Holiday Dog Bite Prevention Presentation and Tips from Doggone Safe and At Your Service Dog Training
Wendell, MA, Nov. 4, 2015 — Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by age 12. The majority of these bites are by the family dog or other dog known to the child. This risk increases during the holidays. Sharon Wachsler of At Your Service Dog Training will offer a presentation and Doggone Safe tips to keep kids and dogs safe over the holidays.
Wachsler will present “Be A Tree: Holiday Dog Safety Program for Kids and Families” at the Wendell Free Library, Nov. 15 at 3 PM. The interactive, innovative one-hour program, geared to school-age kids, includes poster-size pictures and games from Doggone Safe.
“I’ve added my own assistants, too,” Wachsler says. “‘Rudy,’ a dog sock puppet, and ‘Jack,’ a stuffed Jack Russell Terrier. They’re very well trained,” she jokes. Wachsler uses the toys, along with games, prizes, and group participation to make sure the kids stay engaged. “There’s lots of practice to get it in muscle memory. Parents and grandparents tell me that the kids use the techniques later, and that they [parents] use them, too – and they work!”
Family gatherings at a relative’s house are the source of fun for many. The relatives’ dog may not enjoy these events. Noise, confusion and changes in routine are stressful for dogs. Even a normally calm, docile pet may become agitated enough to bite at a boisterous family celebration. Supervision may be lax if each adult thinks that another is watching the children. Children are the most likely dog bite victims. Doggone Safe offers these tips:
- Put the dog in his crate with a stuffed Kong or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – guests arriving and leaving and dinner preparation and serving.
- Assign one adult to be in charge of the dog, to watch for signs of stress and protect from unwanted attention from children. This adult should have no other duties.
- Signs of stress include:
- The dog yawns or licks his chops.
- The dog shows the white part of his eye in a half moon shape.
- If the dog shows any of these signs, he wants to be left alone. Put the dog in his crate or in a room away from the guests with a favorite chew toy or stuffed Kong.
- Supervise at all times.
- If the dog licks his chops, yawns shows the half moon eye, turns away or gets up and walks away when a child approaches or is petting him, intervene immediately and ensure that the child cannot access the dog.
- Do not allow visiting children to hug the dog. Dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. Even if the dog tolerates this under normal circumstances he may not tolerate this from strangers or in a high stress situation with lots of noise and people.
- Other signs that the dog does not welcome attention from guests include these:
- The dog turns his head away, walks away or tries to hide under furniture.
- The dog freezes and becomes very still, with his mouth closed. He may be staring intensely at the person who is bothering him and may growl. This dog is a few seconds away from a bite.
- The dog growls or raises the fur along his back.
- If you have multiple dogs, consider kenneling them, crating them or keeping them in another room during large gatherings.
“Be A Tree: Holiday Dog Safety Program” is free and open to the public. It takes place Sun., Nov. 15, 3-4 PM at the Wendell Free Library. For more information, contact Sharon of At Your Service Dog Training or Rosie at the Wendell Free Library at 978-544-3559.
About At Your Service Dog Training
At Your Service offers in-home training — with flexible scheduling, including evenings and weekends — for puppies, pet dogs, and service dogs in Western MA and the North Quabbin. At Your Service specializes in owner-trained service dogs, manners and obedience training for puppies and pet dogs, rural dog training (coming when called and off-leash walking skills), and dog-safety lessons for kids. A Certified Training Partner of Karen Prior Academy, At Your Service use positive methods with dogs and people. Call 978-544-8674, or visit atyourservicedogtraining.com or email Sharon@aysdt.co.
About Doggone Safe
Doggone Safe is a non-profit corporation registered in Ontario, Canada, and New York State, with offices in Canada, the US and Australia. Doggone Safe’s mandate includes dog bite prevention education and dog bite victim support. Educational seminar programs offered by Doggone Safe are Be a Tree™ (for school-aged children) and Be Doggone Smart at Work™ (for workers who come into contact with dogs on the job). For general information please visit the Doggone Safe website at www.doggonesafe.com, call 1-877-350-3232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.