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It’s not the dog breed ban, it’s the boy

Dogs don’t bite out of the blue (Graphic provided by Dr. Yin)
Dogs don’t bite out of the blue (Graphic provided by Dr. Yin)

Boy taunts dog. Dog bites boy. Dog may die.

Assume the facts presented in the news story were correct and that the dog owner and the mother of the bite victim are being absolutely truthful about the situation under which the boy and the dog made contact. Watch the Fox2 News story here.

Take for face value that the fencing around the property was complete and regarding the fence its height and fencing materials were in compliance as dictated by the ordinance for the city of Ecorse.

3 minutes into the story’s video Fox2 reporter Erika Erickson recounted the mother stated that “It doesn’t matter how her son got into the yard, pit bulls are banned from that area for a reason”.

The challenge

As sorry as I am to see any child hurt under any circumstances I must challenge the mother of the bite victim. It absolutely does matter how her son got into the yard. It is also of very special consequence what the child did in the presence of the dog.

  • Did he do something like ride his bike past or run past the fence getting the dog riled up by his motion and noise? No. It is not unusual for a dog to get fired up by foot traffic and noise outside of his fence. There is advice, positive reinforcement training and fence management techniques to assist the owner to help the dog to cope in such situations.
  • Did he do something that resembles directly challenging the dog with direct eye contact, a loud voice, banging on the fence, throwing objects? As reported – Yes. Is it cruel and stupid to behave like that around a pet? Absolutely.
  • In the report it refers to him playing with neighborhood children. Were the other children questioned? Was there adult supervision while these children were playing? Not that we know of. Do children act out or do things they should not do when they are together in a group? Absolutely.

The gist of the story and the deadly consequences

A child, left unsupervised and with evidence of no education on how to be respectful to pets gets bit severely on the face and will have a painful recovery. He may even have some emotional scaring from the incident. The dog was in its own yard, showed multiple ways through his body language that he did not want any part of this boy’s ill intended actions and when his physical barrier was crossed he lashed out and bit. He did not go in for a kill; he bit to disable his attacker, the boy. The pet may now lose his life after a ten day hold because there was not enough caring, caution and respect by the parties involved to prevent this preventable and awful occasion.

I encourage the adults involved to work with children in their neighborhood on programming offered through Doggone Safe.

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