Tag Archives: dog owners

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.


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 @
Also take time to read the NZ herald Dog Attack feature & A big thumbs up NZ

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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in About


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Stop the 77% by The Family Dog, another must see video for all, whether you are a dog owner or not. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog.

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in About


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Off Leash Dogs in Public Areas: no manners, common sense or are some just confused!

Off Leash Dogs in Public Areas: no manners, common sense or are some just confused!

I am not sure whether some dog owners are confused, don’t give a toss or don’t have any common sense or manners, when it comes to walking their off leash dog, in public areas.

Whether its a dog park, beach, reserve or park if these places are open to the public, by public I mean everyone, off leash dogs must be kept under control, just because the sign says OFF LEASH doesn’t give dog owners the right, to let their dog wander around and annoy other people or dogs.

Dogs off leash, must be kept under continuous control at all times as per the Dog Control Act. Common sense and manners is called for here, if you see your dog wandering off or annoying someone else, call it back and leash your dog or better yet, leash your dog beforehand. As an owner of a off leash dog you are liable for anything your dog does, as it is your responsibility to keep your dog under control.

If your dog does run off and won’t come back, don’t just stand there calling it, put one foot in front of the other and go and get your dog. Don’t just stand and watch while some other person has to deal with your dog, like I had to do yesterday.

The lady in question just stood there calling her dog, which had no intentions of going back to her, I asked her to put it on a lead, she said she would, if it came back to her. Not quite sure of the logic there, still trying to work that one out.  Then she said the signs says “Off Leash” I said yes it does but this is a public park and your dog must be kept under control.

So it seems to me, she was clearly confused, so maybe its time the councils added some more information to their “OFF LEASH” signs, such as “Dogs must be kept under continuous control at all times” By doing that, they may lessen the confusion.

Unfortunately, the above incident isn’t an isolated event, it seems to be happening more and more and It does make me wonder, if an off leash dog did cause a problem for someone else, how many dog owners would stand up and take responsibility for their dogs actions. (keeping in mind its not the dogs fault) or would they just grab their dog and disappear. Below are links to more relevant articles.

Dog off leash but not under control & When is a dog park not a dog park, when its a public park or reserve

Dogs, Wildlife &  Human Complacency

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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in About


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Dog Owners, Its ok to say “NO”

Dog Owners, Its ok to say “NO”

I often say to my clients “Its harder to train the people around you, how to act and behave, when in the company of your dog, than it is to train your dog”.

For example: You have taught your dog not to jump up at you, then you have a visitors, maybe family, maybe friends. They walk through the door, call your dog’s name, make a big fuss and your dog starts jumping up at them. You tell them not to do that but they say “oh its ok” and carry on, doing what they are doing, not listening to you. Your dog thinks, this is great, it’s getting all this attention and it becomes very excited and accidentally hits one of your visitors in the mouth, with its nose and loosens a tooth.

The mood quickly changes, your dog all of a sudden, becomes the bad guy here, you apologise profusely and reprimand your dog. Your dog doesn’t understand why he/she is being told off because your dog was having fun.

Whether its was because you didn’t want to offend your visitors, you didn’t make a stand and tell them in no uncertain terms, what they were doing was not acceptable behaviour or because you thought it would be ok. The end result was not pleasant for anyone, including your dog.

“It’s OK to say NO” don’t do that, if people won’t cease doing what they are doing, stand up for your dog and remove it from the situation. Remember, its your Dog, your House, your Rules. If people have a problem with that, its their problem not yours.

If you are out walking and someone asks to pet your dog and you are not comfortable or your dog isn’t comfortable “Its OK to say NO”  Don’t feel obliged or think that person maybe offended, if the person is offended, its their problem not yours.

You can always say politely “My dog is in Training” and if you choose to let someone pat your dog, make sure the introduction is done the right way. Ask the person to stand still, side on, and not stare at your dog then let your dog make the first move. If your dog is ok with that, tell the person they may pat your dogs side or chest. If the person or child for that matter won’t listen to you and do what you ask, “Its OK to say NO”

If you are out walking and a MDF (my dog is friendly) dog owner asks if their dog can say hello and you or your dog are not comfortable doing that, guess what, “It OK to say NO” Again, head to head meetings with another dog are not the way to go, as it perceived as threatening behaviour, in the dog world, turn the dogs side on and let them meet and greet for a few seconds. If the MDF won’t do that, “Its OK to say NO”

“Its OK to say NO” if it keeps your dog safe and out of harms way.






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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in About


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Fledgling Kaka mauled to death by dog

Fledgling Kaka mauled to death by dog

Fledgling Kaka was mauled to death by a dog  it was found in Huntleigh Park in Ngaio, Wellington. This incident was reported in the New Zealand Herald on the 20/2/15.

All wildlife should be treated with respect as it is a privilege to see any wildlife, in its natural environment. Dog owners, who choose to take their dog with them on trips or outings, should have total control of their dog, at all times. The Dog Control Act  still applies. Dog owners are required by law to use or carry a leash in public .

I hate saying this but too many dog owners these days are too complacent and have a “she’ll be right attitude” it doesn’t matter where you are, or whether it be wildlife, a person or another dog, you need to have your “eyes wide open”, be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you 100% of the time. Letting your dog run way a head of you or even out of sight, is not having your dog under control.

You should be able to call your dog back at a moments notice, If you don’t have a good recall on your dog, don’t have it off the lead.

If you are unsure as a dog owner what is expected of you, when you are out and about with your dog, please read the following articles.

When is a dog park not a dog park, when its a public park or reserve  and  Dog off lead but not under control and Dogs Wildlife and Human Complacency






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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in About


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There are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog.

Whether it be dog training or behaviour modification, there are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog. I often say to clients, its like baking a cake, if you miss out some of the ingredients your cake won’t come out right and its the same with dog training.

Choosing a dog to become a member of your family is a commitment and a lifestyle change. Training your dog takes a lot of time and effort, dogs need and require, good leadership (calm & stable) guidance, consistency, routine, boundries.patience and love, everyday (365 days a year), not just once or twice a week.

Dog owners often tell me “I have been searching on Google or watching a dog training program on TV, they say if you do this or that it will solve  your dog training problems” Then when they act upon what these programs or articles suggest and it doesn’t work, they become frustrated and disillusioned.

The truth is, there is a lot of good information on dog training on the web but there is also much more mis-information on there as well. In fact I would go further and say for dog owners it’s more like, “information overload”. While some dog training techniques work on some dogs, they don’t necessarily work on all dogs. That unfortunately is something these articles and TV programs, don’t tell you.

As for what you see on TV, it is just that, its TV, the programs have been cut and edited, many hours of training, have gone in to make that 30 minute program you have just watched. So while these programs maybe helpful, it’s not real life.

All too often human expectations are too high and whether they realise it or not, dog owners are setting their dogs up to fail, by expecting them to know and do too much too soon, without effectively teaching their dog the basic skills in other words, what is expected from him/her. Owners then often become frustrated and angry because their dog isn’t doing what they want. This outcome is not good for the dog or owner,

Here is a good example, generic it maybe but its something I come across on a daily basis, initially dogs learn much better in a one on one situation with no distractions.

So you have been practising at home and your dog now does most things you ask of it, so off to the park you go, as soon as you get out the gate,  you find your dog, won’t listen to you, pulls on the lead and generally acts the idiot but you persevere and make it to the park. There you find your dog is no better. You become angry, frustrated and maybe a bit embarrassed so you turn around and go home, all the while your dog is like a bouncing ball on the end of the leash.

So what went wrong, you set your dog and yourself up to fail, this is where socialization comes into play, I am not talking about socializing with other dogs now, I am talking about situational socialization, in other words taking your dog out to different places and practicing your basic commands, just as you did at home but with more distractions. Dogs hear, see (especially at night) and smell a lot more than humans do, so for them it’s far more exciting getting out and about, there is so much more to see and do, it’s all about training in short burst, getting your dog to focus on you, you being calm, having fun and knowing when your dog and yourself have had enough.

Its a way of Life, not a quick fix with temporary overkill, is a great article and a must read for any dog owner.







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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in About


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