Ask The Dog Trainer: Reducing dog bites starts with education

Ask The Dog Trainer: Reducing dog bites starts with education

Happy New Calendar year! My husband would like to give our young children a new pet, but I have some issues. I was bitten by the family dog when I was youthful. I have been a minor afraid of dogs ever considering that, and though I have mentioned the thought with my therapist and partner and we all concur it would be a terrific addition to our lives, I just simply cannot shake the impression of 1 of my kids remaining bitten like I was. What can I do to protect against record from repeating itself?

– Amy

Pricey Amy,

Expanding up with a dog by your side can be a wonderful working experience. It is unlucky that you had been bitten as a boy or girl but know that you are not alone. The Heart for Illness Manage estimates that about 4.5 million men and women are bitten by canine just about every 12 months in the United States and of these, 885,000 need healthcare consideration. Conservative once-a-year estimates of the complete cost of these accidents assortment from $235 to $250 million. Not remarkably, canine bites and other doggy-related injuries account for a lot more than a single-3rd of all home owners liability assert dollars paid out out in 2021, in accordance to the Insurance plan Details Institute, with an regular amount of $17,989.

In a examine, “Analysis of Pediatric Facial Puppy Bites,” executed by the College of Colorado, Denver, it was found that young children are so usually the target mainly due to their absence of concern and knowing of the dog. They are much more probably to startle the dog, be much too tough whilst actively playing or petting, or interrupt the doggy whilst feeding on or sleeping.

In point, when situation bordering the puppy bite have been reliably documented, around half of the incidents ended up considered “provoked,” as in the baby had been actively playing with, teasing or feeding the puppy at the time of the injuries. The analyze concluded that virtually 90{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86} of the puppies were being known to the children, possibly as the spouse and children pet (51.2{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86}) or via a neighbor (14.7{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86}), good friend (12.7{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86}), or relative (9.5{95b18eb6fc4f42efd0d92738dfc3fb79fde21da267a711ecdf0381147c27bb86}).

I know these statistics are frightening, but never let them dictate your selection of currently being a pet operator. Alternatively, be aware, and be proactive. As qualified doggy trainers, my husband and I actively get the job done to secure young children from being wounded by their beloved family members pet. Know this when we can teach and advocate for a partnership centered on mutual have confidence in, regard and knowing between the doggy and the child, we have had noticeably a lot less incidents of bites.

Education and learning and avocation begins with the family members, preferably prior to the arrival of the pet. Making sure that your young children understand the value of mild contact, sluggish arms and respectful interactions with all dogs that they come across will help in preserving them protected. I commence by talking about the variance in between our new household pet, and my little one. I address physical variations (vision, perception of scent and flavor, 4 legs compared to two and the speedy maturation of the dog’s physique and head) and the similarities (neither people nor canines like to be startled, worried, teased or taken care of around). I also explore psychological distinctions (how canines understand by tactile ordeals and how they will be behaving in a organic way according to their psychology) and how we may well react (with human thoughts these types of as sympathy, annoyance or anger). We go over the importance of gentle touch and slow movements and how pet dogs may misinterpret unexpected actions or seems. Recognizing when a pet dog is uncomfortable, noticing the entire body language of dread or overexcitation, and becoming in a position to react appropriately will cultivate a far more significant relationship. I in particular concentration on how specific the position is that the kid may well engage in in the dog’s life. Getting an elder sibling to a new dog is a wonderful and accountable part.

I motivate families to contain their kids in all aspects of the new dog’s existence and care, from feeding to grooming to teaching and exercising. I have identified that with steering, youthful kids can give treats to reward ideal actions, be accomplices to enrichment functions and socialization adventures and administer treatment these as brushing the dog’s coat. Even if they simply cannot keep the leash, I generally advocate for each single loved ones member to show up at obedience courses with their pet dog. It not only allows me solution any thoughts and present direction on obedience matters, but also offers me the possibility to notice the pet dog with the kid and supply qualified, expert responses on their relationship.

Never permit the past or figures dictate your selection, but as an alternative educate your youngsters about their new puppy and advocate for both equally human and canine so that a partnership is solid primarily based on basic safety, trust and kindness.

Kendall and Chandler Brown are proprietors of Custom made K-9 Company Dogs, a pet dog teaching company serving Minden/Gardnerville, Carson and Reno. For details go to or electronic mail [email protected].