Are small dogs safer pets around children? – Part 1

It is very important to teach children at a young age how to behave around pets. Dogs can be loyal playmates for life even guardian angels. They can also be as jealous as siblings. It is up to the parent and the owner of the dog to ensure the safety of both the dog and the child.

Any animal must be supervised around children. A lot of people assume their sweet loving dog would never bite anyone, much less their child. It is important to remember that dogs think differently than people. Theirs is a hierarchy of authority, hopefully with their owner at the top of the food chain as the alpha. It is important for the dog, no matter how big or small, to understand where he or she lies in this “chain of command” If the dog believes that he is at the top then there is a recipe for disaster. If ,however, the owner has established proper authority as the alpha, and the child’s role in the family is clear to the dog, then there should be little problems in the dog adapting to the new addition to the family, whether large or small.

I say smaller dogs are safer around children only because they have smaller bites and you have more time to get to them before any fatal damage is done. That is not to say that a small dog could not inflict a fatal injury. In my experience with dogs, smaller dogs seem more temperamental and are more apt to snap at people, especially unknowing children. Any dog whether large or small is capable of being a loving guardian to a child. Any dog whether large or small is capable of jealousy and territorial behavior towards a child.

On the flip side of the coin, a smaller dog is not necessarily safe with a child. Children, unknowingly can seriously hurt an animal, or worse, the child could hurt the dog, the dog could bite the child, and end up being put down because of it.

I believe that with proper training any dog, large or small, could be safe around a child. Remember, parents and dog owners have the ultimate responsibility of the safety of both the child and the dog, and unless you have observed with your own eyes how your dog will act, the only safe dog around a child is a supervised dog.

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