Like learning to ride a bike, swim or tell time, every child should learn to understand a dog's body language. Would you like to make sure your child is not among the 50% who suffer dog bites every year? Then read on...
|Learn To Speak Dog
Signs of Anxiety
Signs of Arousal
Signs of Aggression
Signs of Imminent Bite
Signs of a Happy Dog
A Boy and His Dog
There is probably no more enduring image of childhood friendship and loyalty in our culture than a boy and his dog. But did you know that dog bites are one of the most commonly reported public health problems and by the age of twelve, half of all children in North America will be bitten by a dog? A majority of these bites are inflicted by the family dog or other dog known to the child.
In My day -
You remember, when you were young, the confidence you felt when you mastered bike-riding, swimming and being able to tell the time? They were all rites of passage as we got older and showed our growing independence. These basic skills served us the rest of our lives and we eventually passed them on to our kids! The one skill we didn't have to make an effort to learn though was how to get along with dogs. Back then dogs and children roamed our neighborhoods together learning how to understand each other and get along. I remember my best friend's golden-retriever Cindy went everywhere with us (we always had to remember to leave a store through the same door we entered or Cindy would be found faithfully waiting for us for hours later at the door we entered). But in today's structured, ‘play-date,' fenced-community world we often miss the chance to fully socialize our children and family pets.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
There are many reasons a dog may bite a child, but they can all be summarized in one sentence: "Dogs bite because they have not been socialized to be around children and children haven't been educated to act appropriately around dogs!"
And There are Always Warning Signs!
There are always warning signs before a dog bites but the signs are often subtle and unless you (and your children) have learned to recognize them you may not notice. Even when a dog appears to tolerate repeated rough play or pestering by a child it may surprise you and bite one day. It's how it communicates. Your dog may have been showing warning signs for months or even years before it finally loses patience and bites.
Dog Bites are Preventable!
With the right training dog bites can be prevented. And that means the right training for your dog and your children. In our modern society children and dogs are often raised in a highly scheduled, very structured and often less ‘natural' environment that may lack opportunities for basic socializing between dogs and children. However, if dogs are properly trained, socialized and cared for and if children are taught how to behave, understand and act around dogs then dog bites can be greatly reduced.
The DogSmith is Here to Help You!
Not only will our DogSmith Puppy Socialization classes help your dog start out on the right paw with the socialization it needs, many DogSmith Dog Trainers are now certified as Doggone Safe Presenters to teach your children how to understand and behave around dogs.
What's a Doggone Safe Presenter?
Doggone Safe is a non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education. Doggone Safe programs include a "Be a Tree" presentation for children. This program, for school age children, is a short, interactive presentation with large photos and many activities to teach children how to understand the signs a dog displays with their body language. More importantly, through the "Be a Tree" program, children will learn how to understand dog body language and behave accordingly. In the same way we teach children to behave in a public place, at Grandmas or at school, Be a Tree teaches children the necessary skills they need when they are around dogs .
View this video of a "Be a Tree" presentation.
How Do I Find a DogSmith Doggone Safe, Be A Tree Presenter?
To give your children one of the essential skills necessary in today's world then schedule a DogSmith-Doggone Safe Be a Tree educational presentation for your class, church, scout group or other youth organization. Contact your local DogSmith to reserve your Be a Tree presentation today.
Call now, no obligation, no risk!
Full permission granted to use text and graphics from Doggone Safe.