Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dog Safety

Did you know that young boys are at the greatest risk of dog bites?

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:
  1. Always ask a dog's owner if it's OK to approach or pet the dog
  2. Slowly hold out your hand when meeting a dog
  3. Never try to reach into a crate, yard, or fenced-in area to pet a dog
  4. If the dog starts growling, showing teeth or holding back his ears, stay back
  5. Never tease a dog
  6. Remain quiet and still -- like a tree -- if a dog chases or jumps at you
  7. Stay away from sleeping or eating dogs

For more great info, click here and here.

Have you boys ever gotten into trouble with a dog?


  1. Unfortunately, yes.

    Our very sweet, normally very gentle, dog, Sarge, bit Logan when he was about 3. Logan had taken out some food for Sarge to eat in a bucket and set it down for him. I wasn't too far away and was watching.

    The whole thing happened as if in slow motion. I guess Logan decided that he should move the bucket because he reached for it and as he tried to move it, Sarge shoved him onto the ground and bit his knee. Hard. It was bleeding and somewhat mauled. Needless to say, we had to get rid of Sarge, which wasn't fun.

    Logan still has scars on his leg and it took months for him to not be afraid to go outside. He does fine around dogs he knows, but I think he still has an instinctual hesitation now when meeting a new dog.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear that, Sarah. My third son had a "dog incident" when he was about 3. The boys were all out playing in the snow when a big neighbor's dog came over and jumped on him. I think the dog was being playful, but my son was terrified and my older two sons actually had to drag the dog off him. (One of those days when I was proud to see my boys actually looking out for one another!)

    To this day -- three years later -- he's leery of bigger dogs. It's gotten better, but let's put it this way: I'm glad Grandma got a small dog!