Dog attacks baby in the UK – should dogs be muzzled?

Dog attacks on children are rare, but they are shocking when they happen. On Pat Kenny’s Show on Newstalk this week, we discussed the aftermath of the incident in the UK last weekend when a baby was killed by a terrier.

As well as the attack in the UK at the weekend, there was an attack in Sydney, Australia where the father was woken up by the sound of the baby screaming and found the family dog – an Alaskan Malamute – leaning over the basinet savaging his one week old baby girl. The girl survived.

We can talk about this subject but the main message is that young children can NEVER be left unsupervised with dogs of any kind.

I would like to add that I – and many behaviour experts – do not believe that dogs should be euthanased straight after killing a human, which is what always happens. They would be better to be kept alive, taken to some centre where they could be assessed and analysed to find out what went wrong.

We always hear these stories in the news then hear nothing else. I would like to see a systematic analysis and to read a report six months later so that we can actually learn what went wrong, then spread the word to stop it happening again.

We had a text from a postman who has been attacked often by dogs and has learned never to trust even a dog who was previously docile. As usual, I answered some questions called in to the show, including one about a dog who barks whenever her owner uses her laptop.

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