Big Dogs, Small Children not the Best Combination
you’re thinking about getting a dog, a new study suggests it’s best to wait
until your children are school age—about 5 or 6. The research indicates that
children under a year old have the highest risk of being bitten by a dog,
and bigger dogs, especially Doberman pinschers and German shepherds, pose
the highest risk.
study looked at 10 years’ worth of data on dog bites treated at a trauma center
in Austria. The researchers
suggest that dogs, which are pack animals, may view newborns and toddlers
as “beneath” them in the pecking order. Older children, the study authors
suggest, are probably viewed differently by dogs and are less threatened.
Pediatrics, March 2006