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The key to assuring your dog never attacks one of the family kids, or any other child for that matter, is selecting the right breed, and behavioral training of the dog as well as the children.
Some breeds of dog are not suited for the boisterous play and activities when in the presence of children. These breeds are not the large, aggressive type of dogs most people commonly associate with a biting or attack concern. Yes, a few of the large breeds should be avoided, but the vast majority of dog/child incidents fall to the smaller breeds of dogs. The meanest dogs I have ever run across have almost always been small in size.
One area where you as the parent must exert you authority over the child and dog is teaching both there are behaviors to be followed when they are around each other, or serious consequences will result. This should be a common sense issue. Sadly, many parents just breeze past this because they either do not know how to take charge, or they do not feel there is a need to do so. Any child with a dog must know how to treat the dog properly so as not to challenge or anger the dog into responding with aggression.
This also applies to the dog that must be taught he or she is not the “top dog” in the family, and has to behave according to YOUR rules.
Please teach the children and the dog these important lessons. If you do so, any child with a dog will be safe and protected.
How do your children behave when around dogs? Please leave comments below.
Great comment, Dianne. We never left our children alone with the dogs either, until we knew that both were properly trained. When children are infants, it seems almost all dogs have a sixth sense about the child, and tolerate things they wouldn’t from an older child or adult. For instance, grabbing a handful of fur instead of petting. Thank God for that, because it usually happens in an instant, with no forewarning.
As much as I trusted my lab which I had for 15 years, and NEVER had an issue with, I ALWAYS was there when young children were around. Not so much because I didn’t trust my dog, but more so to make sure the child treated her gently, and lovingly.
Kids need to learn how to treat animals, and they learn this from us. They should not be allowed to do whatever they want to them.