Have you ever been out for a walk when a scary-looking dog comes running toward you, only for its owner to say, “Don’t worry, he’s a big softy. He just wants to say hello”? You cannot always judge a dog by how it looks.
If an owner says their dog is harmless, you hope they know it well enough to be correct. Yet, it is essential to remember that dogs descend from wild animals, and sometimes instinct takes over, causing them to snap, despite years of being soft and cuddly. You only have to look for the newspaper reports where the family pet of years went rogue to see the damage any pet dog can do.
Some dogs are more likely to bite than others
If you are out with your child, it pays to take caution around all dogs. Yet, you do not want to teach your child to be afraid of every dog they see either. However, helping them understand a bit more about what type of dogs they should avoid can help keep your child safe. Two basic rules can help here:
- Some dogs are more likely to bite than others: A recent study found that pit bulls were the most likely dogs to bite someone. When assessing a dog, it helps to think about what the dog was bred for. Some dogs were bred to fetch dead ducks; others to attack mountain lions.
- Some dogs will do more damage when they bite: Think about the size of a dog in relation to your child. A bad-tempered Chihuahua might nip people, yet even a small child could overpower it and throw it off. By contrast, a Rottweiler that wants to bite has the size and power to kill an adult.
If a dog has bitten your child, it is essential to investigate all options to hold the owner responsible and claim compensation.