How to Protect Child From Dog Attack: Child SAFETY Guide

How to protect child from dog attack? Playgrounds are supposed to be your family’s favorite pastime spots.

While the kids run about, you can read a book or listen to music while keeping an eye on them.

Dogs may be seen doing their own things in playgrounds. They might play fetch, stroll with their owners, or learn new tricks through obedience training.

Most of the time dogs and kids get along fine, but what do you do when there is an aggressive dog in the playground?

How do you protect your child from a dangerous or potentially deadly dog attack?

How To Protect Child From a Dog Attack

Teach children how to approach dogs
Most dog contacts are fun, happy occasions. Training your children to approach dogs safely can keep them that way.

In general, the safest thing is to train your child to never approach unknown dogs, even if they are leashed.

Teach your dog to never assume that a dog is friendly, even if the owner says so.

Dogs can be unpredictable, and many dogs are afraid of children.

Teach your children to respect every dog’s personal space, approach dogs slowly after getting permission, and keep their faces away from dogs.

How Big of a Danger Are Dogs to Children?

To be honest, dogs aren’t the most dangerous hazard that youngsters face.

Organized sports, for example, are ten times more likely than dogs to result in a child’s trip to the emergency department.

However, dog bites occur frequently, and they can be extremely serious.

Young children are often bitten on the hands and face as they try to interact with a dog that’s nervous about being touched.

Many children are bit by dogs that are “safe” but have uneasy temperaments.

In these cases, the owner is always “surprised” or “shocked” that the dog bit the child. This is why you must teach your child to be careful.

Sometimes aggressive dogs escape into public areas, or irresponsible owners have them off-leash in public areas.

Teach your children to climb onto the playground if there is an unknown dog in the area.

Dogs can’t climb up to the play area, so they can be in a position of safety while they call for help from an adult.

Teach older children to call Animal Control if they frequently encounter aggressive dogs at the playground.

How Do I Know When a Dog May Bite?

The good news is that experts claim that indications of canine aggression are usually obvious well before a dog attacks, and you can teach youngsters to detect them.

Teach children to look for raised fur, a raised tail, full eye contact that shows the white of the eyes, lip lifting to show teeth, and holding ears forward.

A dog that is ready to bite has an aggressive stance.

Occasionally dogs bite from laying down, but the tail will stop wagging, the fur will rise with aggression, and the whites of the eyes will show.

Sometimes these signs happen fast, so teach children to be alert.

Tips To Protect Child From Dog Attack

Most dogs and children get along well.
Most children and dogs get along famously, but you can’t be too careful until you’re sure the dog and child understand each other and get along well.

As a parent, you always want to keep your children safe from harm. Here are some tips on how to protect your child from a dog attack.

  • Be vigilant when your child is around dogs. Even if you know the dog is friendly, it’s important to closely supervise any interactions between your child and the animal.
  • Teach your child how to properly approach and pet a dog. They should always ask the owner’s permission first and then approach the animal slowly and gently pet them under the chin.
  • If you see a stray dog or one that looks aggressive, do not allow your child to go near it. It’s best to avoid any contact with these animals altogether.
  • If a dog does attack your child, try to remain calm and fight back if necessary. Use whatever you have on hand – a purse, jacket, or even your bare fists – to hit the animal and make noise to scare it off.
  • If your child is attacked by a dog, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Finally, make sure your child knows what to do if they’re ever attacked by a dog. They should know how to identify safe places to go, how to call for help, and how to get away from the animal safely.

In most situations, the family’s own dog is responsible for a serious assault, but unfortunately, there are many areas that are not safe to walk or cycle due to unruly and aggressive dogs.

How To Protect Your Child From Your Dog

The best thing you can do to protect your child from a dog attack in your own home is to complete behavior training with your dog and train your child how to respect and care properly for the dog.

Is your dog still a puppy? Even better. Begin behavior training as soon as possible, and be diligent to give the puppy socialization with other dogs, people, and children.

If you have an older dog that is showing aggression toward your child, consult with a dog behaviorist as soon as possible.

You can’t wait until an attack happens before training your dog to relax around people.

How Do I Calm an Aggressive Dog?

Approach dogs slowly to avoid attacks
Most dogs are happy to interact with people. Teach your children to approach calmly, and slowly, and let the dog make the first move.

It’s not your duty to calm an aggressive dog. The only reason you should attempt to do so is if you or your child is cornered by an aggressive dog.

If you are being threatened by a dog, call 9-1-1 immediately and attempt to calm the dog enough to get yourself and your child to a safe place.

Here are keys to remember to avoid an aggressive situation from happening in the first place:

  • Even if a loose dog appears friendly, do not approach him. Dogs who are chained up in yards should be avoided. Most chained dogs will respond aggressively when approached.
  • If the dog is with its owner, children should always request permission to pet him first and then start by allowing the dog to sniff a leg, shoe, or hand (held at the side – not extended).
  • Pat the dog on the neck or chest. A pat from above may be interpreted by the dog as a sign of dominance. Teach your children to avoid abrupt or jerky motions around dogs since they might elicit predatory or fearful behavior.
  • When an aggressive dog approaches, remain calm, keep your arms down at your sides, and avoid smiling (showing teeth) or leaning toward the dog. Try to deescalate the situation by backing away with arms down and a relaxed demeanor.
  • Running is an instinctive defensive reaction, but it is the worst thing you can do because it activates the chase response in them. Walk slowly out of the area and try to remain calm.
  • If you’re being harassed by a dog, use something to barricade yourself like a backpack, bike, purse, or anything at hand. You may be able to keep the dog from biting and tearing your skin.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are called man’s best friends for a reason. They give us company, loyalty, laughs, and love.

However, it is essential to remember that dogs are animals and may be dangerous when abused or scared.

Even the most well-behaved dog might attack if pushed too far. The majority of dog assaults can be prevented by following recommended safety procedures.

Don’t teach your children to be afraid of dogs, because most dogs are friendly, happy, and eager to get attention.

Simply make your children aware of the danger of dogs they don’t know, and how to be safe around them.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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