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Child Dogbite Prevention

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All parents fear their children being bitten by a dog so today we are going to offer a few tips to help you prevent a dog biting your child. In America there are estimates that the number of people bitten by a dog runs as high as slightly less than five million annually. Of this number the percentage of those bitten who are children is again estimated to be at least half the five million total. Approximately 775,000 of these dog bites require medical attention. Knowing how to prevent a dog biting your child is important for dog owners and non-dog owners alike, so read on for a few tips to help prevent this happening to your child.

It is important to understand the fact that if a dog is so vicious that they mean to harm a child (eg, part of a wild dog pack) there are few options unless you are armed, and prepared to defend yourself against the dog. As this is not a practical or normal situation, the first thing to do to prevent a dog biting your child is teach your child to never approach a strange dog when they are at the playground,  playing in your neighborhood, basically any time you are not right there with them.

Even when you are hand and hand with your child a dog can very quickly bite, so if a dog comes up to you move the child behind you and never turn and flee. Many dogs will instinctively chase someone running away from them so teach your child not to do this. Stand your ground and speak firmly to the dog while maintaining eye contact with the dog. Most dogs are going to feel intimidated by this and back away.

Instruct your child to never mess with a dog while he or she is eating, never rush up on a sleeping dog startling the dog, and even a family pet that has puppies will lash out at anyone who makes sudden movements towards the pups.

If there is an incident where a dog does come at you and your child with the obvious intent of attacking, use anything you have such as your purse, jacket, cap, or bike if you are riding as an obstacle between you and the dog. I would suggest carrying a can of pepper spray or mace as one of the most effective methods for scaring the dog away.

With prior thought you can be prepared and also prepare your child with the knowledge so there is hopefully not a need to prevent a dog biting your child.

Have you been bitten by a dog? Please share this article with others on Facebook and Twitter so we can keep our children safe.

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  1. Avatar Of Ron Miller

    Ron Miller


    Thanks for all those excellent suggestions!

    The “stand your ground” worked for me once when my oldest son was a toddler. A stray dog charged us, barking and snarling. I got may son behind me just in time, and the dog stopped so close to me that I could feel his breath on my leg (summertime, wearing shorts) as he barked and snarled.

    Intellectually I was terrified, but didn’t show any emotional fear. If anything, I was angry and ready to defend us — “father’s instinct”, I guess.

    Maybe that’s what the dog picked up on, and the fact that I was staring it down, “daring” it to do something, because he fairly quickly backed off.

    I wouldn’t recommend that approach normally, but in an emergency like that, you do what you can.

    I don’t go for those walks anymore without a can of pepper spray. Fortunately nothing similar has ever happened again.

  2. Avatar Of Andrew



    Rule I have is never approach a dog but let the dog approach you.

  3. Avatar Of Jan Tadeo

    Jan Tadeo


    If there are dogs roaming in your neighborhood, I would add the suggestion of carrying a collaspable umbrella. Opening one quickly will surprise the dog (sometimes scaring it off) and put a visual barrier between you and the dog.

  4. Avatar Of Cheri



    Good Advice! My 5 yr old granddaughter is a total dog lover. Almost obsessively. When she meets anyone, the first question she is” do you have a dog? then it’s “what is your dogs name?” Finally, “can I come to your house?”

    But, if she sees the dog right there in person, she goes straight to it, and it’s a little hard to convince her that a dog might not like her back! Most of the time, she does ask permission to pet it, but it’s usually while she’s already reaching for it.

    How do I convince her that all dogs may not love her as much as she loves them without scaring her, or totally discouraging her enthusiasm for pets???

    I got her a camera, thinking she could take a dogs photo, that might slow down her rush to love them physically, but I haven’t implemented that yet. Possible? silly? don’t know, I just don’t want to squash her affection.

    • Avatar Of Samantha Law

      Samantha Law


      What I do is tell him to count to 10 when he sees a dog he wants to pet and then ask the owner if he can pet the dog. The counting slows him down and prevents that reach. Surprisingly it works! I also have asked that when he sees a dog that he wants to pet to first tell me three things he likes about the dog and then ask me if he can pet it (and I’ll ask the owner). It’s all a guessing game but I hope one of these works for you. I prefer the second one, I like dogs too so we get to have a discussion about the dogs together.

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