Any gatherings can be a cause for concern when dogs and kids are involved, it doesn’t just have to be around the holidays. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Statements such as “my dog wouldn’t hurt anyone” or “my dog is good around kids” really need to be taken with a grain of salt.
All dogs have the potential to harm, given the right situation and humans are no different, if backed into a corner. We can become verbal or physical, if necessary. Dogs on the other hand, use body language to communicate their stress, distress, discomfort or they may even growl.
Unfortunately, how many listen to what the dog is trying to say, how many dogs get a one way trip to the vets every year because nobody was watching or listening. All too often people don’t see the potential dangers because they feel too secure and comfortable around dogs and are often oblivious to the potential dangers associated with inappropriate behaviour and not being aware.
Supervision is the key, you have to be watching 100% of the time. Unfortunately the word supervision for many these days, means casting a casual glance around, while doing something else such as:
Having a family gatherings or party, you can’t be watching both your dog and what is going on around you all the time, your dog needs a safe place to go where it won’t be bothered. Dogs can become very stressed and people can do stupid things.
Talking and Texting on the phone,
Chatting or having coffee, while your dog is left alone with kids or other adults, yes I said other adults, they also need to be know how to act and behave, when in the company of dogs.
Letting your dog off leash and not watching where its going or what its doing.
The list is endless, non of the above is 100% supervision.
Many dog bites/dog attacks can be avoided, if people were more aware. Below is a link to a great info graphic designed and published by Family Paws Parent Education on the 5 types of supervision. and below is another very good info graphic from Doggone Safe on dog bite prevention tips for the holidays. Of course these tips can be applied anytime of the year.