I wanted to get a dog for my child, but I was afraid a dog would bite. I guess this was fear from my youth when I was bitten by a dog. Not to let past experiences guide my future life, I determined to get a dog, but I did a lot of work to make sure they weren’t going to be a biter.
I researched the type of dog that would be better suited to our family. I didn’t want to adopt one based on what I thought looked cute or cuddly or whatever.
I talked to a vet to get advice on what breeds might be better suited to a family with small children, and asked about breeds that were less likely to bite.
I found talking to the vet really helpful because he also made several other suggestions to make sure the dog we got did not bite.
The vet told me to make sure that my dog is well trained and socialized so that he will respond consistently to commands. He said doing this will reduce the chance of behavior problems.
He stressed the importance of continuous socialization of my dog along with providing him with plenty of opportunities to exercise.
He said that letting a dog exercise regularly not only helps them to be conditioned physically, but stimulates them mentally.
My vet emphasized the importance of play, but not too over-stimulating because it will make them wilder. He emphasized how we should always use a leash when we take him in public. The best bit of advice he gave us specifically applied to dog bites.
He said to have myself and my kids exercise caution in the following situations:
When approaching a strange dog, make sure the dog sees and sniffs you before you try to pet it.
Don’t turn your back to an unfamiliar dog or try to run away. Due to natural instinct, many dogs will give chase.
Don’t attempt to interact with a dog that is eating, sleeping, or playing with a toy or bone, or a mother who is with her puppies.
If you see a dog become rigid and freeze in place, stand with her front legs apart, but bent and lowers her head looking directly at you, or if they show their teeth, these are signs that the dog is about to bite.
If you think a dog is posing a threat try to avoid eye contact with the dog and keep still. You should try to keep your hands at you side so the dog does not misinterpret any of your moves.
Anytime the dog gets too close offer them something you may be holding, a phone, newspaper or even a back pack.
If for some reason you find yourself on the ground roll up into a ball and act like you are dead. Protect your ears with your hands and do not let out a sound. Resist yelling or shouting for help.
If for some reason the dog backs off, back away slowly, do not turn around and run.