We bring our children up, for the most part, loving dogs. Children's books and movies are replete with wonderful stories about close relationships between dogs and humans. However, we must teach our children that although many dogs are well trained, the owner should be asked permission before a child or adult approaches an unfamiliar dog. Dogs are, after all, animals. And they are usually immensely protective of their owners. A dog on a leash in public may be even more protective than in the owner's home. How do you teach your child to love dogs but be respectful of their instincts to protect?
How do you explain to a four year old that that adorable sheep dog sitting with its owner next to a park bench may not want to be hugged by a stranger? That is an important job for a parent-to somehow teach the child that the dog feels it is his responsibility to protect the owner and not all dogs are well socialized. The fact that children are small allows a dog easier access to the facial area if an attack should occur. I cannot tell you how many cases I have had which involve facial injuries to a child from hugging a sleeping or surprised dog. Don't let your child do this! The expression “Let sleeping dogs lie” probably came from this very scenario. However, if this should occur, make sure you immediately get medical assistance at your local ER and be sure to obtain the dog owner's full name, address and telephone number.
It is also critical that you get the name and phone number of any witnesses. Insurance companies fight these cases quite vigorously as the damages (permanent facial scarring etc) can be terrible. Don't think for one second the insurance company is going to feel sorry for your child. Insurance companies are in business to make money, not to pay claims. Call Worthington Law Group at 215-576-5150 if you or your child is attacked by a dog. Our service Dogbite.us handles this type of case every day. You need a highly experienced dog bite attorney-not just a lawyer in general practice (jack of all trades, master of none!). At least let us send you a free copy of our book “The PA Dog Bite Book“. All you need to do is call, leave your telephone number and full mailing address. This offer is only available to PA dog bite incidents. The law in other states can differ substantially, and our book deals with PA law.