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Dog Bites to Children - Risk Factors and Prevention


The death of a four-year-old boy in late 2009, following an attack by a relative’s dog in Liverpool, caused justifiable outrage in the local community and fear and concern amongst parents of small children across the North West. Whilst the numbers of fatal attacks do remain very small they certainly grab the headlines and raise serious concerns. This latest case had characteristics which are in line with the research in this area, which clearly shows that dog bites occur most frequently in children within their own home or the homes of relatives and involve dogs that are familiar to them.

Owning a pet dog has many scientifically proven benefits for humans, including child development and it is very important to keep the negative reports regarding dogs interacting with children in perspective. However, we need to recognise that there are potential hazards and offer timely, practical advice so that families can keep dogs and children together while also minimising the risks.

Dog bites to children

As part of the preventative service, Behavioural Referrals is holding a talk for parents, teachers of young children and nursery leaders to provide information on the risk factors associated with dog bites to children and how bites can be prevented.

The presentation will be conducted by two qualified rehabilitation dog trainers who specialise in dog behaviour and problem prevention. This is an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss any concerns about aggression and canine behaviour. The talks are supported by 'The Blue Dog Project' For more information on the talk dates and venues please contact us on rehab@brvp.co.uk ot telephone 01244 377365.