a claim then please take a look at their dog bite compensation calculator.
Hints and Tips on Avoiding Dog Bites to Children
Here are some hints and tips on how to avoid dog bites to children, whether at home with your family pet, or when out and about in the company of strange dogs that they don’t’ know or are not as familiar with.
Avoiding Dog Bites
Here are our rules and tips to help to reduce the chances of a child being bitten by a dog.
- Avoid keeping or living with a dog that has a history of bad or aggressive behaviour if you have young children.
- Never ever leave your child unattended with a dog, no matter how much trust you have in the animal not to bite.
- Teach your children not to disturb you family dog when it is eating.
- Teach your children to not tease a dog, poke, or prod it when it is sleeping.
- Teach your children not to invade the personal space of a dog which has puppies.
- Teach your children not to look a dog in the eye as this can be perceived as a challenge and is one of the most common incidences leading to dog bites.
- Teach your children to not move suddenly or shout loudly near your dog.
- Never leave your dog hemmed in, always let it have a clear route out of a room.
- Watch carefully when your child is playing with your dog.
- Do not let young children walk your dog or handle their lead.
- If you dog is fighting another dog, never let your child intervene.
- Never let you dog think that biting is acceptable during play.
- Teach your child to recognize the signs of an aggressive dog to reduce the chance of a dog bite occurring.
Your Responsibility as a Dog Owner
It’s important to understand that all dog owners have a responsibility to ensure that there are never any instances of dog bites – whether with adults or children. When thinking about buying a dog to bring into your household with children in it then I would always recommend buying from a professional dog breeder as a puppy. This was there should have already been preventive measures taken as most dog breeders will provide a guarantees on early education training for the puppy in order to calm them so they are not inclined to bite.
Monitor the Behaviour of Your Dog
As a dog owner, you should be the master, and let the dog know its place in the family. You don’t want the dog to be either too dominant or too junior as this is when dogs that bite can be more common. Once you have a dog in your home, monitor its behaviour and make sure that they remain healthy and normal – if they exhibit any signs of aggressive behaviour then take the animal immediately to the vet for a consultation.