How to Teach Your Children How Avoid Being Bitten by a Dog

We recently settled a case for a client who was visiting a friend.  She reached over to pet their small dog and was horribly surprised when the little dog lunged forward and bit her on the nose.  The teeth were sharp and the bite deep, and the injury to her face required plastic surgery and left a permanent scar right in the center of her face.  We ended up settling the case for nearly $200,000.

Even though our client got a great financial result, you really don’t want your child to go through the pain, trauma, and possibly lifelong fear of a dog bite.

Here is a copy of our recent dog bite lawsuit client’s review of our firm:

What an amazing team! Jeff was extremely helpful, compassionate, and understanding to my situation, and circumstances. He was very proactive and dedicated in his representation. Excellent, and proficient communication through out the process. I would highly recommend Jeff for anyone needing representation. Thank you!

How to Teach Your Child to Avoid Getting a Dog Bite

adult black pug
Photo by Charles on

A dog is a great pet for any family. They are loyal, playful and they can also protect your loved ones. However, they sometimes get triggered or provoked and their natural instinct is to bite. Accidents like dog bites can be easily prevented. The key is to teach your kids how to properly interact with your dog. Here are some useful tips:

The First Meeting

The initial interaction between your kid and your new dog takes place during visits to a breeder or shelter. Yet, once the dog moves in, he needs some time to adjust to his new environment. It’s vital to talk to your children about helping your dog feel comfortable in your home. Your kids should:

Give the dog some space. An excited kid can easily make a dog feel overwhelmed before he’s comfortable with accepting attention. Allow your dog to sniff around the house to get acquainted with his new abode.

The dog should be the one to initiate interaction. If the dog’s arrival is his first meeting with your kid, tell him/ her to be still, and hold out a closed fist for your dog to sniff. If the dog responds positively, then let your kid touch him. However, if the dog seems nervous or shy, explain to your kid that the dog is still adjusting to his new home. Furthermore, tell your kid that with a little patience and love, they will become best friends in no time.

Teach your children that even a small dog can have a fierce bite!

What Not to Do

It’s also equally important to explain to your kid what not to do with any dog, new or otherwise. There are certain behaviors to avoid to prevent stress and possible injuries to both the child and dog. The following are some things to avoid:

Do not run and shout

Whether during play or out of fear, a shrieking, running kid triggers a dog to chase and bite.  

  • Do not hug/ squeeze the dog

The dog may not perceive it as an affectionate gesture. He could feel threatened, especially if the kid’s face is near his. Instead, tell your child to kiss his/ her own hand and gently pat your dog with the “kiss”. Remember that toddlers won’t know the difference between a soft pat and a strong thwack. Therefore, you must carefully supervise them.

  • Do not play rough

Some children see dogs as hobby-horses. A dog may tolerate such disrespectful behavior, but he shouldn’t have to. A child should also not wrestle, straddle, or lie on top of the dog. These certain actions can elicit a painful reaction such as biting.

  • Do not tease a dog

Kids sometimes like to see dogs react to being poked, blown at, or other forms of teasing. They must learn from the start that teasing is cruel and can be dangerous if your dog retaliates.

  • Don’t disturb a sleeping or eating dog

Food aggression in dogs should not be tolerated but kids should also learn to let dogs eat in peace. Furthermore, pestering or startling a sleeping dog can trigger an angry or fearful reaction. Tell kids to leave sleeping dogs alone.

Even though dogs of a breed can vary greatly in temperament, please don’t buy a dog for your family of a breed that is known to have a higher than average propensity for attack.

Pit Bull Bite and Attack Statistics