Do you leave kids alone with dogs? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you leave your DC alone with your dog?
Yes 69 47.92%
Yes - if DC are "older" (please define older) 39 27.08%
Sometimes 13 9.03%
No 23 15.97%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you leave your kids alone in the same room a s the dog (say - when you go to the washroom, are cooking, etc)

Poll time!
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#2 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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My dog proved herself over a period of many months (over a year). She is rock solid with kids, especially ours.

I know some people will be shocked at this, but if it is really cold (like below zero), and I have to run in to pay for my gas, I leave DD in the car with our dog. It would take a squad of mounted police to get past our dog, so it gives me a feeling of security- and gives DD a feeling of warmth.

I make sure that our dog is supervised if we have other kids over, though. Just because there are more variables in that situation.

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#3 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To answer my own poll:

I have always left my kids in the same room as my dog - even when I am not there. My youngest was 3 when our dog (then a puppy) came into our lives.

Honest to goodness at that point in time I did not realise dogs should not be left with kids - however, it is a moot point. DD never, ever bothered with the dog - or vice versa.

Interestly enough, it is my son (and his friends) who I am least inclined to leave alone with the dog. The like to wrestle (with each other) and "play" with the dog - and they get the dog all excited. His friends genuinely love the dog, but I am afraid one day the rambunctiousness may go too far and someone may get hurt. I have started bringing the dog with me from room to room when they are over - and if they get to be too much, I put the dog in my room. I will also kick the wrestling 12 year olds outside: when the weather gets better.

Knowing what I know now I would never leave a dog alone with a baby, toddler or most preschoolers. Depending on dynamics I might (and do) leave my dog alone with my child if the child is post four.
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#4 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post

I know some people will be shocked at this, but if it is really cold (like below zero), and I have to run in to pay for my gas, I leave DD in the car with our dog. It would take a squad of mounted police to get past our dog, so it gives me a feeling of security- and gives DD a feeling of warmth.

.
If I am in the garden or out and about (my oldest just turned 13), I DO feel a sense of security leaving doggy inside with the kids. The dog can bark at the door something fierce - and is 120 pounds. He would totally scare away intruders, lol.
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#5 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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For the first 6 months my youngest wasn't left alone with Lacie as I didn't trust him to me gentle with her. (I was more worried about the dog being hurt.) Now Lacie is a year + old and ds is 4 1/2 I trust both of them though I still have to warn ds that if he is too joyful (?) around Lacie she might accidentally get him with her paws.
I was watching a friends 6mth old and 3 yr old and neither of them were left with the dog at any time. They both played with Lacie while being watched and had a lovely time.
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#6 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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Nope, never. We have alway had dogs since we've kids and I can honestly say that they have never been left alone together. I trust my dogs completely, but I don't think it is fair to them to set them up for failure by subjecting them to toddlers/ preschoolers who have been taught to treat the doggies with respect, but still have poor impulse control. I'd much rather be in the mix so that I can be 100% that everyone is playing nicely.
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#7 of 81 Old 03-02-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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I've owned three dogs, and fostered or boarded another 6 or 7. Our family dogs, I leave alone with my kids, because of both the dog's personalities and my children's personalities- we've had submissive, obediant dogs and my son has good command over the dogs (they listen to him) and my little girl is a bit standoffish with the dogs (she doesn't really spend time with them). Our foster and boarded dogs? Some of them I've left unsupervised with my son (he was 10 or 11 at the youngest), but none of them I've left unsupervised with my little girl. With the two family dogs I have now, I never leave my Princess alone with visiting children because she has fear and anxiety issues. She's never bit anyone (except for the vet who hurt her when she was injured), and I honestly don't think she would in regular situations, but I would not be completely surprised if she snapped someday if someone terrified her. I don't leave her alone with any visitors, adult or child (except my Father-in-Law- they have their own relationship), for these reasons, for her own good, as well as the visitors. The there's my other dog, Tara. She's the friendliest, most energetic, puppiest dog I've ever known. I will sometimes leave her unsupervised with my son and his friends, because she is my son's shadow and he wouldn't let anyone bother her and because I trust her personality in this situation. I think I would have left her alone with either of my children starting when they were three or four, if it weren't for the fact that she's still very much a puppy and she's more likely to run into them and knock them down, than to snap at them or anything.

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#8 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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My dog and my 11 month old daughter are never left alone. She's growled at her too many times and my daughter is too young to understand boundaries with a pet so for everyone's safety, they're never alone. Plus I keep them apart even under supervision. Daughter's never allowed to climb on or be too close to the dog and the dog isn't allowed to lay down near the baby. Both the baby and the dog are much faster than I can react and I don't want anything to happen to them.
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#9 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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I voted yes if older. I don't have an exact age in mind. Under about 5, absolutely not ever alone. Probably older than that. I don't remember exactly when each of my kids was able to be alone with my dogs. My 11 year old, certainly, although there are other 11 year olds who I wouldn't trust alone with any animal much less a dog.
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#10 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 05:54 AM
 
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My 4, 6 and 8 yos are alone with my dog whenever I leave the room. I come and go, and so do they, and I don't even think about it. That has been the case for about two years.

I trust my dog, and I trust my kids. I've never had a problem with the dog or with the kids, who treat her with utmost respect.

I cannot imagine living where I had to remove the kids or the dog whenever I left the room. Our dog is a part of the family, she knows her boundaries, and the kids know how to treat her.

Of course, something could go wrong, just the same as the kitchen could catch fire or someone could break into the house. I see it as the same sort of 'risk', and I am not prepared to live my life in fear of what freak thing might happen.

Now, if I ever saw any sign in my dog to say that she couldn't be trusted, I'd rethink, but she has been trained well since a puppy, has good bite inhibition, and has never given me even the slightest, tiniest cause for concern. For me, the reason for having a dog is to have her incorporated into our lives. If she's had enough of the action of the household, she goes to her crate, and the kids know to leave her alone if she's in there. If they have friends around who I don't know well, I crate her. Other than that, she's around the kids and me, either playing with them, or doing her own thing. That's how it was for me with dogs growing up, and that's how I want my dog to fit in with our family life.
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#11 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 10:11 AM
 
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I trust my dog with my child. If I need to leave the room for a quick moment, I don't mind leaving them together. If I'm showering or something else that may take a few minutes then I will separate them, mostly to keep ds from feeding the pup his snacks and toys . I wouldn't leave my child alone with another person's dog or my dog alone with another child unless I knew them very, very well.

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#12 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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Starting from about age 3 and up, I am ok leaving the kids with the dog while I run to the bathroom, go upstairs, run out to get the mail/newspaper, etc.. My dog is usually hiding underneath a blanket (11 lb dog) and pretty much stays out of the my kids' way. When they were babies, and I had to go to another part of the house, I would leave the baby in the room (or in the PNP for stuff like this), but have the dog follow me. She is pretty much my dog, so chooses to follow me around most of the time if given the choice.
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#13 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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no, never, ever. I don't trust any dog.

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#14 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kalisis...do you have a dog?
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#15 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kalisis View Post
no, never, ever. I don't trust any dog.
I never leave my dc's alone either. To be fair they are 3 and 1, though. If they were 7, 8, + my answer would probably be different.

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#16 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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I said yes , with older kids. We didnt get a dog until the kids where older thats why. Now I know how my kids treat animals, & I know my animals. I probably wouldnt feel comfortable leaving my dogs alone with someone eles kids mainly b.c I dont know how other kids would treat my dogs.
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#17 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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We did not get a dog until dd was 6 years old.
I did not leave her unsupervised with him until I felt the dog (a puppy) was safe.
At age 8 she is unsupervised with our dogs often.

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#18 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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I don't have a dog, so I didn't vote in the poll. However, I have to say that as people have said before...ANY dog can bite. I think people have said in this forum...there is no such thing as a dog that will not bite, there's only such a thing as a dog that has not yet bitten. And, it doesn't matter how nice the dog/toddler are, there are situations that can arise.

My nephew apparently tripped over something and landed onto the dog (well that is what they *think* happened as nobody was there). The most gentle, good natured golden retriever managed to bite him on the face. This was their family dog. I think he was about 2 1/2 or so (the kid), and he's older now but has what looks like two dimples as scars on one side of his cheek. And, this was their family dog, not an unknown dog.

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#19 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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I must say I am shocked at how many people leave their dogs alone with their children! My dogs are very well trained, obediant, very good natured dogs, never ever had a problem with even a slight growl to anyone or any child but they are NEVER allowed alone with my children. A dog is not a person in a fur coat, they are an animal that still goes on instinct. Any dog has the potential to bite and by allowing young children to be allowed alone with them is just asking for trouble.

Quote:
The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend.
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

and

Quote:
According to the American Medical Association, dog bites are the second leading cause of childhood injury, surpassing playground accidents.
http://www.dogexpert.com/Dog%20Bite%...tatistics.html

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#20 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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For my first two children, "older" meant about 3.

My sometimes babysit an 8yo who is never, ever allowed alone with my dogs. When he's here, I crate the dogs (sometimes wish I could crate the kid!)

My toddler is pretty good with the dogs (and my dogs are great about normal kid stuff,) but he still gives rough hugs and tries to brush them with the hairbrush.

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#21 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Before we adopted our dog (a rescue from a no-kill shelter) I spent hours with her, letting her get to know me, doing basic obedience training, and testing temperament in a variety of situations. I am confident that I can predict her behavior most of the time, and she is submissive to all the humans in our pack, kids included.

That said, I cannot predict the behavior of my kids most of the time, so I would never leave an infant or toddler alone with the dog. My five-year-old has developed enough restraint to be gentle with her most of the time, so I might leave them alone if I step out of the room, but I'm always nearby. I wouldn't leave her unattended with a child not of our "pack" and I would never ever ever let my kids approach any other dog without the owner's permission and both the owner and me physically right there with them.

I may be paranoid, but dog bites can do a lot, a LOT of damage to a child's face.

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#22 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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If I am in the garden or out and about (my oldest just turned 13), I DO feel a sense of security leaving doggy inside with the kids. The dog can bark at the door something fierce - and is 120 pounds. He would totally scare away intruders, lol.
That. My almost 7 year old plays out in the yard alot and my dog is always right beside him. I feel a million times more comfortable about him being outside on his own because of the dog. We've had a situation where the dog has protected him from another dog and I know my kid's safer with the dog than without.

But I don't leave my 2 year old alone with him ever.
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#23 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post

My nephew apparently tripped over something and landed onto the dog (well that is what they *think* happened as nobody was there). The most gentle, good natured golden retriever managed to bite him on the face. This was their family dog. I think he was about 2 1/2 or so (the kid), and he's older now but has what looks like two dimples as scars on one side of his cheek. And, this was their family dog, not an unknown dog.
To be fair, though, that is the kind of accident which could very well have happenned if an adult were in the room.
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#24 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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I must say I am shocked at how many people leave their dogs alone with their children!
My dd is almost 9 years old. I feel comfortable with her and our dogs being alone while I use the bathroom or take laundry to the basement.
Yeah, they could bite her. They are animals. She isn't a stumbly tail pulling toddler though so I consider the risk low.

Angie7- I'm curious what age you feel comfortable with a child being alone with their family dogs?

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#25 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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My son couldn't be trusted not to tease or pinch the dog until he was about 3, so I was very watchful until he grew up some and did not to do that. My daughter never did any of that, so I have always been in and out of the room while she and the dogs are there together.

I trust my dogs and my kids together at this point. I wouldn't have a dog that I felt I had to separate from my kids when I wasn't right there. Sure something could happen- the only thing I could remotely see happening is one of the kids messing up and hurting the dog accidentally, and a reflexive snap. But they are very pain-tolerant and I've never seen them do that with anyone. I know the kids have fallen on them and other startling, painful things, and I have watched them wag their tails. Sure I'd be upset if a bite ever happened. But knowing my kids and my dogs, I feel they're all very safe with each other. I think people should do what works for their families on this.

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#26 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Never thought twice about leaving my DC with our dog. She has been with us since she was a puppy. The sweetest ever with the kids. all kids. When we got her the kids were 2, 4, 6, 8. now they are 3, 5, 7, 9.

I was raised with dogs, always alone with them. I am surprised so many people don't let them alone.

I would be more cautious if any of my kids liked to mess with her at all, of course, or if I didn't trust her. It is also one of the reasons we settled on a puppy and not a rescued older dog. I can't imagine the how hard it would be to keep them separate in our apartment?

I really don't agree with the sentiment that there is only such a thing as a dog who hasn't bit yet?

but that's just me.
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#27 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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My dd is almost 9 years old. I feel comfortable with her and our dogs being alone while I use the bathroom or take laundry to the basement.
Yeah, they could bite her. They are animals. She isn't a stumbly tail pulling toddler though so I consider the risk low.

Angie7- I'm curious what age you feel comfortable with a child being alone with their family dogs?
I'm talking mostly about toddlers/pre-schoolers and children under the age of 10. So I guess there is my age, 10, maybe A lot depends on the children. My twins are turning 3 next week and are probably better at animals in general then most. They know how to approach a dog without me telling them, they know not to pull tails, fur, etc. but I still would never leave them alone! You just never know. I use to do rescue work with Great Danes and have seen the best of dogs turn in an instant. It happens, no matter how much you trust your dog or can "predict" (I love that one) your dog's behavior, you can't and if you really think you can, can you send me the winning lotto #s b/c you are psychic!!!

If you read any headlines of a child that was hurt or even killed by a family dog you will always read the famous line "but he was such a good dog, I would never think he would bite" It's not a safe assumption that our pet dog will not bite.

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#28 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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Yes, I do. Well, not the "new" dog, b/c he hasn't been here long enough.
But, Sadie has been with us about a year. And she's a very gentle, submissive dog. My non-verbal son has kenneled her up before, by grunting and pointing at her crate door. Very very submissive, and after LOTS of supervised play time with the kiddos, and watching her intaract with them(and vice versa) I am comfortable leaving them alone in the living room while I'm in the kitchen, or throw a load of wash in.

I don't leave the floor though, although, that's more b/c I don't trust the kids! Not the dog, lol. I know I'd come back to a huge mess if I got too far out of sight, or out of earshot!
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#29 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
If you read any headlines of a child that was hurt or even killed by a family dog you will always read the famous line "but he was such a good dog, I would never think he would bite" It's not a safe assumption that our pet dog will not bite.
Actually, when I read of a dog biting a kid it's almost always a pit bull attack. I know some nice pits and I'm not trying to say anything bad about the breed, but when I read a dog bite story around here that's what kind it is. I rarely read the line you said, either. Usually, I read something about how somebody had been trying to get somebody else to get rid of the dogs and how they were tied up outside or something. As a matter of fact, I just googled our local TV station for dog bite stories and in only one of the 10 stories did the dog belong to the family of the victim. Most were neighbor's dogs. A few were strays or loose dogs. One was the victim's aunt and uncle's dog. Of the attacking dogs, 2 were German Shepherds, 1 Great Dane, 1 Rottweiler, 1 English bulldog (the family pet), and 5 pit bulls. In none of the stories did I read anyone saying the dog was such a good dog and would never bite.

That's all highly anecdotal, though, and I'm sure there are stats out there. The previous link about the dogs belonging to the family OR friends doesn't separate out which one, though, so it's meaningless to this discussion because most everyone has said they wouldn't leave their dogs alone with other children only their own. It may be that most of the 77% figure is friend's dogs or extended family members dogs (which is entirely different in my book than the family pet) and only a small minority is the immediate family's pet. Someone can do more research and try to track it down. I imagine it's out there somewhere.

I have left my kids and dogs alone whenever my kids would tolerate it from birth. My kids, however, were very, very high needs with a lot of separation anxiety, so that probably amounts to when my older dd1 was about 4 or 5 yrs old and my younger dd2 about 2 yrs old or so. These were adult dogs who were very tolerant with excellent bite inhibition. We have a puppy now to go along with one adult dog (our older one passed away) and I have left them many many times with my kids, but I'm never far and the kids are 8 and 5. If my girls were littler I probably would try to avoid leaving a 2 or 3 yr old with the puppy because the puppy is very jumpy, not because my girls would play to rough with her. My girls are very gentle. It's the puppy I'm more worried about. Truth be told, though, I would try to avoid having a puppy and toddlers at the same time. More than I can handle, but kudos to those of you who can!

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#30 of 81 Old 03-03-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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Actually, when I read of a dog biting a kid it's almost always a pit bull attack. I know some nice pits and I'm not trying to say anything bad about the breed, but when I read a dog bite story around here that's what kind it is.
Ah the breed card....Here are some quotes

Quote:
Mixed breeds and not pure bred dogs are the type of dog most often involved in inflicting bites to people. The pure-bred dogs most often involved are German shepherds and Chow chows.
and
Quote:
The breeds most often involved in fatal attacks are Rottweilers and Pit bulls.
*bolded mine*

Pits are potentially more likely to kill you if they attack but they don't bite the most..The news isn't going to tell you about a bite but rather a death over a dog.

Quote:
The median age of patients bitten was 15 years, with children, especially boys aged 5 to 9 years, having the highest incidence rate
The odds that a bite victim will be a child are 3.2 to 1. (CDC.)
Children seen in emergency departments were more likely than older persons to be bitten on the face, neck, and head. 77% of injuries to children under 10 years old are facial.
Severe injuries occur almost exclusively in children less than 10 years of age.
The majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place.
The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the victim's family or a friend.
When a child less than 4 years old is the victim, the family dog was the attacker half the time (47%), and the attack almost always happened in the family home (90%).
The face is the most frequent target
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

I'm not really going to debate this as I have the proof on my side. I have trained many, many dogs, rescued over who knows how many Great Dane's, helped transfer many more, worked with some of the best trainers in my town and know that dogs will turn and to never trust a dog around your precious child. No trainer would tell you that it is okay to leave your dog with your child. You are asking for something terrible to happen. I hope that nothing ever does but you're taking a huge risk with your children.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
angie7 is offline  
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