Questions other than 'How much is that doggie in the window?

June 04, 2004

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control suggests taking the following steps before bringing a dog into your home:

  • Consult with a veterinarian, animal behaviorist or responsible breeder to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household.

  • Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in households with children.

  • Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful or apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a dog.

  • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into the home of an infant or toddler.

  • Spay or neuter virtually all dogs - which often reduces aggressive tendencies.

  • Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.

  • Do not play aggressive games with your dog.

  • Properly train any dog entering the household. Teach the dog such submissive behaviors as rolling over to expose abdomen and relinquishing food without growling.

  • Immediately seek professional advice if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.

- Source:

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