Child Safety – I am not even sure where to start with this one.
I am frustrated – frustrated with humans who don’t care, so this blog may be emotional, it may be a rant, it may be disjointed but dogs are my passion and if it creates a conversation and saves only one child from a bite or worse than I have succeeded.
It is something close to my heart having been bitten as a child by a dog that “was a friendly family dog” over 30 years ago yet I remember it like yesterday. I was a young kid doing letterbox drops when a family dog stalked and bit me from behind. As a dog trainer and behaviorist now I am determined to minimize this thru our puppy schools to in home training – the hardest burden our team bear is going to the house of where a child was bitten and seeing the aftermath – THIS IS ALWAYS THE ADULTS FAULT! You as the adult are responsible for the care of both the child and the dog, and the lack of self-responsibility and blaming others is the one of the reasons dog bites happen.
In light of the very unfortunate incidences lately and the many that happen all the time and the fact that idiot keyboard warriors calling for complete breed bans are amassing the dark clouds of doom and journos with nothing better to do then fan flames for ratings I have updated this blog. I have broken the human component into separate versions of the human
So no better way to start than by describing the first instance of human to cause these problems with our dogs – The Knobhead.
1 . Knobheads – that the best way I can explain some individuals who seem to think it is acceptable to rile the dog up and let it bite and mouth them – and in my experience it is the MEN that cause the most issues thru their macho bullshit to have a TOUGH DOG. Well you aint so tough when it hurts your family or someone else or another animal, which we see daily!! Who suffers? Everyone but the knobhead. It has to change! This particular type of human doesn’t care about anyone else but themselves and the image and when it doesn’t go their way has a tendency to use violence on their pet. I get to see plenty of these (and I mean seriously a lot – it worries me) – usually after it has dragged their wife across the yard while he laughs.
2. The Overly attached Owner – I recently had such a case – the dog had taken over the house and had bitten several family members – the owner was scared of the dog but when the parents tried to step in the response was “but I love him” (cue crying) – at what point do we say right our emotions are in the way of logic – the number of these people in complete denial or who choose (yes choose) to blame every other dog and human for their own dogs behaviour is quite extraordinary.
3. The ” I know how to talk to dogs” human – I don’t even bother trying to educate these people – why because they never call us for help. They believe they ARE the dog whisperers and the dog will do anything they want at a whisper – these are one of the varieties you see with dogs off lead in an on lead area.
4. “My dog knows what he wants” human – these are the humans who let their dog do ANYTHING because the dog is as intelligent as a human – and will listen intently as you discuss particle physics with them – it knows the appropriate human etiquettes of a bow and a courtesy when someone important walks in – sitting at the table using a knife and fork………LOL I am kidding – this is the dog that jumps on everything and does what it wants – no leads – no restrictions – no order in or outside the house.
5. “who has time” human – Generally these humans leave the dog locked up in small confines – no enrichment – nothing – maybe a visit to the dog park because the human feels guilty – the type of person who pays for other people to train their dog or is delusional enough to think there is a magic pill to fix the problem rather than put in effort (YES EFFORT)
6. Finally we have the last human – the one as a business we will go out of our way for – they want to do better – they may have traits of the above but above all they want to do better.
So as I said before the issue of child safety is now in the hands of those above – feeling safe yet? Yet we blame the dog expecting it to live in our modern world that is changing so fast that the igen kids have had a 33% jump in suicides – we can’t even look after humans properly, why are we blaming dogs for our screw ups.
I want to point out a scientific fact for you – wolves and dogs fall under the same category Canin Lupis – dogs a subcategory of their wolf cousin Familiaris. They split approx 12000 years ago into their current lineage whereas humans split from chimps 7million years ago and we share 99.8% DNA with them – SO WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ARE HUMAN? Why do we insist on treating them like a human and getting upset when they don’t act like it.
I love dogs more than anything and spend a fortune loving them – they truly are mans best friend but they are another species which think completely differently and act differently. But as humans we project our thoughts and emotions onto them in such an unhealthy way as to cause them immense stress and anxiety and then blame them as well. Our Modern life has brought with it a myriad of social issues which are now being played out on our dogs – insecure humans who lack in social skills and the ability to communicate are now relying on dogs to solve their problems rather than seeking professional human help. Your dog can help you absolutely but please stop using it as the be all and end all and wonder why it plays up. But I digress – we will save this for another thought another day.
Back to child safety – Over 13000 hospitalizations happen every year in australia from dogs bites and frighteningly this is growing at over 10% per year 75% of those are children aged around 7years old. That is not your run of the mill bite that is time in hospital. let me break that down further. There are approximately 92000 7yo kids in australia. approximately 2000 kids at an age of 7 end up in hospital every year. and the same for the other close ages approximately. That means your child has a 1 in 46 chance of getting bitten and requiring stitches and ending up in hospital and scarred for life. I am open to a mathematician giving me the correct answer 🙂
And this is for several years. The odds of getting hit by a car crossing the road are 1 in 4200 – yet we make so absolutely sure our kids are safe doing this yet not with a dog? Why?
A common reason is they “trust” the dog – we trusted thieves who stole from us, people who kill us, and a whole host of nasties that are the human species! Trust is based on reliability, truth or ability of – yet as humans we cannot trust our own species. You can love and trust all you want but at some point that can break and understanding the difference between a human breaking that trust and a canine breaking that trust can be life or death.
Let me give you some examples –
A simple example but one that happens all the time – a dog is asleep – the child wanders over to give the dog a cuddle. The dog wakes suddenly to being encased and feeling trapped and instinctively bites to get released. It is too late the child is hurt – the parents are beside themselves and the dog gets put down. Who is at fault? The adults! For not being responsible and ensuring the safety of the dog and child. Education is such a small thing that can save so much pain it is what brought us out of the middle ages yet so many adults are intent on sending us back.
The next example involves our Knobhead – he is the one who wants the toughest dog – I see them out and about all the time – plays rough with his dog and lets it mouth and bite him – he builds the prey predator instinct in the dog playing tug o war – one of the same method used to train protection dogs only the knobhead doesn’t have the skill or expertise to teach obedience and control in all situations – we get plenty of real life examples every day. The dog grows up and it starts pulling at the wife/girlfriends dress – he thinks its hilarious and laughs encouraging the dog – tells his mates about how tough his dog is. Then the bite – first just firm on the missus arm or the small child. The dog gets away with it because the guy tells them to toughen up – then the growl and the chance at bigger prey over the fence as it passes by.
You see all of this is really easy to fix.
Life is full of Decisions – make an Informed one!