What are some common myths about dog bites and children?
The most likely person to suffer from a dog bite is an adult. However, when dogs bite children the injuries are often and much more severe. After a dog bites a child, there is often confusion on the part of the adults. Often, the adults claim that the child did not provoke the bite at all.
Remember that even if an owner socializes the dog to children as a puppy this does not mean that the dog will not bite. It is also untrue that if a dog is comfortable with adult humans that it will also be comfortable with children.
The socialization myth
It is impossible to 100% prevent a dog from biting children by socializing the dog. The main causes behind dog bites to children include resource guarding, pain, and over-enthusiastic petting or hugging. An owner cannot reliably prevent a dog from biting anybody (including a child) due to these impulses through socialization alone.
Additionally, no matter how much you socialize a dog, some are simply more nervous than others. Particularly if the puppy is insecure about food, this can lead to intense resource guarding no matter how often the owner exposes the puppy to children.
Adults and children are different to dogs
Keep in mind that dogs often exhibit leery behavior around humans who look different on account of skin color, facial hair and even body weight. Likewise, miniature humans do not act the same way as adults do. Children sound different, look different and behave differently from adults. It is possible that a dog who is completely comfortable around adult humans may not be comfortable at all around children.