19 February, 2014

If dogs were PG Rated would it help ?

Do we really need to put these on our dogs?

Once again the UK media has a fatal dog attack in its headlines.
Once again the victim is a baby, in this case not even a week old.
Facts are of course unclear, but one thing is definite, the dog & baby were in close enough proximity for this to happen.
In 2013 approx 25% of U.K households owned one or more dogs....8.5 million dogs in total.
In the same year there were 
7.7 Million households with dependant children (Out of 18.2 million total households)
From this we can deduce children & dogs are both prevalent in UK homes.

Every time we hear of one of these sad events there's a public outcry, ban certain breeds, ban all dogs, bring back dog licences, make owners take a test , educate owners & so the list goes on.
But surely if people are responsible enough to procreate, they are responsible enough to realise why ANY dog should not be left unsupervised with ANY child.
It seems not, not even the ultimate tragedy gets the message across to others, if anything these events seem to be increasing in  frequency. Do we really need government intervention to decide who can & who can't own dogs?

Most people when having their 1st baby get lots of advice, whether it be from family members, doctors,midwives, health visitors, books or magazines, there's lots available.
They buy things & prepare the home for the impending new arrival months in advance ..... this is the time to start preparing the family dog too.
A good trainer or behaviourist will have sensible advice & there's online literature available too, for free !
It should be as much a part of planning ahead as buying a pram & thinking of names.
Free Downloads available HERE & HERE , 

Of course there's always the scenario of introducing a puppy or dog into a home that already has children.
Again preparation, research & advice is essential & so will be supervision, for the life of the dog.

Potential owners should speak to dog owners they know, speak to breeders, or rescue centres, research breeds inside out, to ensure one is picked one that suits the family inside out....NOT because it looks cute, needs a home, or was bred by a friend/neighbour//relative.
Then enrol in a decent training class, one that will accept all the family & include the children in the sessions.
Children need to learn the dog is not a toy & parents must ensure boundaries are set & stuck too.
Free Downloads HERE  & HERE (Great site from the USA)

It's not all doom & gloom, if done right it can lead to a lifelong passion for dogs in a child.
Thanks Mum & Dad for teaching me to love & respect dogs.