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Don't Blame the Dog for Biting

February 07, 1996

Regarding Sandra G. Boodman's article on dog bites ("Beware of Familiar (Not Stray) Dogs," Jan. 23), I'd like to suggest that most cases of family pets biting children could be prevented by diligent parental supervision. It's not really the dog's responsibility to control the situation, it's the adult's.

If a dog is badly bred and unpredictable, it should never be near a child. Most normal dogs will try to escape a stressful situation. They want to do anything but bite. A grown-up should be attuned to a pet's feelings and put him in another room or outside if he becomes restless or nervous.

My 10-year-old German shepherd was 3 years old when my only child was born. He was uncomfortable around small children and he still is. He has never bitten anyone, and we've had many children in our home. I can read his feelings and I have respect for them.

Too many people think a dog should just be "good with children," no matter what, and that's not fair to the dog.

JOY JONES

Santa Maria

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