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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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5 Easy ways to get bitten by a Dog

5 Easy ways to get bitten by a Dog

The incident of dog bites and dog attacks are on the increase worldwide not just in New Zealand. You would think with all the information out there, so to speak, the number of incidents would be decreasing but they are not. Even though children, are top of the list for getting bitten, there are plenty of adults who get chomped on, as well. So what is going on here, why are we having so many problems?

In my opinion, dogs are more social now (which is not a bad thing) than they were say 20-30 years ago, dogs back then, used to stay at home more and didn’t get out and about as much as they do today. When they did go out they knew what was expected of them. People too, were probably more direct and not as PC, as we are today. You would have gotten told, to leave the dog alone or it will bite you and if you were stupid enough not to listen and you got bitten, it was your fault, your responsibility.

Dog owners need to stand up and protect their dogs and not worry so much about the possibility of offending someone. Remember, if someone is offended, its their problem, not yours. Please take time to read: Dog Owners, its OK to say “NO” 

The advent of urbanisation, has bought about more people and more dogs living together, in closer proximity to each other and while there maybe a lot of dog owners/lovers out there, there are many more children and adults who have had little or no experience, when it comes to dog interactions. This in itself, can increase the risk, of someone being bitten or attacked.

Even today in our modern world, dogs are happiest when they have rules, boundaries routine and consistency in their lives, as are humans. Unfortunately, today many breeds of dogs have lost the jobs they were bred and born to do, so they may become bored, frustrated and stressed, so their lives have to be enriched in other ways. The same can be said for people, with the advent of technology the industry and work opportunities that were around say  20-30 years ago in a lot of cases, no longer exist today.

Lastly, complacency and a “she”ll be right attitude ” have a big role to play in the increased incidents of dog bites and attacks. Whether you are a dog owner or not, child or adult, the basic rules of dog safety need to be instilled into everyone as does the dog control act. Dog are dogs, not substitute humans, all too often they are put in situations, (whether it be at home or away), we would not put ourselves in, if the roles were reversed, and yet we expect them to behave and be good dogs. They don’t have a voice like you and I, although they do speak to us if we choose to watch and listen. Dogs need you, to do the right thing by them and stop putting them in situations and positions they can’t handle or feel uncomfortable with.

Too often, you hear people say the bite came out of nowhere, Really! what they don’t say, is what happened, prior to the dog bite.

Here are my top 5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog. and no 1 on my list and my favourite, I see this happen a lot and I am surprised more people don’t get bitten or maybe they do and I don’t get to hear about it.

1. People (children and adults) who insist on charging up to a dog, leashed or unleashed, whether they are dog owners or not, (dog owners should know better) and then leaning forward to pat the dog on its head, or better yet cup the dogs face in their hands. Dogs don’t like it! That’s great way to get your face taken off or at least lose some fingers and is always guaranteed to make a bloody mess. As for the poor dog, more often than not, it’s a one way trip to the vet.

2. Lack of supervision. You often hear, you must supervise your dog, when in the company of other adults or children. The word supervision what does it mean? well to many these days, it means just casting a casual glance around to see whats going on while doing something else. Such as talking or texting on the phone, having a family gathering or party, having a coffee or chatting with friends, walking or running your off leash dog and not being aware of where it is or what it is doing, the list is endless.

This is not supervision, there is no room for multi-tasking here, supervision means, having your “eyes wide open” being aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you, watching for signs of stress or distress in your dog, inappropriate behaviour from people (children & adults) or maybe another dog or your dog, If you can’t be watching a 100% of the time, remove the dog from the situation or if necessary the person/people if they won’t listen to you, as it only takes second for something bad to happen.

3. Hugging a dog. Another easy way of getting your face taken off, Dogs don’t really like to be hugged, your own dog may put up with it but someone elses may not. If a dog feels stressed or anxious and can’t get away, it will bite. Don’t be fooled by the Movies and TV portraying “the good family dog” they are often misleading. The dogs you see on these shows are well-trained and have trainers on the set with them.

4. Teasing or Startling a Dog, People don’t like to be teased or startled, and neither do dogs, Being startled can make us jump, in some cases we may shout, or lash out or be genuinely frightened. Dogs are no different in this respect but with them, they are more likely to bite, the bite is a reflex action and not their fault. You can say the same about teasing, who likes to be teased, I personally don’t know of anyone who does. So why for some, is it ok to tease a dog, Teasing unfortunately isn’t just a child’s pastime, plenty of adults do it as well. A dog can become stressed and distressed by continuous teasing and you wonder why its behaviour changes and it lashes out, the same can and does happen with people.

Whether you are a dog owner or not, child or adult, this is not acceptable behaviour and if someone gets bitten, it’s really not the dogs fault.

5. Ignoring a dogs warning signals, Dog do talk to us, if we choose to listen and observe. Whether you are a dog owner or not, people need to learn and understand what they are trying to tell us, Dog owners especially need to know, so they can teach others how to act and behave because like people, they can only take so much, before they snap.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in About

 

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How well do you supervise your dog when around kids or other people?

 

How well do you supervise your dog?

The other day New Zealand had its 1st reported dog attack for the year “Dogs attack women in Invercargill”  nothing to celebrate here.

While many owners are more aware of the dog safety risks, there are many more who are not. Calling for more education is a good start but lets face it, there are programs already out there such as school programs etc and the dog control act “owner responsibilities” information is readily available from councils, plus we all get a copy when we register our dogs but how many choose to read it, understand it or act upon it?

Dogs today are part of our lives, more so than ever before. We come it to contact with them on a daily basis we involve them in many aspects of our lives. They live in our homes, sleep on our beds and are generally part of the family. So its makes sense the risks increase, not so long ago dogs spent more time in their kennels and weren’t as social and they had jobs, today many dogs have lost the jobs, they were bred and born to do.

In my opinion dog safety education needs to be ramped up, its not just about kids & dogs, or responsible dog ownership, its about explaining what is expected from any dog owner and non dog owner, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. How to read a dogs body language, all dogs talk to you, if you chose to listen.

Whether it be in the home or away, its about correct socialization for both dogs and humans, its about keeping both dogs and humans safe, all too often people put dogs in situations they wouldn’t put themselves in, if the roles were reversed and expect them to behave.

People need to have their “Eyes Wide Open” and be aware of their surrounding and what is going on around them all the time. Unfortunately the word supervision for many these days, means casting a casual glance around, while doing something else, this is not effective supervision, things such as:

Talking and Texting on the phone

Chatting or having coffee, while your dog is left alone with kids or other adults, yes I said other adults, they also need to be know how to act and behave, when in the company of dogs.

Letting your dog off leash and not watching where its going or what its doing.

Having a family gatherings or party, you can’t be watching both your dog and what is going on around you all the time, your dog needs a safe place to go where it won’t be bothered. Dogs can become very stressed and people can do stupid things.

The list is endless,

Many dog bites/dog attacks can be avoided,  if people were more aware. Below is a great info graphic designed and published by Family Paws Parent Education on the 5 types of supervision.  Which one do you do the most?

 

5-types-Supervision-LowRes

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in About

 

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Another dog attacked and killed in a Boarding Kennels

Another dog attacked and killed in a Boarding Kennels
Although this incident happened in Canada, How many Dog Boarding Kennels in New Zealand run large and small dogs together when exercising them. Again here is another aspect of Dog Safety that seriously needs to be looked at.
Large and small dogs should be separated if they are let out to run in large compounds. There should also be someone standing watching the dogs at all times, in other words they should have their “Eyes Wide Open” watching out for signs of stress, distress or aggression.
For many these days, the word supervise means just keeping an eye on the dogs as they are walking around doing other things, which is not good enough!
After all, many boarding kennels ask clients to sign a contract and if you read the small print, many state they are not responsible for anything that happens to your dog while in their care.
I do get that because they are running a business but they can reduce the risk by having someone watching the dogs at all times, when dogs are being exercised in groups.
Prevention is better than cure. After all, when dog and cat owners for that matter place their pets in these establishments, they trust that they, have their pets best interests at heart.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cap-pelé-kennel-owner-negligent-after-dog-fatally-attacked-1.2793484

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2014 in About

 

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What Parents & Educators should know! What to tell kids about dog safety and how to act when in the company of dogs.

What Parents & Educators should know! What to tell kids about dog safety and how to act when in the company of dogs.

Dogs are dogs not substitute human children and all have the potential to harm. They make great companions and are a lot of fun. But 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 click on the following link:

Dog safety for all, (not just kids) most dog bites are preventable. for a one stop resource on dog safety. Where you will find links to articles, videos on dog safety, keeping dogs and people safe.

Parents & educators have a responsibility to teach children about basic dog safety and awareness, because for the most part, children under the age of 12yrs are the one’s who get bitten. Even if you are not a dog owner, everyone needs to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. All too often, its the dog who pays the price, with its life.

Parents & caregivers need to do more than just supervise, when children and dogs are together. 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 demeanor. If you are unsure remove the dog from the situation.

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.

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, that is how dogs challenge each other 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, 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.

For more information with graphics visit: http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html
Also take time to read the NZ Herald Dog Attacks feature
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/dog-attacks/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=575

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in About

 

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People who tease dogs by barking at them and think its funny!

People who tease dogs by barking at them and think its funny!

I was chatting to a client of mine the other day and he told me he caught a man standing at the bottom of his drive, barking at his dogs, luckily for him the dogs were behind the gates. Its bad enough when you catch children teasing dogs but an adult, should know better. People don’t like being teased or shouted at and neither do dogs. Dogs see it as a sign of aggression and can become aggressive if they are continuously teased and you wonder why people get bitten. Dogs or any animal for that matter deserve respect, as do we all.

Below is a link to a very good article about kids teasing a dog by barking at it.

http://samthedogtrainer.com/articles/what-about-kids-teasing-a-dog-by-barking-at-it/

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in About

 

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