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What do you think, Is it dangerous for young kids to walk their dogs, alone?

What do you think, Is it dangerous for young kids to walk their dogs, alone?

Just lately, while driving around, I have seen quite a few young children walking their dogs, alone.

Do I think it is dangerous, yes I do but not for the reasons, some of you may think.

I am all for independence (kids being kids) getting out and about and having fun but when it comes to walking their dogs on their own, with no adult supervision, not so much.

For a good many parents, I don’t think they realise the potential dangers their son/daughter could be exposed to, while out walking their dog.

Some parents would say, “What’s the Big Deal” the “Big Deal” is one of safety, safety of their son/daughter and their dog.

Young children don’t have the strength or presence of mind to act quickly enough, if something bad were to happen.

In fact anyone who takes their dog out has to be aware of their surroundings and what is going on, around them. Have you taught your child to be aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them, if they are out walking your dog, alone?

Young children are not really capable of doing that, due to their age and immaturity.

Whether the dog is big or small, it is still a dog, dogs can run and pull on the leash, if they see something, that peaks their interest.

Even, adults can often find their dogs hard to manage, if it were, to do the same.

Imagine your child casually walking your dog, your dog, starts pull, on the leash, and is intent on running across, that busy road.

Does your child know, how to stop it or to drop the leash and let your dog go? Your dog may or may not make it, across the road. Traffic just can’t stop or swerve, as it may cause an accident. Now imagine if your child, didn’t know how to stop it or didn’t let go of the leash! 

Walking in the park, sounds like fun but “What If” your son/daughter were to meet a stray or off leash dog, do they know what to do?  Do they know what to do, if a dog fight were to ensue?

Many adults, in the same situation can find it hard, distressing and traumatizing, both for themselves and their dog. Which may or may not have, lasting effects.  Do you want your child or your dog or both, distressed or traumatized?  

Also, think about other dog owners walking their dogs, is it fair to expect them to deal with your child and your dog, if it becomes excited or out of control, when its sees another dog. Your child will more than likely, let go of the leash and anything can happen.

Is it fair to let your son/daughter, deal with your excited or out of control dog?

You may think that won’t ever happen to my child, my dog doesn’t do that with me, maybe not, but you are an adult.

Lastly, you may think I am going a bit overboard but I can tell you, these situations I have just mentioned, happen daily, to both children and adults.

Oh and before I forget, another thing your child needs to learn is, how to pick up the Poo:-) There are many more scenarios that spring to mind but I wanted to keep this blog post as short as possible.

A good way of letting your young child walk your dog, is to attach two leads to your dog’s collar, you give your child one lead and you have hold of the other, so you are primarily in control.

For more information please read this very good article: Should children walk dogs?

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

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2018 in About

 

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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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Are you prepared for: Kids, Dogs and the Holidays? 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.

Are you prepared for: Kids, Dogs and the Holidays? 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.

Any gatherings can be a cause for concern when dogs and kids are involved, it doesn’t just have to be around the holidays. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Statements such as “my dog wouldn’t hurt anyone” or “my dog is good around kids” really need to be taken with a grain of salt.

All dogs have the potential to harm, given the right situation and humans are no different, if backed into a corner. We can become verbal or physical, if necessary.  Dogs on the other hand, use body language to communicate their stress, distress, discomfort or they may even growl.

Unfortunately, how many listen to what the dog is trying to say, how many dogs get a one way trip to the vets every year because nobody was watching or listening. All too often people don’t see the potential dangers because they feel too secure and comfortable around dogs and are often oblivious to the potential dangers associated with inappropriate behaviour and not being aware.

Supervision is the key, you have to be watching 100% of the time.  Unfortunately the word supervision for many these days, means casting a casual glance around, while doing something else such as:

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.

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.

The list is endless, non of the above is 100% supervision.

Many dog bites/dog attacks can be avoided,  if people were more aware. Below is a link to a  great info graphic designed and published by Family Paws Parent Education on the 5 types of supervision.   and below is another very good info graphic from Doggone Safe on dog bite prevention tips for the holidays. Of course these tips can be applied anytime of the year.

holiday bite prevention tips

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2015 in About

 

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5 types of Supervision – Dogs & Babies, excellent video for all, whether you are a dog owner or not.

Great information for everyone on how to become more dog aware and see the signs of stress in dogs.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in About

 

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With another recent spate of reported dog attacks in New Zealand, dog safety-dog, bite prevention education is needed more than ever.

With another recent spate of reported dog attacks in New Zealand, dog safety-dog, bite prevention education is needed more than ever.

With another recent spate of reported dog attacks in New Zealnd,I think its a timely reminder that more education in this area, is needed. Of course many more incidents go unreported.

Children under the age of 12yrs are the main victims of dog bites. Prevention through education is the key.

Maybe its time that dog bite prevention/dog safety education segments are introduced into puppy & obedience classes. As well as more education through the school system. Parents & Caregivers, also need to know just supervising dogs and kids together isn’t enough. They need to understand more about dog behaviour and be able to educate the children in their care, how to act around dogs. Whether they have a dog or not.

While, irresponsible dog ownership can shoulder some of the blame, I believe more education is needed in many areas. Many dog owners, are not well informed on such things, as Dog Bite Prevention, Dog Control Act, Dog behaviour-understanding, how dogs communicate with each other and with us. I cover the above topics and more with my clients, whether it be in class or privately.

I personally think its time for more clubs and trainers, who run training classes and the like, to do more, than just teach basic obedience and behaviour, to clients. Segments or FAQ sheets on some of the above mentioned issues, would not go astray.

In fact all adults whether they are dog owners are not need to know the basics on how to act around dogs. I hope the link below helps to inform and educate.

http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html

Here is a link to another very good article from Lola the Pitty
http://www.lolathepitty.com/my-dog-bit-my-child/

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in About

 

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Kidz & K9’s Pet Dog Ribbon Parade Sat 19th October in Dannevirke

Kidz & K9’s Pet Dog Ribbon Parade Sat 19th October in Dannevirke

Dannevirke’s Spring Festival is on at the moment and will end at the end of October. On Saturday 19th Oct in conjuction with the Ruahine Kennel Assn all breed championships show. A Kidz & K9’s Pet Dog Ribbon Parade was held. Everyone had a great time. To see more photos of this event visit:
http://www.brightchicphotography.com/Ruahine-K-A-KidZ—K-9s.html

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 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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