Avoiding A Dog Bite With Babies And Children

NEVER LEAVE A BABY OR CHILD ALONE WITH A PUPPY OR DOG OF ANY AGE UNSUPERVISED (even the TRUSTED FAMILY DOG)! 

77% of dog bites come from a family or friend’s dog - our pet dogs and not stray, crazy or vicious dogs. Dog bites rarely happen out of the blue and generally the dog is not to blame. Miscommunication and lack of supervision is usually the root of the problem. We expect our dogs to understand us and read our likes and dislikes but generally we have no idea on how to read theirs and what they are trying to communicate to us. Education is key in preventing an incident with a baby/child. Success is ALL about education. Dogs desperately need you to listen, they use their whole body to show you how they are feeling and will initially communicate using their polite and subtle signs (whispering) but if these are ignored they will need to resort to growling, snarling and biting (shouting) to be heard.

Refer to Displacement Behaviours section, a Puppy’s Body Language section and Ladder of Fear/Aggression section (link back).

 

Another great resource is: www.thefamilydog.com/stop-the-77/

 

Along with teaching children about dog communication and body language, make sure children understand the below rules to stay safe:

 

  • Don’t  stand over a puppy/dog.

  • Don’t hug the puppy/dog (especially neck and head region).

  • Don’t put your face near your puppy’s/dog’s.

  • Don’t go near or touch a sleeping puppy/dog. 

  • Don’t take food or an item off a puppy/dog.

  • Don’t jump or walk over a puppy/dog.

  • Don’t run, wave your arms around or scream.

  • Don’t run away from a puppy/dog if it is running after you instead freeze. 

  • Don’t blow in a puppy’s/dog’s face.

  • Don’t play rough with puppy/dog.  

  • Never approach a puppy/dog that is not with it’s owner. 

  • Never touch or pat a puppy/dog unless the owner has given their permission. 

  • Never pat a puppy/dog on top of the head. 

  • Never approach a tethered puppy/dog. 

  • Never approach a puppy/dog with your hand outstretched for it to sniff. The puppy/dog can smell you long before you approach them. Having an outstretched hand only gives them something to bite.