Education can help prevent dog bites - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Education can help prevent dog bites

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ATLANTA -

Of the millions of people bitten by dogs each year, children are most likely to require reconstructive surgery. It's a tragic injury that can be prevented with some education.

For FOX 5 photojournalist Mike Daly and his 2-year-old son Graham, it was supposed to be a peaceful bike ride, but a dog had other plans when it tried to attack Graham.

An incident like that has master K-9 trainer Blake Rashad on a mission.

Rashad says 4.7 million people every year are bitten by dogs, and 70 percent of them are kids 8 years old and under. He says the first thing to teach your children is to not run from dogs.

"Kids will run from a dog even when a dog is not aggressive toward the kid. They just see a dog across the street, and they take off running." Said Rashad.

Rashad says running sets dogs into prey mode and a dog will chase, just because a child is running.

"Teach kids to stand still, hold their ground. Put their arms over their chest, think positive thoughts. The dog will come up smell you, get bored with you and move on," Rashad said.

Rashad says big or small, teach your children to always ask permission of a dog's owner and wait for a response.

"And the person that's holding the dog should walk the dog over for the pet, and then the child extend his hand out, fingers curled back, wrist curled back, until the dog smells you and then you want to reach around and pet the dog," said Rashad.

He says tell your children never to take anything from a dog or tease them. Rashad says with a little education big tragedies can be prevented.

"We use Smokey the Bear to stop forest fires, we said say no to drugs, we've got to do something about this epidemic," said Rashad.

He says never leave a baby alone with a dog, no matter how long you've had the dog or how friendly you think it is. Dogs can't distinguish between a chew toy and a small child.

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