Monday, December 14, 2015

Dog and kid safety... what to look out for

No matter how wonderful and loving your dog is, I always get a little bit nervous when there are babies, toddlers, or preschoolers nearby. The thing is, dogs have bad days, too. Have you ever lost your patience with your kids and snapped at them? If you're like most of us, the answer is yes. 

Well, what makes dogs any different? Sometimes little kids stress them out and they snap. 

Photo by Circe Denyer

When I was growing up, my neighbor's Boston Terrier took a chunk out of their granddaughter's cheek. She'd been around the dog since she was a baby and he'd never bitten anyone... until the day he did. She was scarred for life.

A 10-year-old in my elementary school was running down the steps into his best friend's basement. It was something he did every day. Unfortunately, on one particular day, the St. Bernard he'd grown up around decided to attack. Corey needed 100 stitches on his face, head, and neck. He was blessed to be alive.

My own American Eskimo was unstable and I was always nervous when my kids' friends were around. It's a horrible feeling -- worrying about whether or not your dog is going to bite someone. What's worse, is not having that horrible feeling and your dog does bite someone. Especially when that someone is a baby or small child.

There are warning signs to look for that indicate that your pup is uneasy when children are around. Pay attention. It just might prevent a tragedy.

If your dog is doing any of the following, quickly intervene and move him away from the child:

  • licking his lips 
  • panting without a physical reason
  • turning his head away from the child
  • showing the whites of his eyes
  • growling or making soft grumbling sounds
Train your children to never run at a dog, approach a strange dog, pet a strange dog without the owner's permission, hug a dog that seems uneasy, surprise or awaken a dog, or go anywhere near a dog while he is eating or chewing on a toy or bone.

This last one hits home for me because my aunt's dog bit me in my own backyard when I was a child. I can show you the scar on the inside of my upper right arm where the Airedale took a chunk out of it. Again, it was a dog I was around on many occasions. On this particular summer day, however, he was eating when I ran up to him. The next thing I knew, I was being rushed to the doctor's office for a slew of stitches. It wasn't a bad dog. It was just a bad situation. 

The thing is, most dogs that attack children have never bitten anyone before. But do you want that first time to involve your little ones or someone else's child who is visiting your home? Of course, you don't. Just take proper precautions so you, and your kids, can enjoy the company of your favorite pup. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog