WHAT KIDS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DOG BITES
UNDERSTAND THE FACTS AND MYTHS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURIES
To see what kids know about dog behavior, the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition created a quiz for children ages 5-9. The quiz was distributed by State Farm and Prevent The Bite to schools and community organizations.
710 kids took the quiz, but no child answered all 12 questions correctly:
34% indicated they had been bitten at least once.
50% who took the Spanish quiz indicated they had been bitten.
Can Your Child Answer Correctly?
"Does an angry dog wag his tail?"
Only 33% answered correctly (Answer: Yes)
"Is a dog that is afraid as dangerous as a dog that is angry?"
Only 27% knew the right response. (Answer: Yes)
"Do dogs like to be hugged and kissed?"
Only 24% responded correctly. (Answer: No)
Fact or Fiction?
Pretend fighting with a puppy is a bad idea.
True. Rough play encourages a puppy to be aggressive and use its mouth. It is one of the main training mistakes that new dog owners make.
Fifty percent of children will be bitten before their 12th birthday.
True, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and most of those bites will be from a familiar dog, whether it's the family pet or a neighbor's pooch. According to the CDC, among children 14 years and younger, injury rates are higher for boys (57 percent) than for girls (43 percent).
Because babies can't tease a dog, it's OK to leave them alone.
False. This is a terrible idea. If a dog is possessive about its toys, it may be possessive of a baby's rattle or pacifier. Bottom line: A dog may be stressed by a baby even if the baby isn'''t interacting with it.
Puppies exposed to a lot of people are less likely to bite.
True. Proper socialization is critical, says Pamela Reid, certified applied animal behaviorist and vice president of the Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team at the ASPCA. “Between 7 and 16 weeks of age is the absolutely critical time period for socializing a puppy with people and animals,” says Reid, who encourages owners to take a new puppy to family parties, on walks and anywhere where there are animals and people to meet.
Run and scream if a strange dog approaches you.
False. If a strange dog approaches and you're standing, don't move. If you're on the ground, don't move. Resist the urge to yell and flail your hands because that just gets a dog excited. And never try to outrun a dog. You cannot go faster than dog whether running or biking.
Preventing Dog Bites
You can reduce the risk of dog bites by taking these steps…
Spay or neuter. This procedure can help reduce your dog's aggressive behaviors.
Socialize early. Introduce your puppy to situations and people as early as possible. Early socialization makes for a more relaxed adult dog. But watch for signs of stress during socialization, as it's a leading cause of aggression.
Hire a professional. If your dog displays aggressive behavior, a trainer may be able to curb the problem.
Know your dog's stressors so you can learn to avoid them. If your dog growls at children, keep them and the dog separated.
Top 10 States for Dog-Related Injury Claims
In 2014, State Farm paid nearly $115 million as a result of 3,500 dog-related injury claims.
Over the past 5 years, the insurer has paid $528 million for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog.
Insurance is an important aspect of being a responsible dog owner. When renting, make sure to have rental insurance because most landlords do not provide coverage should there be a dog bite incident. If you are a homeowner, talk to your insurance agent about what is covered under a standard homeowner policy related to dogs.
Join State Farm©, www.statefarm.com®; Insurance Information Institute, iii.org; U.S. Postal Service, usps.com; American Humane Association, americanhumane.org; American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, microsurg.org; American Veterinary Medical Association, avma.org; American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org; and Prevent The Bite, preventthebite.org, to drive home the message that dog-related injuries can be prevented by educating children about safely interacting with dogs and reinforcing responsible dog ownership with adults.
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