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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 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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