Last year, an acquaintance told my wife that they were forced to rehome their dog after said dog bit their daughter. When my wife asked if anyone knew what provoked the bite, the mother replied, “Absolutely nothing! Maddie was just in front of Peaches’s face, barking at Peaches like she was a dog. It’s their favorite game - they played it all the time. But this time, Peaches just snapped.”
Let me make this perfectly clear. Dogs NEVER “just snap”. EVER.
I am willing to bet that a fly on the wall would have seen a dog that was showing subtle signs of discomfort, stress, avoidance, or aggravation. And just like their human companions, every dog has a breaking point. A pet that is being tolerant of that kind of in-your-face (literally) behavior, should be rewarded, not forced to endure it further. Instruct children who are harassing dogs that what’s fun for them is considered rude to dogs. Remove younger children from the situation. For older children, take advantage of the teachable moment to learn about more appropriate ways to interact with the family pet. A patient pet should be cherished and loved, not forced into a situation that causes her to lose her home.
For more information on preventing dog bites to children, click
To watch Theresa and Betty teach bite prevention at a local pre-school, click here!