Tips For Children and Dogs

3-Year-Old Child Mauled By Golden Retriever

This is a story you hear often, but not with this breed. This breed is known for their fair temperament. I wonder if this dog was just old…or just not used to see little kids. I guess realistically it is how the dog is raised – good breed or not.

It’s usually the prefect combination – a loving youngster and a gentle dog.

But something went horribly wrong at an Oshawa home Tuesday and now a three-year-old girl is facing the possibility of having extensive plastic surgery.

Police say the youngster was being cared for by neighbours just after 1pm, and was petting their friendly Golden Retriever.

Cops aren’t sure what provoked the animal, but it suddenly turned on the child, mauling the tot from her eye to her cheek.

The toddler was rushed to Lakeridge Health Centre, where plastic surgeons are examining the damage. It’s believed her eyesight will be O.K. but she may require extensive repairs to her cheek.

The dog has been seized by animal control and those who know the creature are baffled. Golden Retrievers are generally among the most gentle of dogs and are usually excellent with children.

It’s not clear what will become of the canine, but the owner is the neighbour’s son and he has no idea about what’s happened to his beloved pet. He’s currently away on vacation down south for March Break.

Here are some tips to go over with little ones when they are approaching unfamiliar dogs.

Mother, may I? Rule number one: Always ask permission before petting someones dog. Approach slowly and quietly, and allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand. Pet the dog’s sides or back gently.
They think they own everything. Stay away from any dog who may be protecting something. That means not petting dogs who are eating, playing with a toy, tied to runs, fenced in, or in cars.
Dogs hate surprises. Never pet a sleeping dog and never sneak up to play.
It’s all in the body language. Tell kids that animals use their whole bodies to tell us how they are feeling, and when dogs tell us they’re angry or scared, we must leave them alone. Angry dogs try to make themselves look big by puffing up their ears, fur, and tail. Scared dogs do the opposite, shrinking to the ground with tail between their legs and ears back.
Prepare for the worst. If a dog growls or chases you, be still and quiet. Stand with your hands at your sides (like a tree). If you’re playing on the ground, lie down with your knees into your stomach and hands over your ears (like a rock). Use backpacks or bikes as shields. Avoid eye contact, which is often viewed by dogs as a threat.
Don’t play rough. In games like tug of war, dogs may bite by accident.
Don’t go it alone. If you find an injured dog, get your parent(s) or another adult you know to help.



About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • I was shocked to hear this last night on the news. I always thought this was the best breed to be around children. But I guess this is a lesson to us all, a dog is a dog and when it has had enough of something they let you know.
    Parents need to realize that they have to take caution no matter what.
    I know we always do with our dog.

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