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Big Dogs, Small Children not the Best Combination


If 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.

The 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
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