According to the Canada Safety Council, studies show that the in 71 percent of dog bite cases the victim knew the dog and 25 percent lived with the dog. Out of those, 64 percent of dog bite injuries were children under the age of 10. Parents can take a large “bite” out of these high incidence rates simply by learning some basic guidelines that will help their children avoid getting bitten by their own dogs as well as educating their children to be safe around other dogs.
Tips for parents:
- Never leave a child or baby alone with a dog.
- When visiting friends or relatives, who have a dog, don’t allow your child to play in the yard unsupervised.
- Do not allow your child to feed a dog unsupervised, as some dogs can be very protective of food and never allow your dog to snatch food from your child.
- Do not allow your child to pull on the dog’s collar to lead it outside the house – it could bite them.
- Children without adult supervision should not be allowed to walk a dog. A child could unwittingly be dragged into a fight with another dog.
- Never let children discipline a dog.
- Your child should always precede your dog through a door or gate.
- Never buy a dog as a toy substitute. Dogs are living, breathing creatures with feelings.
Rules for children:
- Never pat a strange dog, even if its owner is present.
- Stay away from a dog while it’s eating and sleeping.
- Stop your bike if chased while riding.
- Never retrieve a ball from someone else’s yard.
- If visiting a friend, who has a dog, ask them to put the dog away if you want to play.
- Stay away from a dog that has puppies.
- Stay away from a dog that is tied up.
- Never pull a dog’s tails or ears – dogs feel pain too.
- Never tease a dog or make it angry.
- Stand totally still if a dog runs at you barking. Cover your face with your hands.
- If knocked to the ground by a dog, roll into a ball, cover your face with your arms and stay as still as you possibly can. Don’t try to get up.
This information and more is featured in the book “The Bark Busters Guide to Dog Behaviour and Training” and the Bark Busters child safety video “Dally Says”. More information can be obtained by contacting your local behaviour therapist at 1-866-418-4584 / Cell: 613-531-2546, or by visiting barkbusters.ca