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If dogs can sense people, why can't they sense that babies are harmless?

  1. Lady_E profile image75
    Lady_Eposted 6 years ago

    If dogs can sense people, why can't they sense that babies are harmless?

    So many toddlers get attacked - some by the family dog at home.

  2. hecate-horus profile image81
    hecate-horusposted 6 years ago

    Dogs are pack animals that have a social hierarchy.  If someone else in the pack threatens their position in the hierarchy, they might try to challenge it.  They don't think like humans.

  3. Laura Schneider profile image92
    Laura Schneiderposted 6 years ago

    Dogs behave differently around babies and toddlers than around adults. Close supervision or separation at all times is required for complete safety. Responsible parents and dog owners also, make sure that the dog has a "get away"--someplace it can go but the baby/toddler/child can't--to relieve stress and calm its nerves and simply nap in peace. read more

  4. onegoodwoman profile image76
    onegoodwomanposted 6 years ago

    And others, such as my first grand daughter, are well protected by the family dog.

    I placed her, only hours old, in the center of my bed.........

    My " huge, large, massive, defensive, destructrive" dog, lay at her feet, for hours.

    Day, after day................until the days, that she could crawl upon him, over him, pull his ears, swing on his tail, and " belly flop" upon him..........

    The very worst thing that he ever did.............................

    he got up and walked away from her invasions.

    Three years later, he would die a natural death, and she still asks...............where is Murphy?

  5. sara xiao profile image59
    sara xiaoposted 6 years ago

    In my view, some dogs are friendly, and a few of dogs are malicious.  Maybe this difference depends on the domesticated way by their owners.

  6. Seeker7 profile image96
    Seeker7posted 6 years ago

    The main reason that dogs attack toddlers/babies is firstly because they have an owner who hasn't a clue how to look after either their babies or the dog(s). Any dog that has bitten one of the children feels that they are higher up the pack than the child. In fact the dog probably thinks it's the pack leader - which means it's just as likely to bite the adults.

    In the wild, dogs will bite/use aggression to keep in line all members of the pack lower than them. Mostly, it's not a kill attack but a discipline attack. Unfortunately dogs don't know how devasting their teeth are and how vulnerable children are. Therefore its imperative that any dog owner who has kids or will have kids around them, ensures that the dog is properly trained, that it knows its place in the pack = lower than the children. If in any doubts, then you must keep the dog and kids separated. Personally if I had kids I would always go for the non-agressive breeds that have a very good reputation with children - labradors/retrievers etc., especially if you are a novice dog owner.

    Secondly, for children the dog doesn't know, the dog is working things out with scent not logic. If a dog picks up a scent that is alien to its 'pack' then it is programmed to defend the pack and can only do this by displaying aggression. Having said all this, this behaviour again tends to only come out in dogs that have not been trained or looked after properly and are poorly supervised around children.

  7. letscithappen profile image60
    letscithappenposted 6 years ago

    First let me start by saying I am not defending any dog for attacking children or for that matter for them attacking anyone. But in my opinion I think Dogs sense babies and small children as unpredictable. Which seems to have a dog always on guard for their own safety.

  8. heididoghyde profile image60
    heididoghydeposted 6 years ago

    Dogs rely on scents and can also feel left out with a new baby in the household. They can't understand why they're not number one anymore and this new baby is getting all of the attention instead of them. This can cause the dog's behavior to change due to the baby being there.

    A dog needs to be introduced gradually to the baby and see how the dog reacts. You'll be able to decide whether or not if it's a good idea to get a reaction. A baby or young child should never be left alone not even for a minute when the dog is roaming freely in your home. Use common sense when deciding whether or not to let the dog be a part of the baby's life.

  9. scentualhealing profile image57
    scentualhealingposted 6 years ago

    Dogs can sense the hyperness and nervousness that babies and toddlers and children have, the fear of dogs.  This in turn makes the dog nervous or hyper too.  If the dog is used to being teased or tormented from a previous experience then it behaves in order to protect itself.

    The dog also senses the childs type of mentality that it has at the time and the child may also be reacting in an angry or defensive manner on the inside even though they may not be showing it on the outside.  That is why it is necessary to keep a calm and peaceful manner, within you and without you around all animals.

    Not all children and babies are reflecting this calmness and could be upset or in a teasing mode.  It depends on the dogs conditioning and how it is treated at home also.  If the dog is played with in a rough house way, not mean or violent, this can be interpreted as too rough for a young child to play with.

    Children and adults should always ask the owners permission before petting or playing with a dog, especially a dog they do not know.  Never apporaoch a dog you do not know if the owner is not around, it is not a stuffed animal for the child to play with.

    Some parents need to teach their children boundaries, in that everything is not meant for them to play with.  Some parents do not teach children that some things are hands off, and indulge their children just because they think they should.

    Dogs were once used to hunt and to protect the farm and home land and were raised and breeded just for this use.  Now a days people try to dress them up and sit them at the table and treat them like they are humans.  They are animals here to serve a purpose, but acting and being treated like a human is not one of them.

  10. mikejhca profile image92
    mikejhcaposted 6 years ago

    Babies are not harmless.  Some pets run away when a baby comes near them because a baby did something to them in the past.  A dog may attack a toddler because the dog is scared, hyper or because it wants to claim dominance.  Most likely the dog is just hyper or scared.

    I have a big dog and he is good when the toddler is good.  A child crawled under and over him and he was fine.  He is gentle and patient.  However I need to watch him around other kids that are more hyper.  A bunch of children running around and making a lot of noise causes him to become more hyper.  If it is a child he does not know he gets nervous even though he is bigger than them.

  11. brielise profile image60
    brieliseposted 6 years ago

    If it's just a random dog, I would say it's because the child gets in their way. These dogs are most likely aggressive to begin with. If it's a their family dog at home, sometimes it's probably that the dog gets jealous. My cousin and her husband treated their dog like their baby and then when they had a baby, they pretty much through her out in the cold. They pretty much do what they have to to take care of and everything is now "bad dog". She went from being very well trained and loving, never barking, etc. to doing bad things to get attention.

  12. alityfiction profile image58
    alityfictionposted 6 years ago

    Simply put, I'd say it's an issue of size.  A baby bears a much greater resemblance to smaller mammal than it does to a human being.  Dogs are fiercely loyal.  If they see what they perceive as a threat crawling all over their owner, it may be an instinctual reaction to remove the perceived threat.

    It's very easy to blame the dog when a baby is harmed.  Obviously it isn't the baby's fault.  But I do think with proper acclimation, the incidence of canines attacking children are decreased significantly.  Children can be fussy, and as far as an animal might be concerned, downright irritating.  In an ideal world, there would be enough supervision on both counts that the child could learn some basic respect for the animal, and vice versa, without things coming to such violent ends.