Preventing Dog Bites in Children
How to Avoid Dog Bites in Children
By: Ed Frawley
How to Avoid Dog Bites in Children
According to a 994 study by Mathews and Lattal approximately one million dog bites occur every
year in the United States – according to the study 60-70% of those involve children, boys are bitten
more often than girls and a third of the dogs that attack children are owned by the family.
A study by Beck done in 975 indicated that 87% of biting dogs are intact males and most dogs bites occur in or near the victim’s home. Another study by Sacks in 989 indicated that 70% of the children that were killed by dogs were under the age of 0 and % were under the age of one year with 7% being sleeping infants.
A young boy after a dog attack
HINTS for PARENTS to TEACH YOUR CHILD Concerning Dogs
- . NEVER disturb any dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
- . NEVER pet a dog, even your own, without letting him see and sniff you first.
- . Children must always ASK PERMISSION from the owner and their parents BEFORE petting any dog. I never allowed my children near strange dogs much less pet them.
- . If the owner cannot control the dog and have it SIT nicely for the child to pet, WALK AWAY.
- . NEVER approach a dog who is confined behind a fence, within a car, or on a chain.
- . NEVER TEASE any dog by poking at them through fences or car windows or reaching your arm through to pet them.
- . NEVER approach a strange dog you don’t know or a dog who is not with his owner.
- . NEVER RUN away from a dog that is chasing you. STOP, STAND STILL, REMAIN CALM, ARMS AT YOUR SIDES, be quiet and DO NOT SCREAM. Walk away SLOWLY FACING THE DOG BUT NOT STARING AT its eyes.
- . If a dog attacks, “feed” him your jacket, a school book, a bicycle, or anything else that you can get
- between you and the dog.
- . If you are attacked, STOP, CURL UP IN A BALL LIKE A TURTLE, COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR ARMS AND HANDS.
If you own any dog, but especially a dog that has had the smallest amount of aggression or protection training it is your moral and legal obligation to make sure that you do everything possible to insure that your dog is never in a situation where it could bite a child.
The Humane Society estimates that there are 800,000 dog bites that require medical attention every year. Dog bites rank second behind sexually transmitted diseases as the most costly health problem in the country. Over 60% of those bitten are children and 80% of the fatalities are children.
I am not going to go into the reasons people train dogs to bite. But if you want to have your eyes opened I suggest that you buy the book we sell titled FATAL DOG ATTACKS - The Stories Behind the Statistics, This book will shock you.
When you start to read it you cannot put it down.
The STUPIDITY of how people handle their dogs will shock you
I am the first to admit that problems exist when inexperienced people attempt to protection train a dog with inappropriate temperament. Many often follow this training with inadequate and irresponsible handling or housing. The fact is that most dog bites occur from dogs that have had little to no training, they simply have poor temperament.
They are either sharp, dominant or territorial animals.
A perfect example occurred in Kansas a few years ago when Sabine Davidson allowed her Rotts to kill an year old neighbor boy. This case was an example of one mistake compounded upon another.
• Ms. Davidson had attempted protection training her 4 Rotts.
• She had tried to join several Schutzhund clubs and had been kicked out of all of them.
• She had purchased several training videos from me.
• The dog had an inappropriate temperament. When I testified against her in court, I saw video of one of these dogs. It had weak nerves and was a sharp dog.
• From all indications the male pack leader was a dominant dog.
• The dogs were allowed to live together in the back yard and were not kept in separate kennels. (This elevated their pack drive.)
• The gate to the back yard was in poor repair. The dogs had gotten out of the yard numerous times and roamed the neighborhood chasing children into their homes. As a result of this, the dogs had
established a large area that they considered "THEIR TERRITORY".
• The police had warned them on numerous occasions to fix the gate and keep the dogsin.
• The Davidson's had not made any attempt to repair the gate.
• The dogs were allowed to run the fence and bark aggressively at neighborhood children who would be playing across the street (The Rotts considered this their territory and the children were looked at as prey or competition to that territory)
I am proud of the fact that I testified (free of charge) for / hours at the Davidson trial and helped put her in prison for years. The DA sent me a letter that he would not have gotten a conviction without my testimony. I would do it again in a similar case.
This article deals with things that can be done to help eliminate child bites in dogs. It’s too late for the young boy in the Davidson case (and I am not sure that the things I am about to talk about would
have saved his life; we will never know.) But there are things that other children can do to lessen their
chances of getting bit by strange dogs or even their own dogs.