I didn't either -- and I probably should, since my parents got a dog this year and I have two boys that fall smack-dab in the five- to nine-years-old age group, the group most at-risk.
Young kids are vulnerable simply because of their proximity to animals; most children are at mouth-height to dogs. And young boys, in particular, tend to be loud, impulsive and physical. (I bet you already knew that.)
Keep your boys safe by teaching some basic dog etiquette:
- Always ask a dog's owner if it's OK to approach or pet the dog
- Slowly hold out your hand when meeting a dog
- Never try to reach into a crate, yard, or fenced-in area to pet a dog
- If the dog starts growling, showing teeth or holding back his ears, stay back
- Never tease a dog
- Remain quiet and still -- like a tree -- if a dog chases or jumps at you
- Stay away from sleeping or eating dogs
Have you boys ever gotten into trouble with a dog?