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A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

I wrote this post in 2014, it is still relevant today, as it was back then.

A few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk, without adult supervision

Parents, often ask me if its ok for their children to take their dog out for a walk.  I say yes sure, so long as you or another adult accompanies them.

The main reason these days for not letting young children take their dog out for a walk alone is the one of safety, safety of the dog and child.

Young children don’t have the strength or presence of mind to act quickly enough, if something bad were to happen.eg: such as a stray or off lead dog were to approach them. Adults, in the same situation can often find it hard to manage, let alone a young child.

Anyone who takes their dog out has to have their “Eyes Wide Open” all the time and be aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them. Young children are not really capable of doing that, due to their age and immaturity.

Lastly, the Dog Control Act states: Section 52 Obligations of Owners, The owner of any dog shall keep that dog under control at all times. a dog shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be not under control if the only person present or in charge of the dog is under the age of 16 years.

For more information please read this very good article: Can Kids Walk Dogs? 5 Things to Consider 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in About

 

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Another article to add to the arsenal against BSL, time to wake-up New Zealand.

Another article to add to the arsenal against BSL, time to wake-up New Zealand.

This article was posted online back in 2013 by The Telegraph. The article was written by Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent 3:21PM GMT 03 Dec 2013.

“Bad dog owners to blame for aggressive animals not their breed”

New research suggests dogs which have been deemed ‘dangerous’ and banned by the government may have been wrongly stigmatised because they are prized by bad owners…”

To read the full article click here

Just another article to add to the arsenal against BSL,   yet New Zealand, still insists on going forward with BSL.

Also read:

A big thumbs up NZ for the lack of imagination and foresight and daring to be different.

Dog safety advice for all (not just kids) most dog bites are preventable

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in About

 

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Making a Dog Safety difference in 2017! How many people involved with dogs. Vets, dog trainers/behaviourists, pet shops, etc. discuss & hand out dog safety information, to their clients?

Making a Dog Safety difference in 2017! How many people involved with dogs. Vets, dog trainers/behaviourists, pet shops, etc. discuss & hand out dog safety information, to their clients?

Now, this suggestion may or may not be popular and yes it will not reach everyone but its a proactive start.

How about anyone involved with dogs.  All dog trainers, vets, pet shops and behaviourists  hand out information and discuss basic dog safety and the dog control act with their clients? It’s easy enough to make up FAQ sheets.

I have just put together a one stop dog safety resource page. Titled: Dog Safety Advice for all (not just kids) most dog bites are preventable.

There are different coloured links to videos, articles & graphics. All information is free to use. All information is copyright so a mention or link to the various authors of the graphics, articles & videos including ZeroBites Dog Training, would be greatly appreciated.

I have been a advocate of dog safety education, including the Dog Control Act for years.

To that end I have been discussing and handing out information on both, to my clients for a very long time.

I’d be interested to hear from any trainer, club, vet who is doing this as well, apart from myself.

We as educators have a opportunity to make a difference and maybe along the way,

prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

We are on the front lines so to speak, we can make a difference! We have the opportunity to be part of the solution, and if we do nothing, are we passively contributing to the problem?

 Rescues, SPCA, Plunket and the like, are on the front lines also, they like us, have a great opportunity to educate their clients about dog safety, keeping both dogs and people safe.

It would be good, if we could all in a small way, help turn the tide in 2017 and try to reduce, by education, the number dog bites/ dog attacks in NZ.

Again, hopefully along the way, prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

Another link you maybe interested in reading:

A big “Thumbs Up NZ” for the lack of imagination & foresight and daring to be different. The new proposed dog control laws, leave a lot to be desired.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in About

 

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Dog Safety for all (not just kids) Most dog bites are preventable!

Dog Safety for all (not just kids) Most dog bites are preventable!

I have put this page together as a one stop, dog safety resource.

So lets make a difference in 2017! 

There are links and videos, to a lot of good information on dog safety, dog body language and do and don’ts ( how to keep dogs and people safe),  on this page. You will find the links in different coloured text, so please click on them, if you want to learn more and help to turn the tide on the rising number of dog bites/dog attacks.

77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.  While dogs can and do make great companions and are a lot of fun, people often, feel too secure and comfortable when in the company of them and don’t see, or are oblivious to the potential dangers.

Dogs and Humans are different species and both speak different languages and its up to us, as humans, to learn what they are trying to tell us. Like all animals, dogs do speak to us, if we as humans, choose, to watch, listen and learn.

They need to be treated with respect and understanding and sometimes human expectations are too high, they don’t think like we do, they are, after all, a different species.

Please watch the The Family Dog, stop the 77 video below. There are more videos on their site, great for all the family and friends to watch.

Parents, educators & dog owners have a responsibility to learn and then teach,  children adults, non dog owners, & dog owners, how to act and behave when in the company of any dog, including their own.

Both kids and adults need to know about basic dog safety and awareness, because for the most part, children under the age of 12yrs are the one’s who get bitten. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of adults who get chomped on, as well.

Even non dog owners, need to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. as they may not have a dog but the chances are, they know someone who does.

Below is a very good graphic from family paws, on the 5 types of supervision, it is too easy to get caught up in doing something else and not being aware of what is going on around you, such as talking or texting on the phone or on the computer, chatting or having coffee with friends, the list is endless.

Again, dogs do talk to us, if we as humans choose to watch, listen & learn. They need us to watch out for them.

Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

The same can be said about introducing your dog to people: If you are unsure remove your dog from the situation, it only takes a second for something bad to happen.

Greeting people may make your dog scared or uncomfortable.

5-types-Supervision-LowRes

TV and Movies often portray “The good family dog” but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well trained, and they have trainers on the sets with them. If you want a well-trained and adjusted dog, you have to put the time and effort in. They need guidance, direction and boundaries, as do children.

Even people who have been around dogs all their life’s should Never assume that a strange dog is going to be friendly towards them, remember you may think you know dogs but that strange dog doesn’t know you. It may see you as an intruder or a threat.

There are many things that can cause a dog to bite you, so please take the time to read

5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog, Dog Owners its ok to say NO! & Lets get real, is the dog really to blame A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

Dog Safety Advice for All (not just kids)

Never leave a child alone with a dog, because a child’s actions may inadvertently trigger an unwanted response, and the child may get bitten.

Never tease a dog. (E.g.: shouting & yelling, barking, throwing things, pulling faces & ears etc). These actions can cause a dog to attack because it may feel threatened or frightened If the dog is confined in a yard or tied up it will not forget the teasing, and if the opportunity presents itself, it will get its own back.

Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog. If the owner is not around leave the dog alone. If it is a stray dog, stay well away.

Never run away from a dog and Never run away screaming and shouting, because a dogs natural instinct it to chase and catch its prey.

Never enter a yard with a dog in it; always ask permission from the owner.

Never stare into the eyes of a dog, the dog may see it as a threat or a challenge to fight.

Always approach dogs calmly, carefully and slowly. Let the dog see and sniff you that’s how they get to know you and never approach a dog from behind.

Dogs like to play rough, they don’t have hands like you or I, and they jump up and use their mouths to grab hold and hang on. So do not jump, wave your arms around or scream when playing around dogs, these actions excite and stimulate the dogs chase response.

Never play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

If you are approached by a strange dog stand very still and remain calm. Don’t scream and shout, stand sideways and don’t stare, that tells the dog, via body language, that you are non confrontational, then slowly move away, by taking small steps, if you can.

Never approach a strange dog. (You will never know what it will do).

Never put your hand through a fence or a window of a parked car to pat a dog, because it will bite you.

Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for pups.

Never try to separate dogs that are fighting. (unless you know what you are doing)

If you are knocked over by a dog, Always protect your face, arms & neck and roll up into a ball and remain very still.

If you get bitten tell an adult.

Never put your face close to a dog.

Never hug your dog or any dog around the neck because you may trigger the dogs bite reflex and the dog will bite you.

Children should not take their dog out for a walk unless accompanied by an adult, because if a situation arises e.g.: encounter with a stray dog, children don’t have the strength or presence of mind, to act quickly enough.

Be careful when handling a dog who is in pain or injured, it may bite you. Always, take precautions.

Always, try to be relaxed and calm around dogs, erratic movements could startle a dog or they may think you are teasing them.

Never take your dog on someone else’s property without finding out first, if it is OK to do so.

Fast-moving outdoor athletes should keep a safe distance between them and dog walkers. (E.g.: joggers, Cyclists etc). Again, these actions trigger the dog’s natural chase response.

Never run or walk up behind a dog, (even one you know) and try to pat it. Always, let a dog know you are there, let it see and sniff you.

Below is another very good info graphic from Doggone safe, although it says holiday tips, these tips can keep everyone safe year round.

holiday bite prevention tips

More information with graphics can be found @ http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html
Also take time to read the NZ herald Dog Attack feature & A big thumbs up NZ
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/dog-attacks/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=575

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in About

 

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A big “Thumbs Up NZ” for the lack of imagination & foresight and daring to be different. The new proposed dog control laws, leave a lot to be desired.

A big “Thumbs Up NZ” for the lack of imagination & foresight and daring to be different. The new proposed dog control laws, leave a lot to be desired.

This will probably be, my first and last article I write on this subject because quite honestly, its enough to make a person pull their hair out, in frustration and disgust.

I am not going to get caught up in the fray and ramble on emotively, there are plenty of people out there, who without a doubt, are more qualified at emotive and unproductive rambling, than I.

The number of dog attacks/ bites have been slowly increasing over a number of years, there are many reasons for that, the theme however always seems to remain the same.

NZ has a spate of reported dog attacks/bites.  Reports in the media usually lead to a feeding frenzy of emotive rants, raves & ideas on how to solve the “dangerous dog problem”. This theme seems to be repeated every time a serious attack story hits the media.

Common sense facts and solutions, are what is needed, not emotive rants and raves. I have been an advocate of dog safety education for all (children & adults) for a very long time and I have to say, “Lets get real, is the dog really to blame?”

When I refer to dog safety,  I mean teaching both children and adults,  how to act, behave and stay safe, when in the company of dogs, it’s about teaching and keeping both dogs and people safe. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog. stopthe77.com

Personally, I have found that most dog bites & attacks are caused by inappropriate interactions with a dog. There’s a real culture of “she’ll be right”, or “oh Fluffy wouldn’t bite – he’s bomb proof”. People are complacent and usually not aware of the warning signs.

Indeed in a recent online survey commissioned by Hon Louise Upston  (associate minister of local government) which ran from 1st August 2016 – until 14th August 2016. The need for more education was indeed one of the things identified, yet it seems one of the last things on the “to do” list.

Yet, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is often mentioned.  For those of you who don’t know what BSL is, it’s laws or legislation based on the breed your dog is, or in some cases what people think your dog is if you’re not sure. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much a quick fix solution that worldwide, is known not to work! However, it has the potential to cost a lot of dogs their lives. So why look at adopting it? Is it to placate the uneducated & uninformed, while trying to curry favour, with the general public?

 Why not, dare to be different, how hard can it be, to research and maybe try something new.

For example take a look at: How Calgary reduced dog attacks without banning pit bulls  Briefly, they changed from the “standard animal control model” to a “responsible pet owner model” education is a big thing, all schools are visited every year, dog owners are urged to get training for their dog if problems arise and so on. Read the article, it is food for thought.

In a recent article published on Radio NZ web site 23rd September 2016 an article titled:

Dog law change would make dangerous breeds extinct in NZ :

Mr Les Dalton (Institute of Animal Management president) said the new measures were well overdue.

“It’s something that needed to be done. We’ve had far too many children being mauled by pit bull-type dogs and dogs that had the content of the wrong breed in them. Would you put your grandchild or little daughter or little son in the lounge with a pitbull and leave them alone with the child?”  A very emotive statement, to say the least.

Maybe, Mr Dalton needs to be taught some basic dog safety education. You should never leave any dog, irrespective of the breed, alone with a child or even some adults for that matter. (dog safety 101, folks!)

All dogs can bite, even “GOOD WELL TRAINED DOGS” if they are teased, hit, abused or put in situations THEY find uncomfortable. People need to be taught how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. “All animals speak to us, including dogs, if we as humans, choose to watch, listen and learn”. Dogs need us to protect & respect them.

Having a well trained dog isn’t enough, basic dog safety/dog bite prevention, should be taught in all schools, while I know in some areas of NZ, it is being done. I am also aware  “Funding” is an issue. If NZ wants to turn the tide and is serious about reducing the dog bite statistics, make the funding available.

The old saying, “talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is, or shut the bleep up” springs to mind.

Now, this suggestion may or may not be popular and yes it will not reach everyone but its a proactive start.

How about anyone involved with dogs.  All dog trainers, vets, pet shops and behaviourists  hand out information and discuss basic dog safety and the dog control act with their clients? It’s easy enough to make up FAQ sheets or even print something off the internet and hand them out. I’d also be interested to hear from any trainer, club, vet who is doing this, apart from myself.

 Also, rescues, SPCA, Plunket and the like, are on the front lines so to speak. It’s a great opportunity to educate your clients and help turn the tide.

Even “GOOD HUMANS” will react if they’re pushed, teased or threatened – so why do we put our pets in potentially life threatening situations?

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in About

 

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Lets get real, Is the dog really to blame?

Lets get real, Is the dog really to blame?

Well, I feel like I am a broken record saying the same thing over and over again, when it comes to Dog Safety and how to stay safe around dogs.

The reported dog attacks over the last few weeks here in NZ, are certainly a cause for concern but are the dogs really to blame? Easier to blame the dog than the owner or the person who was supposed to be supervising because they can’t stand up for themselves and tell their side of the story.  Dogs don’t just bite, most bites are the caused by inappropriate behaviour by adults and children   as well as people not seeing and reading the dogs warning signs. All too often the dog pays the price, with its life.

77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog and a good percentage of the victims are children. Many, not all, of these bites stem from inappropriate greetings and play as well as, dogs being generally put in, bad situations

While it may be good the media report and highlight these instances they fuel the fire but we “the public” very rarely get to hear the full story.

In my opinion, there are 3 things which have greatly contributed to the rise in dog bites/attacks over the last few years in both children and adults. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog and a good percentage of the victims are children. Many, not all, of these bites result from inappropriate greetings and play.

1. Human Complacency.

People feel too comfortable & secure and don’t see or are unaware/oblivious to the potential dangers living with a dog can bring. Dogs have been put on a pedestal, too much is expected of them. They have to act and behave and be good dogs, in any given situation. As if humans would do the same, if the roles were reversed. Dogs are not human they don’t think the same as we do, they need to be treated with respect and understanding. After all we are living with an animal that can move faster than us in everyway, who has teeth that can do a lot of damage and in many cases is stronger than us.  If I were not talking about a dog but another animal, say a Tiger, Horse or even a Cat, would people be so complacent?

2.  A she’ll-be-right attitude, which is quite self explanatory

3. People looking but not seeing.

Lack of supervision, supervision for many  these days means taking a quick glance around at what the dog, kids or other adults are doing while chatting on the phone. working on the computer, having coffee with friends maybe even in another room, going for a walk with your dog and not paying attention to what is going on around you. The list is endless. If you can’t be watching 100% of the time, its quite easy to remove the dog or person/people from the situation, and if you are out walking, leash your dog.

By looking and not seeing, you are not seeing if your dog is, being teased, harassed, bullied or is or is frightened, stressed or distressed. All animals talk to us including dogs, (via body language) if we choose to watch and listen. As humans, we won’t tolerate being teased, harassed or bullied, so why should dogs?  As humans, we may feel frightened, stressed or distressed at times and what do we do?   We seek help, comfort, support, so why not help, comfort and support, dogs. After all they are supposed to be mans best friend, so dog owners need to become educators  so they can teach others including non dog owners, how to act, behave and communicate, when in the company of their dog or anyone else’s.

So what do dogs need from us? they need love, boundaries, rules, guidance, protection, consistency and a safe place to call their own, a place they can go, to have a break, from kids, you, your friends, other dogs and to just chill. They need time spent with them on a daily basis. They need you to understand them and stand up for them, when they are unhappy, stressed, frightened or are being teased, harassed or bullied. They need you to look and see and not to be complacent, and not to be afraid to say NO to that child or adult or even another dog & owner, if their behaviour is unacceptable. Remember, dog owners its ok to say “NO”

Always remember, its your dog, your house, your rules and when you are out its your dog your rules.

These days there is a lot of information about dog safety out there and there is no real reason why people should not be, well informed. I often hear “my dog is good with kids” (maybe be good with your kids but not someone else’s) “my dog won’t bite”(any dog will bite given the right set of circumstances) “my dog is a good dog” even good dogs bite if they are teased, hit, abused or put in a bad situation.

I personally hand out dog safety information along with the training FAQ sheets to all my clients. If they are new expectant parents I cover that also. I find myself now teaching people how to protect themselves when they are out walking, with or without their dog, from unwanted attention from off leash dogs, which in reality, I shouldn’t have to  be doing.

If we want to turn the tide and reduce the number of dog bites/attacks maybe its time that all dog trainers/behaviourists, training clubs, vets who run puppy schools, private trainers, SPCA, Rescues, Schools and Plunket get on board and provide basic dog safety information to their clients, children and parents. All people, (children & adults)) whether they are dog owners or not, need to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. All dogs speak to us, if we choose to watch and listen.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in About

 

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What Parents, Educators & Dog Owners should know and be able to tell & teach adults & children, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Most dog bites are preventable.

What Parents, Educators & Dog Owners should know and be able to tell & teach adults & children, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Most dog bites are preventable.

77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Dogs are dogs not substitute human children and all have the potential to harm. While they make great companions and are a lot of fun, people often, feel too secure and comfortable when in the company of them and don’t see or are oblivious to the potential dangers.

After all you are living/interacting  with an animal, that is quicker/faster than you, in every way, has sharp teeth that can do a lot of damage and in a lot of cases, is stronger.

If I were describing another animal, say for instance, a Tiger,  would you feel as secure and comfortable in the company of one them, of course you wouldn’t, because they have the potential to harm or kill you. You would be very aware, safety and knowing how to act and behave, would be your top priority.

Dogs are no different, they need to be treated with respect and understanding and sometimes human expectations are too high, they don’t think like we do, they are, after all, a different species. Please watch the The Family Dog, stop the 77 video below.

Parents, educators & dog owners have a responsibility to teach children and adults how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Both kids and adults need to know about basic dog safety and awareness, because for the most part, children under the age of 12yrs are the one’s who get bitten. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of adults who get chomped on, as well.

Even if you are not a dog owner, everyone needs to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. You may not have a dog but the chances are, you know someone who does.

Below is a very good graphic from family paws, on the 5 types of supervision, it is too easy to get caught up in doing something else and not being aware of what is going on around you, such as talking or texting on the phone or on the computer, chatting or having coffee with friends, the list is endless.

Parents & dog owners, need to do more than just supervise, when children, adults and dogs are together. They need to be watching 100% of the time.

Dogs do talk to us if we watch, observe and listen. They need to watch out for signs of stress in the dog, such as: changes in facial expression, licking of the lips, and the dog’s general demeanour. If you are unsure remove the dog from the situation, it only takes a second for something bad to happen.

5-types-Supervision-LowRes

TV and Movies often portray “The good family dog” but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well trained, and they have trainers on the sets with them. If you want a well-trained and adjusted dog, you have to put the time and effort in. They need guidance, direction and boundaries, as do children.

Even people who have been around dogs all their life’s should Never assume that a strange dog is going to be friendly towards them, remember you may think you know dogs but that strange dog doesn’t know you. It may see you as an intruder or a threat. There are many things that can cause a dog to bite you, so please take the time to read 5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog  and Dog Owners its ok to say NO!

Dog Safety Advice for All

Never leave a child alone with a dog, because a child’s actions may inadvertently trigger an unwanted response, and the child may get bitten.

Never tease a dog. (E.g.: shouting & yelling, barking, throwing things, pulling faces & ears etc). These actions can cause a dog to attack because it may feel threatened or frightened If the dog is confined in a yard or tied up it will not forget the teasing, and if the opportunity presents itself, it will get its own back.

Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog. If the owner is not around leave the dog alone. If it is a stray dog, stay well away.

Never run away from a dog and Never run away screaming and shouting, because a dogs natural instinct it to chase and catch its prey.

Never enter a yard with a dog in it; always ask permission from the owner.

Never stare into the eyes of a dog, the dog may see it as a threat or a challenge to fight.

Always approach dogs calmly, carefully and slowly. Let the dog see and sniff you that’s how they get to know you and never approach a dog from behind.

Dogs like to play rough, they don’t have hands like you or I, and they jump up and use their mouths to grab hold and hang on. So do not jump, wave your arms around or scream when playing around dogs, these actions excite and stimulate the dogs chase response.

Never play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

If you are approached by a strange dog stand very still and remain calm. Don’t scream and shout, stand sideways and don’t stare, that tells the dog, via body language, that you are non confrontational, then slowly move away, by taking small steps, if you can.

Never approach a strange dog. (You will never know what it will do).

Never put your hand through a fence or a window of a parked car to pat a dog, because it will bite you.

Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for pups.

Never try to separate dogs that are fighting.

If you are knocked over by a dog, Always protect your face, arms & neck and roll up into a ball and remain very still.

If you get bitten tell an adult.

Never put your face close to a dog.

Never hug your dog or any dog around the neck because you may trigger the dogs bite reflex and the dog will bite you.

Children should not take their dog out for a walk unless accompanied by an adult, because if a situation arises e.g.: encounter with a stray dog, children don’t have the strength or presence of mind, to act quickly enough.

Be careful when handling a dog who is in pain or injured, it may bite you. Always, take precautions.

Always, try to be relaxed and calm around dogs, erratic movements could startle a dog or they may think you are teasing them.

Never take your dog on someone else’s property without finding out first, if it is OK to do so.

Fast-moving outdoor athletes should keep a safe distance between them and dog walkers. (E.g.: joggers, Cyclists etc). Again, these actions trigger the dog’s natural chase response.

Never run or walk up behind a dog, (even one you know) and try to pat it. Always, let a dog know you are there, let it see and sniff you.

Below is another very good info graphic from Doggone safe, although it says holiday tips, these tips can keep everyone safe year round.

holiday bite prevention tips

More information with graphics can be found @ http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html
Also take time to read the NZ herald Dog Attack feature
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/dog-attacks/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=575

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in About

 

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