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Old 05-07-2009, 04:23 AM   #1

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May National Dog Bite Month

Don’t forget that any dog has potential to bite a child

Bill Wilson
Wed, May 6, 2009 (6:02 p.m.)

Bill Wilson

May is National Dog Bite Prevention Month. This started me thinking that in my 20 years of emergency calls, few things were more sad than a child who had become permanently disfigured by a dog bite. My thoughts turned to my three-year-old son and our family dog, a beautiful boxer named Browny, both of whom love each other. Could this tragedy occur in my home? After reading several dog bite prevention articles by such organizations as The American Pediatric Association and The American Kennel Club, I learned the answer to my question was a definite yes.
Every dog has ingrained in its DNA aggression that is used for self defense, hunting, protecting its food and offspring. The nicest dog in the world has the potential to bite people or other dogs. Last year close to 5 million dog bites were reported in the United States.
Practice the following tips to help prevent this tragedy.
  • Dogs do not like hugs and kisses — We cannot stress this strongly enough. Say it over to yourself 1,000 times. It doesn't matter if your dog is a Newfoundland or a Yorkie. Don't think that your dog is an exception to this, because you are wrong and you are setting your child and your dog up for potential tragedy. Teach your kids not to hug or kiss the dog on the face. Hugging the family dog or face-to-face contact are common causes of bites to the face. Teach your kids to scratch the dog on the chest or on the side of the neck — most dogs do enjoy this. If your child is a toddler or does not follow instructions, then do not allow access to the dog unless you have your hands on the dog.
  • Be a tree if a strange dog approaches — Teach kids to stand still like a tree. Trees are boring and the dog will eventually go away. This works for strange dogs and even your own dog if he is getting to frisky or becomes aggressive. If a dog does attack teach your child to role up into a ball and keep hands over their ears.
  • Supervise — Do not assume that your dog is good with kids, even if it has never bitten before. Never leave a young child unsupervised with a dog. Never allow any child to play unsupervised with multiple dogs. If a toddler must interact with your dog, you should have your hands on the dog too.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:05 AM   #2
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I enjoyed Patricia McConnell's book the other end of a leash. Primates are huggers, canines aren't. They tolerate a lot, but there is an end.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:46 PM   #3
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Therapy Dogs International stresses this. Never tell anyone that your dog DOESN'T BITE. If dogs have teeth, they CAN bite. When doing therapy work, we must always have our dogs on leash and be in contact with the dog while others pet them.
Love me; Love my dog
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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thanks for sharing and reminding us.
rest in peace my little Nikko. until we meet again. momma misses you and her heart aches every time she thinks of you, wishing you were still here to play with Joey and Elsa.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:04 PM   #5
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The one thing the article missed is teaching children how to approach a dog and how to pet it. It does mention to pet the dog on the chest, but I would contend that it brings the child in close proximity to the dog's face (ahem teeth) and should therefore be discouraged as first contact. I always teach children to let the dog approach them, using your hand outstretch in front of you, curl your fingers under so that they look like a paw and let the dog sniff the hand. If the dog moves in towards the child the child can then pat them gently on the shoulder and work their way down to the chest area once both dog and child are comfortable with each other. I also teach children to be very quiet, saying that dog's have very sensitive ears and loud noises frighten them.

But still, a good article.

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