Dog bites – children and dog bites

Had to share this fantastic video from Stop the 77.

It’s the story of a child, a dog-lover, who finally gets their dream come true and is given a dog.

In every photo the child was doing something to make the dog feel uncomfortable, threatened or scared. I counted thirteen dogs showing clear signs of discomfort.

Great video, great message 🙂

When you have children and a dog, it is so important to pay attention to the dog’s body language and teach your child to respect the dog.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Not approaching or bothering a dog whilst s/he is eating
  • Not bothering the dog whilst s/he has  a toy or high value item
  • Not pulling tails, ears, squeezing paws etc
  • Not climbing all over the dog
  • Not bothering the dog while s/he is asleep
  • To recognise signs of stress (eg lip licks, looking away, yawning etc)
  • To never treat a stranger’s dog as if it were their own

I posted (many years ago) about how I was fed up of ‘untrained’ children acting dangerously and rushing my dogs.

That post was sparked by a young (3 – 4 years old) boy racing repeatedly past 6 month old Zoey. He ran past screaming and flailing his arms, and when Zoey got excited he thought it was brilliant!

He continued to run past us shrieking, getting closer every time until eventually he was within a foot of Zoey. His parent did *nothing* to stop him, and you can bet if Zoey had nipped from excitement it would have been her fault. Eventually I had to (politely but firmly) tell the boy that it was a dangerous thing to do, and to please stop it.

And this is why I NEVER let kids approach either of my dogs, I don’t care how good they are with children…

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6 thoughts on “Dog bites – children and dog bites

  1. Your list is very good however, your last item falls a little short of desired behaviour. Never treat a stranger’s dog as if it were their own leaves room for misunderstanding ( I can hug my dog so I had better just stroke this stranger’s dog). I would suggest:

    Never approach a dog you do not know without the owners permission (applies to children and adults).

    • Yeah, I kinda figured I couldn’t cover anywhere near everything, I wanted to keep this blog quick and short haha! It was more of a ‘just because you can smooch *your* dog does not mean you can smooch ones you meet in the park / at a friend’s house’…

      Also, if you check out my old blog I linked to, it briefly covers “to always ask the owners before stroking a dog” there 🙂

      • Even asking before stroking is a recipe for a problem. A reactive dog may not like anybody coming up close to ask its owner a question. Asking before approaching is my preferred choice of words.
        When you have a rescued 75lb Shepherd/Rotti X, with startle response, fear of people, and various other conditions, you cannot allow a stranger to suddenly be close to him. His immediate response is a gesture of aggression to scare the problem away. While he may not bite, a large, lunging and barking dog could cause considerable trauma to a small child.

  2. My neighbors had a shelter dog years ago that always vanished as soon as she saw children and only re-surfaced when they were gone… She was a really sweet dog.

    • Bless 🙂 I think it’s sad how a dog that is fearful of children / men / other dogs is labelled a “bad dog”, they can be just as wonderful as any other.

      • I had a corgi mix at the time (one of the great loves of my life) and they became best mates for many years. When Sadie trusted she was the sweetest dog around. For her entire life she did have an air of sadness about her. It always made me wonder what horrors she had to bear before she came to live on this property.

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