Annually, millions of people are bitten by dogs. The age group with the most bites is of course children, with the highest incidence of dog-bite injuries occurring in the five to nine year-old age range. With this information in mind, it is important for adults to have an understanding of the preventative measures they can take to keep their children from being bitten by a dog.
If your family plans to adopt a dog from a shelter, make sure to inquire about the dogs past well-being and temperament with staff members. Canines with a history of aggression are not suitable in homes with small children, or in large neighborhoods.
Before adopting a new dog and bringing it home, assess the dog’s interaction with both people and with other dogs. If you notice that children exhibit fear or apprehension around the dog, this is typically a trigger that the dog is aggressive. If a dog does not play well with other canines, this may also be a nod to the dog’s aggressive tendencies.
Teaching a child how to approach an unknown dog…
It is important that a child knows not to be the first to approach an unknown dog. If the dog approaches the child, allow it to sniff them before interacting with it. Children typically like to hug dogs around the neck, grab at their faces, or kiss their necks. These tendencies aggravate some dogs, and can result in a bite. Teaching children appropriate petting techniques is a good way to ensure that the interaction is mutually enjoyable.
Teaching a child to understand a dog’s body language…
It can be helpful for children to understand how to read a dog’s body language. Dogs often exhibit certain kinds of body language to warn people that they are uncomfortable with an individual’s approach or energy. If a child doesn’t seem to understand this type of body langauge, a dog may feel his only recourse is to bite.
Some examples of body language that indicate an aggressive dog might include stiff posture, growling, or a raised tail. Similarly, overly freightened dogs who avoid contact with unknown humans may use agression as a means of reacting to be interacting with. Tell your child that if a dog exhibits these signs while they are interacting, that the child should back away and break eye contact. Counsel your child to never scream or run away from a dog, as those motions may exacerbate a dog’s urge to bite. Similarly, don’t allow a child to tease a dog, especially if he is eating or playing with a food bowl, toy, or bone. While it is important for a parent to teach a child preventative measures for playing with dogs, it is ultimately the dog owners responsibility to supervise any interactions the dog has with outsiders.
Dog Bite Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been bitten by an agressive dog? In Missouri, a dog owner whose unprovoked dog attacks another person who is lawfully on the property — may be held strictly liable for all the harms and losses resulting from that dog bite. If you are the victim of a Missouri dog bite, it is in your best interests to speak immediately with an experienced and aggressive Missouri dog bite lawyer. We have years of extensive experienced handling dog bite cases in Missouri. Call us today to discuss your potential case at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH.