Surprising Advice for Dog Bite Prevention
Following the advice of a cosmetic surgeon, one who has treated a fair number of people for facial injuries from dog bites in his career, is generally a good idea. Surgeon John Holtzen writes that dog bites are one of the more common sources of traumatic facial injuries every year in the U.S. - and these bites, at least in his experience, don't come as often from the dogs known to be aggressive.
In fact, Holtzen has seen more bites from labradors and golden retrievers than from pit bulls and rottweilers (though pit bulls and rottweilers cause more deaths). A bite from a golden retriever, for instance, is still a cause for concern, considering the pain and disfigurement to the victim's face and the possibility of infection.
Because the majority of dog bites seem to happen to children, Holtzen recommends giving the dog time and space to grow accustomed to being around a stranger. Just because the family dog does just fine with the dog owner's children doesn't mean that it won't bite other children brought into the home.
And, whatever you do, keep your face out of the dog's face. That goes not just for your five-year-old, but you too.