The CDC states that since any dog may be prone to biting, it is up to the owner to reduce the risk of the dog biting and therefore attacking. They state things such as choosing a breed that fits your lifestyle well by speaking to a veterinarian, a breeder, or another expert on the matter. Always spay/neuter the dog as that will decrease their aggressive behavior and will reduce the likelihood of being bitten. They also say that any dog, no matter the breed or circumstances, that has a history of aggression should not be in a house with children. Before you adopt the dog, spend time with it to see if there are any signs that this dog may display aggression towards and aspect of your life and get to know the dog a bit better. If you can learn the dog’s body language, you can be able to tell if the dog is getting over worked within the house and may need to be taken away from the situation.
If the child is afraid or anxious around a dog, you should wait on getting a dog so the child will be more comfortable, the reduces tension between the dog and child. The dog and child should never be left alone or unsupervised just in case something does go wrong or there needs to be an intervention.
Socialize and train the dog so that it will not develop dominant behavior over the child. If the dog does display aggressive behaviors, speak to a veterinarian about it as they may be able to give advice on the issue. Do not play aggressive games with the dog that may involve wrestling or nipping as the dog may accidently bite in a playing manner without knowing that it is not ok to do. Teach children how to properly act around a dog such as, never approaching a strange dog without permission, do not look directly in a dog’s eyes, do not disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping or has puppies, etc.
Although these tips will help minimize the likelihood of being bitten, it does not cover everything. Always approach the situation with caution and be aware because even though you may do everything correctly, that does not protect you from strays and other people’s incorrect behavior.