Man's best friend, child's worst enemy?
One second, that's all it takes for a dog to snap.
"Very quick. You don't really see it happening," said Sharif Fulcher, a patrolman for the Dougherty County Police.
Two families are realizing too late how quickly your fun-loving animal can turn into a dangerous predator. One-year-olds in Nevada and Texas were killed this weekend after their dog attacked them, leaving many to question how much we trust our pet to accept a new family member.
"You don't know how a dog is going to react just because they're good with older children. Dogs have defenses and their defense mechanism is to bite," said Tlisa Northcut, a mother and a dog owner.
Growling, crouching, and snarling are all tell-tale signs of agitation, but sometimes there is no warning for how a dog may react. While some dogs may look cute and cuddly, you never know what might set them off, especially around children.
"All dogs have the inherent ability to bite and become aggressive and young kids sometimes don't know the dangers in reference to dogs in their household," said Fulcher.
Fulcher stresses how important supervision is when dealing with an animal and a child and says always keep your hands on one or the other so the dog doesn't have that extra second to react and become aggressive.
Northcut can't fathom what happen to the children that were attacked but also can't help feeling angry that it happened.
"That's a parent's job to make sure to sense when a dog is angry. Little kids, especially toddlers and below, are going to go for the face or the tail or the areas that they can reach."
Be sure to remind your kids to be gentle when interacting with an animal and never leave the room unattended.
"Just like you would watch your child when they're around a stranger or when they're out in public, that's how you should watch your child when they're around a dog, even if it is the house dog," said Fulcher.