by Mitzi Robinson


Many Americans purchase a dog because they think it will prevent them from becoming the victim of a crime. However, according to the statistics from the U.S. Humane Society, the likelihood that the victim of a fatal dog bite is a burglar is only 1 in 177.

The odds that a child will be the object of a fatal bite are 7 to 10. More than 3 million children will be attacked this year, in most cases the dog will belong to the child's family or will belong to someone they know. 

Historically, dogs were bred for a particular purpose - bloodhounds for hunting or labradors for retrieving fowl. During the past few decades this has systematically changed with the increase of interbreeding and genetic altering of dogs. Breeders are changing the evolution of dogs to fit the society we live in. For example, the pit bull was originally used in enclosed areas to fight with other dogs or animals. Fortunately, this is now outlawed. Now people are using pit bulls as human fighters, completely ignoring the fact that these dogs were never meant for this purpose. We are also producing dogs that do not understand their own social hierarchy, let alone the pecking order humans command of them, a social structure that places them at the bottom with limited rights. 

Dogs can sometimes view children as "an easy prey" as they run, scream, flail their arms, move erratically or crawl around on the ground. Adults need to teach their children how to act around dogs and how to protect themselves during an attack. Here are a few tips to remember: 

  • A dog wagging its tail is not always friendly and a fence is not necessarily adequate protection from attacking dogs. 
  • Never stare at a dog. Direct eye contact with the following breeds can provoke an attack: Rottweiler, Akita, Shar Pei, Doberman, and Chow Chow

    This does not mean every Akita or Shar Pei, etc., you meet is vicious, but be wary.

  • If your child is knocked down by an aggressive dog, have the child protect his/her head and neck with his/her hands and keep their hand closed as not to lose any fingers. Also have the child tuck their knees into their chest and "become a stone, round, still, and quiet." 

Being around pets of their own and those of others can be one of a child's favorite memories. It can also help teach a child how to care for other people as well as our fellow creatures. Let's make it a positive experience by instructing our children about animal behavior. Many schools in San Diego are having outside instructors from humane groups and training schools come in and present this information. Look for one in your area. 

Article by Mitzi Robinson of Bulli Ray Enterprises Ltd.