PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – We hear so many stories today about children being mauled by dogs, or worst case scenario, killed in a dog attack.

After these incidents, questions arise about who is to blame – the dog, the child, the parent, the dog owner. Instead, some say education and prevention should be the real focus.

Penny Lane, a dog and baby safety consultant, joined Robert Mangino on the KDKA Afternoon News to discuss how her classes keep parents informed on the best precautions they can take to prevent these kinds of attacks.

She says we have to understand that not all dogs appreciate all kids. Dogs that are good around some kids or toddlers won’t necessarily like to be around all kids or toddlers. Major factors that need to be in check are parent supervision, management of the dog, and if the dogs are familiar with the children.

“If they aren’t familiar with them, they can’t predict what these toddlers are going to do, so they become weary,” Lane said. “People need to be educated on K9 stress signs and know when the dog needs to be removed from the room.”

Lane says that high energy activity and kid play can be arousing for dogs. This is the time parents need to be hyper vigilant about watching behavior so they know when to separate the child or children and the dog.

When asked if she thought some breeds were more prone to bites, Lane was quick to respond.

“I do not. But what I will say is unless it is a stuffed dog, there is always potential for a bite,” Lane said. “What is so important about that is that people assume that their dog would never do anything.”

On Saturday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m., Lane is offering her Dogs and Storks class at West Penn Hospital. This class is for expectant parents who have dogs in their home already.

“What we like to do is get the parents able to get the dog used to baby equipment and sounds of babies and answer their questions and concerns,” Lane said.

She also offers other classes, Dogs and Toddlers – for parents with crawling or mobile toddlers, and Dog Ready for Baby – for dogs and expectant parents.

For a full list of her programs, visit: www.familypaws.com

You can also listen to the whole interview here:

Tune into the KDKA Afternoon News weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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