The Problem: According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks
medical attention for a dog bite-related injury. In 1994, some 4.7
million incidents were reported in the United States with nearly
800,000 people requiring medical treatment for dog bite-related
injuries. Most of the victims are children under 13 years old with
children five to nine years the most vulnerable.
Dog bites are a serious public health/safety problem that can
cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and
considerable cost to communities. A dog’s tendency to bite
depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training,
socialization, health and the victim’s behavior. Dog bites are
largely preventable and prevention must begin with the owner and
how the owner interacts with the dog. A dog should undergo
socialization with all members of the family, people outside the
family and other animals.
Just as children need to be taught how to be well-mannered
around other people, they need to be taught proper behavior when
around animals. They need to learn what constitutes appropriate
play, why dogs may bite, what to do when dogs show danger signs,
and when dogs are not to be disturbed.
The BOW WOW OW video helps teach children how to act
responsibly and safely when interacting with dogs. This 6-minute,
animated/live action video provides basic information on dog
communication. The video addresses common situations where
children could have a negative experience with dogs and then
illustrates the proper behavior children should possess while in
each situation. These teaching points along with common sense
and adult supervision will go a long way in preventing dog
Dr. Ronald D. Anderson, DVM, MPH
The State of Nevada and WAAAHOO Productions do not guarantee that
these educational materials will prevent children from being bitten or attacked by
their dog or other dogs. Dogs are animals and animal behavior is unpredictable.
Children should be supervised at all times, around dogs, even the family pet.
Children should be taught not to approach strange dogs.