Approximately half of the hundreds of thousands of dog bites and attacks each year involve children. Even your family’s docile dog can become aggressive toward your child. Whether you have a family pet or your child is thrilled at the sight of dogs, it is important to teach them tips to avoid getting bit or attacked.
- Never approach a strange dog. Instead, teach your child to ask the pet’s parent if it is okay for them to approach the dog.
- Never bother a dog while it is eating, sleeping, or nursing puppies. Dogs can become aggressive if they are disturbed, at these times, and could even bite.
- Never put your face near the dog’s face or tail. Since a dog’s behavior is hard to gauge, avoiding these areas lessens the risks of injury should the dog attack.
- Never run past a strange dog. Dogs may view a running child as prey, as they have natural instincts and could attack your child.
- Never allow your child to play aggressive games with any dog. Behaving in an aggressive manner toward a dog can result in the dog becoming frustrated and assuming it is okay to respond in an equally aggressive manner.
- Never attempt to take a toy away from a dog. When a dog has a toy in its mouth, it can view efforts to take it away as hostile and could become aggressive.
- Allow the dog to approach you first. Dogs follow a pack mentality, where the alpha or “top dog” never approaches other dogs in the pack. By allowing the dog to approach you, you are indicating you are the alpha.
- Never panic when a dog growls or barks at you. Instead, do not make eye contact with the dog, and slowly back away.
Last, teach your child to protect his or her face and eyes in the event of a dog attack. Should your child receive injuries from a dog attack or bite, remember you could have certain legal rights for recovering damages, which you can learn more about by contacting Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers to speak with a lawyer handling personal injury cases today.