In its statement, the agency claimed that children below the age of 15 account for nearly 60 percent of dog bites, while those between the ages of 5 to 9 years old seem to be the most prone to dog attacks.
Several studies explained three of the major reasons why children are the most prone to dog bites. Here are they:
1. Children are less perceptive of a dog’s body language and emotions.
According to a 2010 study, two researchers proved that children tend to be less understanding of a dog’s body language and emotions. In fact, out of 372 children aged 8 to 12, only few of them understand a dog’s emotions. The six emotions of dogs tested were joy, submission, threat, attack, fear, and friendliness. Although children obviously understand joy, friendliness, and fear, a dog’s body language signs for submission, attack, and threat were often almost unrecognized.
2. Children have perceived authority over their family dog.
In a separate study, it revealed that children have a sensed authority over their dog to the point that they are overly confident that the dog will obey them at all times. In many dog bite incidents, the child tries to exert control over the dog. Experts say that the best way to overcome such kind of dog behavior is to develop a healthy relationship with your dog. This way, children could learn from you by example.
3. Children engage in risky behavior with the dog.
Oftentimes, children become very active and engage in risky behavior with dogs by grabbing them, hitting, or playing with them too harsh. Apparently, it is entirely unintentional but the problem is that dogs completely don’t recognize it. Such problem can be solved by teaching your child how to properly play with your family dog. It is also important to make sure that children are always supervised when pets are around.
Knowledge begins at home, said a Los Angeles injury lawyer. By teaching the children how to properly deal and care for animals, especially for your family dog, is the best way to correct any risky behavior. In that way, your pet can be very responsive to any possible situations as well.