12 Ideas To Stop A Dog Biting Your Child

There are certain codes of behavior and etiquette that we as people should observe and teach to our children with regards to interacting with dogs. These behaviors serve as dog bite prevention, such that tragedies can be avoided.

  1. Don’t run past dogs. Especially important for children. Dogs have an inherent drive called prey drive. This drive inspires them to give chase to moving objects, tennis balls, neighborhood cats, or shrieking children. This doesn’t mean that you cant go jogging, it just means that you must exercise caution when getting your daily exercise. I once had a running coach who instructed me to stop running when I saw a dog and walk past until safely out of the way. I don’t necessarily recommend you go to this extreme but it definitely wouldn’t hurt with dog bite prevention.
  2. Allow dogs to introduce themselves to you. A mistake many people make is to rush up to a dog to tell him hello. Many dogs see this as an invasion of personal space and a threat and may react in kind. By allowing a dog to make introductions on his terms, the level of stress he feels is much lower. By lowering the amount of stress with the introduction you greatly reduce the chance of a dog bite.
  3. When you allow the dog to meet you and do his obligatory sniffing, allow him to sniff your closed fist instead of your open hand. If he does decide to bite, much less damage will be done. Better to get bitten on a closed fist than to lose a finger by taking a direct bite to your digits.
  4. When a new dog is approaching to meet you, position your body at a sideways slant. This is a much less threatening posture than a straight-on affront. It is a more submissive posture and makes a new dog feel more at ease.
  5. Don’t have staring contests with strange dogs. Some dogs will see this as an invitation for conflict.
  6. Children are the victims of the majority of dog bites. All children should learn the above codes, plus there are additional behaviors that children should learn when dealing with dogs and dog bite prevention.
  7. Children should always ask permission to meet a new dog. By asking the owner of the dog permission, the owner is now more in a mindset of supervisor. He will now be in better control of the dog. Never should a child run up to a new dog to make an introduction whether or not the owner is around. In fact, a child should never attempt to meet a strange dog who is without an owner.
  8. Children should learn to be calm around dogs. Dogs will often bite as a result of stress. A running, screaming child can cause many dogs a lot of stress. This could provoke a dog bite and should be avoided.
  9. Although children are shorter, they should work to avoid being face to face with a dog. Allow the dog to instead sniff the child’s closed fist. This makes sense on a few different levels. If a dog is going to bite, the last body part you want near him is the head or face. Also, the act of a child putting his face near the face of a dog can be seen as a threat by the dog. This could provoke a dog bite.
  10. If possible, when making introductions to new dogs, children should be still, higher in elevation than the dog (sitting in a chair or on the lap of an adult), and calm. Allow the dog to come make the introduction on terms that are comfortable for him.
  11. Children would be do well to feed new dogs a treat. By making an immediate positive association between child and dog you are much more likely to avoid a dog bite.
  12. Above all, use common sense when dealing with man’s best friend. Common sense is the best form of dog bite prevention.

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About the Author Joycey

All my life I've been in love with one big friendly dopey Mastiff family member after another. No other breed has given me so much pleasure. I care about them as much if not more than most of the people I've ever known and now it's a dream to be able to research and write up everything my team and I have learned and are continuing to learn. Hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy writing :)

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