Even if your child loves dogs, he or she may not know how to act properly around them to stay safe. Dog bites can be serious injuries that lead to permanent scarring, health complications, and even fatality. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should take the time to teach your child about dog safety:
- Help establish good relationships with family pets. If you own a well-behaved dog, don’t simply assume that it is safe around children. Even the most docile family pet can attack if provoked. Teaching your child dog safety will help keep your dog and your child on good terms. Dogs often have trouble with small children who are approximately their size, because they may not be able to determine who should be dominant. Help your child establish a respectful relationship with your dog to keep your home safe.
- Keep your child safe around strange dogs. While walking home from school or around the neighborhood, your child may encounter a strange dog at a neighbor’s house or on the street. In this situation, it is vital that your child knows what to do to stay safe around strange dogs. Teach your child to ask a dog’s owner for permission before petting and explain how your child should react to unattended dogs.
- Avoid injury and infection. Dog bites can cause serious injuries, especially to small children. Children’s faces are close to the same level as dogs’ faces, making them more likely to sustain bites in the head and neck. Bites in these areas can lead to permanent and visible scarring, severe infection, and emotional damage. Teaching your child how to act respectfully and safely around dogs will keep him or her safe.
If you or your child have been bitten or attacked by another person’s dog, you deserve compensation for physical and emotional injuries.
Dog Bites Can Happen Anytime, Anywhere
Even small dogs can display aggression and cause serious injury to a person. Check out this video for one example of a careless dog owner whose small dog attacks an innocent passerby.
Without provocation, the dog attacks a man walking through a park. Though the dog’s owner insists that it was an accident, the victim’s injuries are significant, and he files a report with the local police department. The dog has a clear history of aggression, perhaps due to issues with his training or his temperament. Even though the incident was an accident, the woman is still responsible for her dog’s behavior and may face legal action from the victim.
Dog Bite Statistics
In the U.S., dog bites are tragically common. Though many dogs never bite anyone, others do and can seriously harm both their owners and strangers. Read on to find out a few statistics about dog bites in the U.S.
How many people are bitten by dogs every year?
Every year, approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs, with 800,000 requiring hospitalization. Between 10 and 20 of these bites are fatal. The majority of bites are on the victim’s legs or arms, but facial bites also occur and can lead to permanent scarring. Children between the ages of five and nine are most likely to be bitten by dogs, with the risk tapering off as children age. However, 50% of bites happen to kids under the age of 12.
What breeds of dogs are most likely to bite?
Any breed of dog can bite if threatened, but some are more likely to do so than others. Small dogs, such as dachshunds and Chihuahuas, tend to bite more often than larger dogs. However, larger dogs tend to cause more serious injuries when they bite and are more likely to cause fatalities.
What factors can affect whether a dog will bite?
More than 90% of dog bites are from male dogs that are not neutered. Dogs that were not socialized well as puppies are also more likely to bite, as are dogs that are unsure of their place in the family “pack.” Dogs who are kept on chains may feel threatened when approached by strangers, leading them to bite. Poor socialization is more directly correlated to biting and aggressive behavior than any specific breed identification.
Though these facts may help you understand who is most likely to be bitten and which dogs are most likely to bite, there is no certain way to predict a dog bite.