Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Gift You Might Want To Avoid

This childrens' book can cause dog bites!  Do not encourage children to "smooch pooch."  Following is a press release from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.  Do not let small children get into the face of any dog, no matter how "nice" the dog is.

See also:  Dog Bite Law

And:  Preventing Dog Bites In Children

And:  Plastic Surgery on Children After Dog Bite

Don't think your dog could bite your child?  A THIRD of all dog bites to children are owned by the child's family!


Date: December 14, 2010

Media Contact: Dr. Karen Sueda
Phone: (310) 478-5035


While kids are frequently seen to have a special bond with pets, children under the age of 10 are among those most commonly bitten by the dogs.


Many factors can contribute to dog bites in children, and one such factor is hugging and kissing by kids.  Consequently, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) strongly advises that parents avoid purchasing the recently released children’s book Smooch Your Pooch for their kids. The book recommends that children “Smooch your pooch to show that you care. Give him a hug anytime, anywhere.” This information can cause children to be bitten.

Says one AVSAB member, Dr. Ilana Reisner, whose area of research is dog bites and children, “Although some dogs are not reactive about being kissed and hugged, these types of interactions are potentially provocative, leading to bites.”

In a study published by Reisner and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, records of bites to 111 children were examined. Says Reisner, “We looked at dogs that had bitten children and found that most children had been bitten by dogs that had no history of biting. Most important here,” says Reisner, “familiar children were bitten most often in the contexts of "nice" interactions—such as kissing and hugging —with their own dogs or dogs that they knew.”

The study also found that in addition to biting when they are hugged, kissed, bent over or sometimes simply petted, dogs are reactive when they are approached/touched while resting, when they have anything they consider "high value" (food, toys, a favorite blanket, or even the parent), and when they are hurt or frightened. These are the types of situations where children who have read Smooch Your Pooch may seek to interact with their dogs.

AVSAB recommends that children play with dogs in a more productive way such as by playing fetch or training tricks. We also recommend children avoid approaching or interacting with dogs who are lying down, resting or sleeping. Children, should instead interact with the dog only when the dog approaches willingly. Families with children are encouraged to train their dogs to come to them to be petted by have treats ready to reward the dog for approaching.

No comments: