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When dogs attack

good-dog_w725_h544.jpgThere are many reasons why dogs bite. It may be out of sheer fear, territorialism or in self-defence. Research suggests that dog bites have been traced to each of these reasons. Regardless of the reason dog owners must be held responsible for the actions of their dog. (canineresearchcouncil.com)

Many dog owners can be irresponsible and have not properly trained their dog in the correct manner or fail to keep their dogs on a lead. Parent and guardians can help protect their children from dog attacks by simply doing the following:

1) Teaching children how to be safe around dogs. First and foremost they need to know from an early age that while most dogs are friendly, some dogs (particularly unfamiliar dogs) can be dangerous. Children can often be unpredictable and this is sometimes seen as a threat by a dog which may growl, snap or even bite in response.

2) If you do choose to allow your child to approach an unfamiliar dog, always ask the owner if the dog is ok with children. If the owner is unsure (or sounds unsure) or says no, walk away from the situation. Even if they say yes, keep your child under close supervision at all times. It’s quite simple when you think about it. You would teach your children not to touch something that’s not theirs without asking and the same principle works with dogs too.

3) Showing children how to gently stroke a dog. Many dogs have previously been abandoned or mistreated. If anyone including a child went to stroke a dog, just out of its own protection the dog may attack / bite out of self- defence as it may think that they’re going to get hit or the person or child may be acting aggressively. This is why it is important to ask the owner if the dog is friendly and/or ok with children.

4) Never leave a child by themselves with a dog, even if it’s a pet you are familiar with and feel they would be safe around. A dog attack can result in a permanent effect on victims you can never predict an animal’s behaviour.

The Dangerous Dogs Act applies to whether the owner of a dog has a large breed dog or a small Chihuahua. The Dangerous Dogs Act would apply to you and all other dog owner in England and Wales. It is illegal for a dog to be out of control or to attack someone. The legislation also makes it an offence if someone is worried that a dog may attack them so dog owners are advised to always keep their pet under control at all times especially out in public as not everyone likes dogs or have had good experiences with them.

Don’t be alarmed! If a home is being attacked by an intruder as if a resident dog attacks an intruder who comes into a house without being invited then you are protected. However if an intruder was attacked in the garden then this could be an offence that would land the dog owner in court.