Monthly Archives: June 2014

Avoid Tragedies in the Home Involving Dogs

On Sunday, another tragedy befall a family. Their dog killed their two-and-a-half-month old baby. R.I.P. little one. We’re saddened to hear that a child who barely started life won’t have the chance to grow up.

Of course, this wasn’t a Pit Bull, which should be evident because the breed isn’t mentioned until the very end of the article. When people say they hear “only about Pit Bulls attacking people” remind them it’s because Pit Bull usually makes it into the headline. Other breeds don’t. These editorial decisions by media agencies lead to a perception that only Pit Bulls (and possibly Rottweilers) attack and that other breeds of dog are generally safe.

We cannot imagine how devastated and broken the family feels right now. Unfortunately, this case serves as a painful reminder not to judge any dog by its breed. Don’t judge a dog to be “safe” or “dangerous” based on breed.

More importantly, as dog owners, quickly address and intervene if your dog exhibits aggression toward people. Seek the help of a qualified professional. Never turn a blind eye when a dog exhibits inappropriate aggression toward people. Aggression toward people includes behaviors that many pet owners tolerate, such as barking and growling at strangers, snapping when people approach a food bowl, growling when a family member sits on the couch next to the dog, and of course, acting unfriendly or overly stimulated toward children. It’s also important to not only closely supervise interactions between family pets and children, but to teach both pets and children what types of interactions are appropriate.

These tragedies don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s almost certain the dog had exhibited problematic behaviors prior to the terrible incident. Absent a sudden medical condition that arises, dogs that attack and seriously injure people almost always exhibit aggressive or fearful behaviors prior to doing so. Be aware of your dog’s behavior and take steps to appropriately deal with problematic behavior. By doing so, you will make your home a safer place all around (both for your human and non-human family members).

Read the full news article online: