My heart races and my stomach drops out every time I read a story about a child or adult being mauled by a dog. Many times the dog has been a friendly, good family dog, so it’s nothing short of shocking and tragic when an attack happens.
How can you stay safe if a dog attacks? Clutch magazine offers some basics from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,
- Teach your child to read your pet’s body language and identify signs that your pet wants to be left alone. More information is provided in the ASPCA’s “Reading Canine Body Postures” guidelines.
- Teach your child how to protect himself from an overexcited pet by demonstrating the basics of dog bite prevention, such as rolling into a ball, protecting hands and face and calling for help, rather than running or screaming if he’s chased by a dog.
- Teach your dog to respond to the word “Stop” and encourage your child to practice using that word when appropriate.
- Don’t let your child’s friends bring their pets into your home without adult supervision.
- Teach your child to leave your pet alone when she retreats to a bed or crate that you’ve designated as a pet’s “safe spot.”
Teaching a child to roll into a ball is extraordinarily important. And always… safety first!
(The photo up there is of my little dog Cocoa. She’s the alpha dog!)