Jeff Tinsley is the owner and behavior therapist at Sound Animals Dog Training. He specializes in rescue/shelter dogs, and behavior modification. His nearly 20 years of experience working with anxiety, fear, and aggression issues.
Why do dogs bite kids?
Number one victim of dog bites is kids. Why is that? Because children behave in ways that dogs do not understand. You can’t train every child how to interact with your dog, but you can train your dog on how to interact with children.
One of the biggest mistakes that we can make as dog owners is to assume that all parents have trained their kids how to properly behave around dogs. It is a common assumption, which can often lead to dangerous outcomes. Instead, we need to focus on training our dogs to be bulletproof around kids. You just cannot afford to assume that a child is going to know how to be around a dog. You have to make sure your dog is safe around children.
Click here for some tips from Jeff on how to teach your dog to like kids.
Keeping your dog safe when interacting with children:
If you plan on spending time with kids your dog may not be familiar with, make sure your dog knows that biting, mouthing and even jumping on children is not an option. Make sure your dog is always supervised when around children, especially those he may not know. Stop all unsafe interactions.
Educate your children. As a parent, even if you do not have a dog in your house, you need to teach your child about dogs. It is important to teach them to recognize different forms of body language. Instruct them on how to say hello to a dog and how to pet a dog the safe way. As most children get excited when they see animals, it is crucial to teach them not to run up to strange dogs or enter someone’s property if they have a strange dog, as well as what to do if a dog is chasing them.