While any pet dog has the potential to injure a small child, the risk becomes a little greater when the breed of dog is a large one, and more kids under the age of 14 have been bitten by dogs than in any other age group.
However, take note of these simple and sensible precautions if your kids are going to be around a large dog, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be perfectly safe:
- Never let small kids take a large dog for a walk
While this may seem obvious to many, there are those who assume that if the dog is friendly and well behaved, then there is no issue with letting tinier tots take them for a walk. However, all dogs get excited from time to time and can behave in a manner that could lead to your child getting hurt and your dog running away.
While good leash training reduces the risk of an accident occurring, no child under the age of 10 or who doesn’t weigh more than the dog, should ever take a large dog for a walk unsupervised.
- Don’t leave young children alone with large dogs
This is a big no-no, and the reasons should be infinitely clear. Any number of incidents can occur between a dog and a child when they’re left unattended, no matter how well you think you know or pet, or how well trained they are.
If your pet doesn’t behave well around kids, then you may want to think about enlisting the help of a qualified dog trainer to ensure the safety of both your kids and your dog.
- Try to stop your dog from knocking a small child over
Larger breeds of dog are often clumsy due to their size, and while this may sometimes be amusing and entertaining for adults, it can result in a small child being knocked over or injured by items dislodged by the dog.
Train your dog to behave well inside your home and secure any larger items that they might accidentally knock over, to help prevent any small children from being harmed.
- Restrict your dogs’ access to certain areas of your home
Having ‘safe zones’ where your kids can play without the risk of harm from any pets, is a great idea, and while you can of course let kids and dogs be together while under your supervision, this will not always be possible or convenient. If you can’t have separate rooms for your dog, then you can always erect barriers that will prevent your dog from accessing certain parts of your home.
Having dogs and kids grow up together can make for a wonderful experience for both parties, but if you don’t recognize the potential risk of having a large dog around your kids, then you could be in for a nasty surprise one day.