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Posts Tagged ‘kids and dogs’

Black and White Sunday #133 – Mom, Kid, Dog

June 6, 2015 9 comments

Kid, Mom and Dog

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

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Preventing dog bites before they happen

May 17, 2015 16 comments

best friendsThis week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 17-23).

Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. By far, children are the most frequent victims of dog bites. They are also the most likely to be severely injured when a dog bites.

I was one of those children. In fact, I was bitten twice, by two different dogs at two different times. In both cases, I was at fault. Of course, each of the dogs bore the blame for the bite. One was euthanized. It’s something I wish I could go back and change, but since I cannot, I focus on spreading the word instead. Children and dogs can be a volatile combination, especially when you have younger children.

There are lots of ways you can keep kids safe, but among them are these:

  1. Don’t let your small child (especially those on the same eye level as a dog) stare a dog in eye – In dog body language this can be seen as a threat and it could well end up in a bite. This is what caused me to be bitten.
  2. Tell children that hugs are for humans, not for dogs – Despite what “your” dog does or does not like, most dogs do not like to be hugged. They also don’t like to be climbed on, stepped on, or crawled over, so when you see a small child doing this, stop him. Remove him or the dog from the situation.
  3. Teach your children to ask before they pet – One should never assume that all dogs like kids. Children need to know that not all dogs can be approached. If they would like to meet a dog, they should ask the owner first. It’s not only polite, but safer for the child and the dog.
  4. Always supervise small children around dogs – Many dogs are unnerved by the jerky and unsteady movements of small children. If your dog is lip licking, his ears are back, he is turning away or trying to get away, or is growling, remove the dog from the room and give him a safe place to go where the child cannot get to him.
  5. Understand every dog has the potential to bite. Yes, even your family dog can bite – Children are most often bitten by the family dog, not a stranger’s dog. Just because you have had your dog since a puppy doesn’t mean he won’t bite. Given the right situation (pain, fear, excitement, etc.) any dog can bite.

This week I will be sharing information (like the great infographic below) on my blog and on my Facebook page to bring attention to National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The goal is two-fold – 1) to keep kids safe from dog bites, and 2) to prevent dogs from being euthanized because of a bite that could have been prevented.

I hope you will share and spread the word. Let’s keep both kids and dogs safe.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog Bites by the Numbers

Favorite Video Friday – My Dog Carly

August 14, 2014 6 comments

I don’t know about you, but I like to sing to my dogs.

Most of the time I do it in the car as we make our way to the dog park, but I have been known to sing to them while making dinner or getting ready for work in the morning or while listening to music.

The songs I sing are pretty silly. Little ditties like “I love Daisy. I love Jasper. I love Cuppers. Yes, I love my puppers.” Sometimes my songs meander down strange little paths, losing their tune and going off key. And sometimes, they just end with an abrupt halt as I scramble to find a word that rhymes with puppies or Daisy or Jasper or Cuppers.

I can’t really say that my dogs love me singing to them, but I can confirm that there is no clapping of paws or rolling of the eyes. Perhaps they know I am just singing my love to them?

Maybe it is the fact that I do sing to my dogs that made me to pause at this cute little video and smile, or maybe it was the sweet innocence of the child singing it, but I knew I would be sharing it all with you the minute I saw it.

I apologize up front, it is a bit of an ear worm, but I think you will agree that it is a good one. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

Humans and dogs: Improvement needed

August 5, 2013 30 comments

best friendsRecently, a friend asked me to follow up with someone who had contacted her for advice on what to do after his dog snapped at his granddaughter.

As I read the email she had sent me, I couldn’t help but feel bad for both him, his family and their dog. From their perspective, the dog’s reaction came out of nowhere. It was unexpected and abnormal behavior. It frightened all of them and sent the granddaughter to the emergency room to be treated. I can only imagine the emotions he was feeling as he debated on what to do – keep the dog or get rid of him.

I can understand why he was debating the latter. He had no perspective other than what he had seen and the result. How could he know that his dog likely gave him warning signals before he snapped at his granddaughter? Or that he may have missed his dog trying to distance himself from her? Or, that his dog was his dog was stiff and sore with arthritis and more sensitive to being touched?

I can’t know for certain of what happened that day, but I would almost certainly guess the dog gave signals he was not comfortable and needed to be placed in another room or allowed to distance himself from what was most likely causing him some stress.

We humans need to get better at understanding our dogs. We also need to get better at recognizing that for many dogs, being around children can be stressful. Notice I did not say all children or all dogs. Every dog and child is different. Every parent and dog owner is different too.

As a child, I was bitten twice in the face by two different dogs. In each case, I was at their level, staring at them, with my face close to theirs. Can you imagine what I was communicating to the dog? Can you imagine what the dog was communicating to me?

Sadly, I know that one of those dogs died because of my behavior. I didn’t know any better, but I still caused one to be put to sleep. If only I had known then what I know now.

That is why I try to learn as much as I can about dog body language. That is why I am so attentive to what my dogs are saying to me. That is also why I often don’t share those “cute” pictures of a child hugging a dog or crawling all over them. They make me cringe inside.

I have seen too many dogs surrendered at the shelter and then ended up with a death sentence because someone said they had bitten their child. These were dogs that were nice, well-behaved and loving dogs. Dogs who in a different situation might never have bitten a child at all.

I didn’t know then what I know now, but now that I do, I plan to do better. How about you?

Resources: 

Canine Stress Dictionary 

Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog 

Kids and Dogs: How Kids Should and Should Not Interact with Dogs

2 Akitas+2 Kids=Dog Bites – What Would You Do?

November 14, 2010 19 comments

Last night our local TV station aired this story “Animal Control Investigates Burnsville Dog Attack” about two Akitas being investigated for biting two children (not the dog owner’s children). Immediately, I wondered about the circumstances. I can’t help it. Whenever I hear of a dog bite I wonder what really happened… what was the back story behind the bite, the dog’s bite history, the dog’s socialization, etc.

In this case, the children were visiting a family friend who was the owner of the Akitas. The kids were playing in the backyard with the Akitas, unaccompanied by an adult, when they were bit. The owner was clear – his dog never should have bitten her in any way, but he also wondered what the children might have done to cause it. He wants his dogs saved. The mother of the children said that her children “would never go up to a dog and aggravate it in any way”. She wants the dogs put down.

It seems like there is little information on either side of this story, since the only ones in the backyard with the dogs were the kids. No adults were even watching the dogs and kids when they were bit. So if you were Animal Control, what would you do?

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