Remind Your Children: Dogs are Animals

by | May 13, 2013

My dogs are my children and we love them, but I never forget that they are animals.

Too often, we read heartbreaking stories of children being hurt (or worse) by dogs.

There is a story in our news here in Anchorage about a 2 year old girl being brutally attacked by a sled dog this weekend. It’s horrifying to read, but if you want to, you can read it here. Basically a family that owns some sled dogs (common here in Alaska) for mushing was visiting and feeding them. As they were leaving, a dog (it is unclear if it is one that they own) got a hold of the 2 year old and viciously attacked her. She is in bad shape, but is alive at the moment. Our hearts go out to her and her family.

Apparently, one of the huskies broke an s-hook that it was tied up with and got to her. It’s a tragic story, but one that is repeated all too often. I don’t blame the family at all and feel awful for them. Owning sled dogs is normal and these dogs were chained. None of us plan on a metal hook breaking.

This story is almost rare in that the dog broke free. Even though he got loose, I would say that with a chain and metal s-hook, he was properly restrained. Too often we read of stories where the dogs were loose or escaped because they weren’t secured in a safe manner. We work hard to know where our dogs are all of the time and we have very good measures in place to avoid their escape.

They are our pets, but we remember that our dogs are animals.

The huskies in the aforementioned story are certainly sport dogs, not family pets. Children have been attacked by seemingly innocent family dogs of every breed. Perhaps occurrences are higher with pit bulls or rotties, but that is not the point. The point is that the responsibility of keeping children safe lies in both dog’s owners and the parents.

It is crazy to me when I end up at a dog park (we think they are a terrible idea) and see people with their children running around. Many, many dogs are unfamiliar with children and children are known to make fast and sudden movements. Children also may not realize when dogs are displaying signs of discontent towards them. It only takes a second for a dog to lock on and it is extraordinarily difficult to get them off.

Just a few weeks ago, our friend Kelsey got bit on the nose at the dog park by a pitbull. Kelsey is an adult standing maybe 5’6″. If the dog decided to bite her on the nose (for no reason), imagine the damage that dog could do on a child.

Parents – please remember that dogs are animals. Take time throughout your child’s life to remind them how to be safe around dogs they don’t know.

Dog owners – if your dog is unfamiliar with kids, don’t just assume they will do fine. Your dog is an animal and you must pay intense attention to possible warning signs of your dog’s discontent around children.

We love kids and we love dogs. We love kids playing with dogs. We just want them to play safe together.

At Far North Kennel, we breed distinctly beautiful German Shepherd Puppies. We don’t just love German Shepherd Dogs, we love all dogs. We invite you to contact us anytime you have a question about dog behavior, training or just want to say hi. Every email we receive gets a personalized response.

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