Children and dogs: what parents need to consider

Dogs are great playmates and family animals. But again and again they are also a danger: Every year in Germany an estimated 30, 000 to 50, 000 bites have to be treated by a doctor, and far more than half of those treated are children. Bite injuries in children are more severe than in adults because dogs bite small children more frequently in the neck or head, especially in cheeks and lips.

In summer, number of dog bites increases in children

Dogs bite especially often in the warm summer months. Why this is so, there are so far only assumptions: In warm weather, children play more often outside and spend perhaps more time with dogs, it could also be that the Verbeiner at higher temperatures are generally irritable and the heat "permissive "exposed skin areas provide an additional stimulus.

Integrate the dog into the family

When dogs bite, the pet's fun is quickly gone. If dogs are to find their place in families with small children, then rules are required that are complied with. Children can learn how to deal with dogs in an appropriate manner, to respect them as animals with innate instincts and to take responsibility for them.

If parents and children properly assess the behavior of dogs and spend enough time raising their four-legged friend, the dog can become a valuable family member.

10 rules for dealing with dogs

1. Consider each dog as an individual being!
Every dog ​​is different. The breed alone does not say anything about how the individual animal behaves at certain moments. A good eye for the behavior of the animal helps to recognize critical situations in time. Alien dogs should generally approach children and adults with caution, as each dog has its own characteristics as well as its own experiences with children.

2. Never annoy the dog!
Eyes, ears, muzzle and nose are very sensitive areas for the dog. Some dogs do not like caressing, pulling or playing with these parts of the body.

3. Never disturb a dog while eating!
Dogs react like game animals: if they have something to eat, they defend their "prey". Every disruption is considered an attack. The dog defends his food by growling and biting.

4. Patent recipes do not apply!
"Dogs that bark, do not bite" - this rule is wrong, barking dog also snatch too. Children should learn to keep an eye on the overall situation instead of blindly trusting alleged rules.

5. Do not interfere when dogs are shouting!
Dogs who get their hair are out of whack. Children should not engage in combat because they are not strong enough to move the animals apart.

6. Keep still when a dog snaps shut!
When a dog snaps at a child, the child should stay as still and quiet as possible and not look at the dog. If it tears off the clipped hand, then the dog reinforces only the bite. On the other hand, something that does not move quickly becomes uninteresting to the dog and he abandons it.

7. Do not caress strangers automatically!
A dog, the z. B. leashed in front of a shop may not be petted. The dog owner should always be asked in advance. Children should approach other dogs slowly from the front and wait for the animal to contact itself. Even after the owner's permission, the dog should only be touched if the dog looks calmly and wags his tail. Caress strange dogs cautiously on the side of the neck, never on top of the head. First, walk slowly from the side to the dog, keeping your hands lowered and let the dog sniff first. It's better not to stare the dog directly in the eye - it could make him feel threatened.

8. Do not run away from dogs!
Dogs like to run and hunt; they want to catch a runaway child. Therefore: stay and move away from the dog; no shouting or hectic movements. A standing, immobile person quickly becomes uninteresting for the dog. If a dog comes suddenly to the child, it should stop immediately, look away, do not scream and let the arms hang loose. If it has toys like a ball or a stick, let it drop. Hinge traps? Then best "dead" - flat on the stomach or like an embryo rolled into a ball and hands folded over the neck for protection.
Do not forget: always with distance - outside the "Schnapp range" - pass or drive a dog.

9. Baby on the way? Prepare the dog!
When a birth is due, the rules change in the house - and the dog should already train several weeks in advance so that he is prepared and does not feel the baby as a competitor. What the dog should learn:

  • Playful biting into human body parts is taboo
  • The children's room may not be entered anymore or only on explicit invitation
  • Children's toys are not dog toys

When the baby is there: Never leave the dog alone with the baby.

10. Children also have to be considerate!
From the earliest crawling age, children have to learn that the dog is not always ready to play and that there are a few items in the household that are only for the dog. The dog blanket or the basket are taboo, as is the dog toy and food bowl for the child.

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