A large percentage of American homes include a four-legged furball as part of the family. Dogs are adorable and earned the title of “man’s best friend.” However, they can also pose a threat to not just strangers but children in the family.
The ASPCA warns that any size and breed of dog can become a biter. Parents might have a difficult time convincing other dog owners of this as most people refuse to see their pets as threats. Consequently, parents might find they must do even more to protect their children from dogs.
When to be careful
There are specific times when dogs might become more likely to act aggressively than others. These include when engaged in the following behaviors:
- Caring for smaller dogs
- Eating a meal or chewing on a bone
- Startled or frightened
Why children face risks
Dogs love children. Unlike adults, children are closer to their sizes. Children also tend to engage in more playful behaviors, such as chasing. Unfortunately, because children are small and helpless, dogs often feel superior and treat children accordingly.
NBC16 also warns that what children view as playful behavior, some dogs see as threatening. For instance, a child might back a dog into a corner or reach over to hug the dog. If it sees these behaviors as threatening, it might attack.
Ultimately, dog owners remain responsible for properly socializing dogs and keeping them a safe distance from children and other people. Because many dog owners do not take these responsibilities seriously, parents might also consider teaching children how to avoid strange dogs and how to react if a dog becomes aggressive.