Doggone Safe, a non-profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education offers free information at its website www.doggonesafe.com to help promote safety messages during ‘dog bite prevention week.’ Doggone Safe also promotes the “Doggone Safe Be a Tree” children’s program. This program, for school age children, is a short presentation with large photos and many activities to teach children to understand the signs dogs send with their body language. The central message of this program is “Be a Tree.” That is, stand still if a strange dog approaches or any dog is threatening or overly frisky. Children learn to be doggie detectives, looking for the clues that dogs give with body language to show how they are feeling. Pampered Paws Pet Resort & Spa offers the Doggone Safe program to local schools as a public service.
The DogSmith, a national dog training and pet care franchise, believes almost all dog bites are preventable if dogs are properly trained, socialized and cared for and if children are taught how to behave and act around dogs. To support Doggone Safe and the National Dog Bite Prevention Week, The DogSmith offers free puppy socialization classes for families and their puppies to help dogs start out on the right paw.
Doggone Safe, Pampered Paws Pet Resort & Spa and The DogSmith offer the following tips for parents and dog owners to help keep kids safe:
The 3 Most Important Things to Teach Your Kids:
1. Dogs Don’t Like Hugs and Kisses – Teach your kids not to hug or kiss a dog on the face. Hugging the family dog or face-to-face contact are common causes of bites to the face. Instead, teach kids to scratch the dog on the chest or the side of the neck.
2. Be a Tree if a Strange Dog Approaches – Teach kids to stand still, like a tree. Trees are boring and the dog will eventually go away. This works for strange dogs and anytime the family dog gets too frisky or becomes aggressive.
3. Never Tease a Dog – and never disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or protecting something.
The 2 Most Important Things Parents Can Do
1. Supervise – Don’t assume your dog is good with kids. If a toddler must interact with your dog, you should have your hands on the dog too. Even if your dog is great with kids and has never bitten – why take a chance?
2. Train the dog – Take your dog to obedience classes where positive-reinforcement is used. Never pin, shake, choke, hold the dog down or roll the dog over to teach it a lesson. Dogs treated this way are likely to turn their aggression on weaker family members. Involve older children in training the family dog while supervising. Don’t allow children to punish the dog. Condition the dog to enjoy the presence and actions of children using positive experiences.
The 3 Most Important Things Dog Owners can do:
1. Spay or Neuter Your Dog – Neutered pets are calmer, healthier and less likely to be aggressive. Neutering prevents unwanted dogs that may end up in shelters or in less than ideal conditions where they may grow up to be poorly socialized or aggressive.
2. Condition Your Dog for the World – Give your puppy lots of new positive experiences. Train using positive methods.
3. Supervise Your Dog – Supervise your dog at all times around children. Do not allow children to hug and kiss the dog. If visiting children are bothering your dog, put the dog away or send the children home.
# # #
About The DogSmith:
The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about the DogSmith or become a DogSmith Dog Trainer, visit www.DogSmithfranchise.com or call 1-888-364-7648.