When children encounter an adorable dog, they may expect playful chasing and sweet kisses.
However, not all dogs appreciate the adoration of small humans. Because children cannot always interpret dog behavior accurately, they are 3-5 times more susceptible to dog bite injuries than adults.
1. Feelings of pain or anxiety
Dogs cannot tell you when they feel bad, and young children may not be able to discern when their pet is unwell. Attempting to pet, hug or snuggle a dog in pain can result in unexpected snapping or biting.
Additionally, dogs who suffer from anxiety may react in situations where they encounter loud noises or unpredictable movements.
2. Threats to food or toys
Depending on the breed and history of a dog, he or she may be extra protective of food or toys. When children disrupt dinnertime, dogs may respond aggressively due to the encroachment on their territory. If you have a playful youngster and a territorial dog, you should take measures to protect them both by ensuring your dog can eat and play in peace.
3. Playtime miscommunications
Some dogs love endless playtime, and others get over it quickly. When dogs feel annoyed, they display specific behaviors such as turning away, curling their lips or growling. Continuing to jump on a dog, pulling the tail or grabbing the ears may provoke a tired animal to bite.
To keep your kids safe when interacting with dogs, you can teach them how to be cautious and respectful of animals’ boundaries. Additionally, study canine behavior and learn the best practices for playing with your own pets or any dogs you meet on other peoples’ property.