My name is Elizabeth Kost and I am a third year vet student at Ross University and 5 year dog trainer and I want to take some time to talk to you guys today about DOG BITE PREVENTION!
I bet you didn’t know, but this week is AVMA’s Dog Bite Prevention Week. Let’s start with some statistics!
4.5 million people each year are bitten by dogs, and of those about 359,00 are children. Our reflex reaction to those numbers is to think man, there must be a bunch of loose mean, wild dogs running around. But it turns out these aren’t rapid strays running onto to playground or chasing us down the street. In fact 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friend’s dog! These are dogs you and your children know well; they might live with you, or sleep in your bed. But these dogs love us right?
Of course they do, but we don’t always listen to what they are telling us. I think the biggest factor in dog bites is miscommunication. We get so caught up teaching children to ask the owner before petting a dog that we forget the most important part…. to make sure we ask the dog too. I think this video from STOPTHE77.com sums up the problem well.
Stop the 77 – YouTube
The Family Dog’s WHOLE NEW take on bite prevention. Keeping kids safe and making dogs’ lives better too!
So what can we do to prevent dog bites – especially for children? It turns out there are a ton of resources out there to make you and your kids expert dog body language readers and teach kids how to stay safe around their furry best friend. First things first, we have to supervise our children around dogs. We can’t expect them to always make the best choices all the time without us there to teach them. Check out this neat infographic on supervision:
The next thing is to intervene when our dogs seem to become stressed. Stressed dogs are telling us, no PLEADING with us, to help give them a break. Another thing you can do to help is have strict rules about a ‘dog only’ space in your home. Such as ‘We don’t bother dogs when they are in your parent’s bed room!’ or ‘We never touch or bother dogs when they are in their crate’. This gives dogs a chance to get away from the stressful situation and not resort to violence (It’s good for dogs to have a spot not to be bothered from grown ups too!)
Dog Body Language – What your dog is desperately trying to tell you!www.thefamilydog.com – YouTube
Bite prevention starts with understand what a dog is trying to say! Please help us spread the word!! If you’re a trainer, a vet, a breeder or you work for a …
There are lots of other things we can do to make ourselves and children safer around dogs. Check out these other videos made just for kids to help them learn how to live in peace with their canine companions. Watch them as a family!
I Speak Doggie – YouTube
I bet you can’t get that one out of your head! Here’s the AVMA’s take with a whole playlist of Jimmy the Dog:
And here’s another video that makes a good point. Always remember if your dog needs to have something taken away from it, disciplined, or have anything else done that is unpleasant, that’s the grown ups job! Make sure your kids know that you will take care of that stuff and they can just be the good guys!
Ross University DVM Candidate 2016
Kennel Behavioral Coordinator
5 year Professional Dog Trainer