Dog Bites and Children

Recently I was invited to be a guest on a natural childbirth podcast to discuss my book, Good Dog, Happy Baby, and the issue of preparing one’s dog for the arrival of their child.

During the early stages of the interview, one of the first things the interviewer asked me was just how big of an issue dog bites and children is.

Dog Bites Child: A Pandemic

But even before I had a chance to answer she recalled several incidents from her childhood that brought the issue into sharp relief.

She quickly recounted vague memories from her early childhood of the family dog. She was always nervous around it and apparently doggie did not care for her.

Then all she remembered was that the dog went away to live with grandma. Only later did she discover that her parents had been concerned that their dog would bite her. Consequently, they sent doggie off to live with grandma.

So within moments of getting our podcast call started she was able to pull an example from her own life that highlights just how significant an issue this is. The truth is that the issue is widespread, bordering on pandemic.

The Consequences of Being Unprepared

Dog Bites and ChildrenIf you think I’m being overly dramatic, consider the following statistics.

Each year there are about 4.5 million reported dog bites. 800,000 of those require hospital visits and 30,000 require reconstructive surgery.

The overwhelming majority of these bites happen to children, and the bulk of these are children under five. Worst of all, 80% of the bites happen on the face and neck and most of them come from a dog with which the child is familiar (either a family dog or friend’s dog).

And at least half of these kids will suffer some form of PTSD.

The sobering fact is that by the time kids reach the age of 12 in the US half of them have been bitten by dogs.

To underscore the seriousness of the issue, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has labeled dog bites the second most significant health threat to children today, second only to teen substance abuse.

There’s Too Little Information Available

Given all these numbers, it’s shocking that there is so little integrated information available on how to prevent such heartbreaking outcomes.

For instance, take a popular book like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which runs a whopping 656 pages, and look for help on this subject. The last time I looked a few years ago there was a pathetic page and a half committed to it and the advice it contained was superficial, bordering on the useless.

Because I see the results of this lack of preparedness so often, I’m passionate about putting together an integrated program to help people prevent such outcomes.

I’m delighted to let you know that program has arrived. You can try out my online course below.


Do you want to learn a step-by-step approach for training your dog to love your baby? You can check out my new self-paced online course, where I teach you practical and easy-to-implement techniques. You can find it here: Good Dog Happy Baby Course




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