How to Keep Your Child Safe Around the Family Dog

More and more people are using dogs for protection, and the reports of dog attacks on children continue to grow. Dogs that have repeatedly been reported to attack children are Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Bullmastiffs, German shepherds, and bullterriers. Most of these children are attached by dogs that they know, not a strangers dog. Did you know that stray dogs only account for 10 percent of attacks. There are however some very basic precautions that parents can take to protect their children.

The first one is to properly train your children. Small children and dogs should not be left alone under any circumstances without adult supervision. This is because very young children do not know how they are supposed to treat animals. In the book “Childproofing Your Dog”, by Trainer Brian Kilcommons says; From the stories we hear, the majority of problems occur when adult eyes are elsewhere. A lot of the time animals need protection from our young children.

If you have a dog in your home you really need to take the time to teach your child how to treat animals kindly. They should understand that teasing a dog should never be done. As a parent you should be able to spot any possible dangers when children and dogs are in each other’s company. Another thing that you do not want to do is treat your dog like an outcast. Sometimes when a new baby arrives you may tend to ignore the dog, and send it outside in the yard. Try to maintain the dogs regular routine so that it will not be affected by any new members of the family. Also take into consideration how your child might respond to a strange dog. How would your child act with a neighbors dog? They should be taught not to approach a dog that they do not know. Help them to understand the dangers that are involved with stray dogs.

Another step you will definitely want to take is to train your dog of course. Punishment or harsh wards will not speed up your dogs learning but will actually have the opposite affect. The better your dog understands basic commands such as sit, the easier it will be to protect your children. If you are having difficulty training your dog you may want to seek the help of a professional dog trainer. If you do not know one your vetenarian may be able to recommend one for you. Some dogs however seem to be aggressive by nature and can be very dangerous to other family members especially very young ones.

Dominant dogs do not like to be handled especially around sensitive areas such as the face and neck. Some of these dogs even will ignore known commands deliberately. They are also very inclined to mount people. So when an aggressive dog demands attention you want to ignore it. If you give the dog attention when he demands it you will only be reinforcing the dog’s belief that it is in charge. When it has backed off and maybe goes to lie in its corner then is the time when you will want to give it plenty of attention and affection. Also with aggressive dogs you will want to avoid games like tug-of war and wrestling. These type of games can sometimes foster the dog’s domineering tendencies and should be avoided.

The aggressive dogs characteristic behavior reveals unfriendly intentions. You should teach your child to recognize your dog’s body language. For example the hair on the back of the dogs neck may begin to bristle. The dog may even growl or bark at your child. These are definitely a few warning signs. Also when you take your dog to the trainer you should take your children along, if possible. Make sure the trainer is aware that there are children in the house, so that they can also give you a few safety suggestions as well.

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