For the most part, having a dog in the house is a gift. There are, however, a few hiccups that families may encounter while raising a dog and a kid.
Anyone who has a pet knows what a terrifying experience it is to have their beloved pet attack their child, particularly if the kid is young.
It is common to hear a case about a dog that bit a baby almost every month. Dog biting babies should be prevented at all costs.
Moms and parents who find themselves in this difficult situation may ask what the best course of action is for their family. Then there are some parents who are willing to give up their pet without a second thought.
Rehoming dogs generates powerful feelings on both sides, but in the end, it is a choice that must be made for each individual, based on their unique set of circumstances.
If you’re in this situation, it’s totally reasonable to be unsure about what you should do. Being forced to deal with a dog-biting incident while dealing with a baby is never an ideal circumstance for anybody who owns a dog.
Origin Of Dog Biting Babies Behavior
Dogs don’t get along with babies since they bring a whole new set of noises, scents, and unfamiliar motions with them.
The high-pitched sound of a baby’s cries might cause a dog to become agitated and frightened. When their infant cries, the dog starts whimpering and pacing, according to their owners.
Adding in the baby’s diapers and meals might be a little too much for a dog’s nose to handle. A baby’s initial movements are jerky, and then he or she begins to crawl. Because dogs don’t realize that babies are human, their actions might be shocking to them.
It’s fairly uncommon to watch dogs leap sideways in response to a baby’s movement since they don’t comprehend why or how the infant is moving. Because he is frightened and defensive, a dog may attack.
Many breeds of animals, including dogs and cats, are much smaller than newborns and young children. Pack animals like dogs may consider themselves as superior to a newborn. Pets that bite the newborn may be letting the baby know who’s in charge.
Additionally, the dog may be protective of a particular section of the house, a certain item, or even some of the people. There may be times when a dog feels compelled to defend his or her territory by biting the infant.
Dogs, too, may grow envious. It’s very uncommon for a dog to suffer as a result of the addition of a new infant in the household, losing out on attention or having his activities curtailed. He will blame it on the baby, and he will not hesitate to retaliate.
Baby or kid aggression against the dog is common in many instances. Baby instinctively grabs at anything with hair or feathers or even a tail. Children like kissing a dog’s muzzle and getting up close and personal with him.
Catching a dog and having fun with it is another option. When you interrupt a dog’s mealtime, it’s not going to sit well with him or her.
Dogs, like all living creatures, have a breaking point, and they cannot articulate their feelings in the same way that people can. An intruding child will make a dog attempt to look away or down, which means that the dog does not like the intrusion.
As long as you don’t try to play with your dog, you’ll know it’s time to leave him alone. If the child’s play seems to disturb or scare the dog, it’s time to put an end to it. When a dog is being pushed to the limit, his only option is to bite.
How To Prevent Dogs Biting Babies
What to do if your dog bites your child? Well, the greatest method to deal with child aggression is to prevent it from happening in the first place. When pups are six to 14 weeks old, they are very interested and receptive to new experiences.
Dogs who are exposed to children of all ages throughout this time period are more likely to have a favorable view of children in the future.
Making them used to having their faces and heads gently tugged can help them cope with the many ways in which they are touched by children in the future.
As a puppy nears the end of its first 14 weeks of life, it becomes more frightened of its surroundings and reacts more strongly to dangerous stimuli.
During this period, it is critical to avoid any bad encounters. To prevent dogs from developing a fear response, avoid using punishing measures. Striking a dog may instill a phobia of being touched in kids, making them more vulnerable to harm.
Always bear in mind that interacting with children outside of the home does not guarantee that kids won’t be afraid or anxious if they later share the house with the dog.
Consider a variety of variables when selecting a dog for a household with children. Take into account the dog’s breed and family background, along with its experience of interacting with kids.
Before bringing a dog into a home with children, spend some time getting to know the dog. Observe your dog or children for symptoms of concern or avoidance.
To avoid dog bites, here are a few things you can do:
• A dog should never be let on the floor with a newborn or toddler.
• Dogs should not be able to go near sleeping children, particularly newborns.
• Children should be taught age-appropriate ways to engage with dogs even if you don’t have one of your own. When instructing youngsters on how to properly approach a dog, make sure the dog is always leashed and under the direct supervision of an adult.
• Instruct youngsters to avoid ever putting their faces on the level of a dog.
• Even if the dog seems nice, do not approach it.
• Do not shout or run away from a dog.
• “Be still like a tree” (e.g., when approached by an unknown dog) is a good rule of thumb.
• A dog may knock you over, so roll into a ball and stay motionless (e.g., “remain still like a log”).
• Adult supervision is required while playing with a dog.
• Adults should be contacted immediately if a stray dog or a dog exhibiting strange behavior is found.
• Avoid looking directly into a dog’s eyes.
• A dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for pups cannot be disturbed.
• Before petting a dog, be sure it can see and smell you.
• When playing with dogs, teach your kid to be kind.
• While you can’t adequately watch, when food is around, or when the dog is napping, keep your dog and your youngster separated.
• A child-free zone for your dog and a dog-free zone for your child should be established at all times in your home.
• Ask family and friends to keep an eye on your kid or keep your child and their dog apart.
• Teach your dog to sit, stay, drop, and come when commanded.
• As a rule of thumb, don’t let your child run past dogs or attempt to keep up with one.
• When your kid or dog does what you want, reward them.
Encouraging The Behavior
Prepare your pet before you bring your baby home. Invade his space and praise him when he complies to educate him that having someone near you while you eat, play with your toys, or get touched is okay.
Play baby noises and display baby items as well. When he needs a break from the infant, provide him with a designated location where he may go.
A dog trainer may visit your house to help you teach your dog in advance of the baby’s birth. To help your pet adjust to the change in your priorities, you may want to offer him less attention at first.
Bring items the baby wore while in the hospital home so the dog can smell them before the baby gets home to help ease the transition.
Allow your dog to be a part of your family when the baby arrives home. Never leave the baby and dog alone at all times. Your pet will appreciate it if you give him plenty of attention and praise while the baby is around.
When the infant is out of the house, don’t give your pet any attention. Help him recognize that the baby’s presence may lead to positive outcomes.
How Many Dog Bites A Year
According to the dog biting statistics of Centers for Disease Control, approximately one million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and almost half of them need medical care.
Children aged 0-2 years old accounted for 26% of all dog bite victims between 2005 and 2019. Dog attacks on children under the age of 10 are particularly dangerous.
Even while all dog breeds have the potential to bite, several studies show that pit bulls, pit bull mixes, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrid types are the most hazardous. In most dog bite cases, the victim’s family or neighbor who owns the dog is responsible.
Children aged one to five are the age group that’s most susceptible to dog attacks. Because of their liveliness, they readily irritate a dog without realizing it.
In addition, they can’t read a dog’s body language to know whether they are ready to attack. Also, a child’s short limbs and growing body make them physically easier to harm.
Keep An Eye On Your Baby And Your Dog At All Times
It’s your responsibility as a dog parent and a kid parent to ensure your child’s safety around your dog.
You have no control over how much your infant will scream or cry. You can’t foresee how your dog will behave if she does, either.
The only thing you can do is keep an eye on them and keep an eye on their relationships. Parental involvement in the child’s life helps to keep things under control.
No matter how old your kid becomes, you’ll always need to keep an eye on him or her. You may, however, teach your children how to handle dogs and prevent dog bites.
Considerations And Alternatives
When dogs are scared, they tend to be aggressive. Their apprehension stems from the unknown or from being tested.
It’s possible for them to bite if they’re feeling hostile. It is possible for a dog and a newborn to get along quite well if you take the time to get them ready for the baby’s birth and make sure they are not neglected or subjected to undue stress.
A dog should never be left alone with a child under the age of five. When an adult is present, a dog is less likely to bite, and youngsters are less likely to misbehave.
As a general rule, children should not approach any dog they do not know, and they should wait until the dog has had a chance to smell them before approaching.
Be aware that dogs do not like eye contact with people and that youngsters should not approach too close to them or try to play with their paws. When children are around, ensure that nice things happen to your dog, and he has nothing to worry.
Dogs Have Animal Instincts
While your dog may be affectionate and loving, he is still an animal and has animal instincts. In the face of danger, dogs behave like animals. They use assault and defense tactics to stay alive.
Unawareness of human behavior’s potential to incite a dog to attack is a major cause for worry. Newborns and toddlers, on the other hand, have no concept of this. Children can’t always stop a dog from biting, even if they realize the danger.
There are several reasons why dogs bite. According to the Dog Bite Page of the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs bite in response to a stressful circumstance:
• Defending their area
• fearful or frightened in some way
• Injured or sicked
• Threatening feelings
• protecting their pets, toys, or food from others
Dogs often perceive the actions of a child as a cause for aggression. Laughter and sobbing may be heard.
Playful touches and rapid movements alert them to the presence of an inquisitive toddler. Any one of these relatively harmless behaviors may be used by a dog to defend its puppies or its own life.
If a dog is playing or wrestling with a kid, it may also bite the child. Playful nipping of the dog may damage a youngster, even if it’s only for fun.
Taking Care Of Your Dogs
Unhappy, less tolerant, and easily harmed dogs are characteristics of dogs that are sick or in pain. An easy going dog may even bite out of pain and distress.
Keep an eye on your dog’s health to avoid this. Providing your dog with nutritious food, drinkable water, comfortable padding and shelter, daily exercise, safe socialization, and yearly vet check-ups can help keep your dog happy and healthy.
Please consult your veterinarian about this as well if your dog is not desexed.
Anyone who is worried about the health or behavior of their dog should seek quick assistance.
All dogs, regardless of breed, size, or age, should get obedience training. This teaches your dog proper etiquette and manners. It’s good for the safety of your dog, other pets, and humans.
It is critical that you socialize your dog in a safe manner throughout its life. Teaching your dog to tolerate humans and other animals is a part of its daily routine
Be aware of the fact that some dogs will never accept youngsters or will be violent. Children should not be near these dogs at any time.
Pregnant or nursing dogs may experience exhaustion, soreness, and a need to protect their young.
You may need to keep a closer eye on the dog and your kid at certain times, or you may need to completely separate them. Tell your youngster why you’re doing what you’re doing.
If you’re having trouble, you may always seek assistance from your veterinarian.
Two of life’s greatest marvels, puppies and babies can coexist together. Their behavior differs since they aren’t of the same species.
Respecting your dog’s point of view means making sure he doesn’t become scared or overwhelmed by the new baby’s noises, scents, and movements.
He also needs a place to go if he gets overwhelmed. It may take some time to be ready, but it’s worth it in the long run.
In order to ensure that both your pet and your newborn grow up together in a secure and happy environment, a professional dog trainer may be essential. Dog trainers are trained on how to handle and stop dog biting babies with their training methods.
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