Pet Life Magazine, New Zealand Pet Life Magazine Issue 4 Spring 2017 - Page 14

Kids Safe With Dogs Charitable Trust

Amy Scott-Thomas talks with the director and founder of The Dog Safe Workplace and Kids Safe With Dogs Charitable Trust , Jo Clough , about the increasing number of dog bite incidents in New Zealand .
Jo , give us a bit a background on how the organisations were started and why . rules , we explain why so that children and adults understand the reasoning behind what they are being taught .
Back in 2003 I was studying to be a vet nurse and a young girl was attacked by a dog in a park in Auckland . I decided then that I wanted to do something to help educate kids about keeping safe around dogs . Finally , in 2014 , I found myself in a situation where I could . With my business partner , I started researching the number of bites and was shocked by the statistics and the increase in bites across all age groups .
Tell me a bit about Kids Safe With Dogs ?
Each year we see the numbers of dog bites increasing – in 2015 there were 12,937 bites and in 2016 that jumped to 14,024 . And these are only the reported bites .
Dog bites are spread out quite evenly over the age groups but because of the way children interact with dogs they tend to get bitten on the face and head .
We have consulted with a psychologist to ensure that our programmes are not only age specific but structured to engage children and allow them to develop empathy and understand why dogs may bite .
The basis of the programme is ensuring that we have qualified and well educated instructors . Each instructor has to go through a training programme , they are police checked and any dogs that are used are temperament tested .
It is extremely important that all our instructors understand the trauma and fear that being chased by a dog can cause . We hear lots of stories from teachers , parents and children about situations that they have been in , and consequently being near a dog can cause anxiety and stress . When children are scared their behaviour can become a catalyst to a dog getting overexcited and that ’ s when bites can occur .
1 . Always ask the owner ’ s permission before you approach a dog
Many people already do this or get their children to ; but it is also really important that children understand why they have to ask . Also that it is OK if the owner says “ no ”.
If they say no there is usually a good reason and possibly that would be for safety . The dog may not be particularly fond of children or has had a bad experience with them in the past . Your child may be wearing a hat or jumping around and scaring the dog . Or just like us the dog may be having an off day , it could be tired or ill and the owner knows the dog won ’ t appreciate being touched by strangers . We need to teach our children that instead of getting sad , or grumpy , it ’ s OK that the dog ’ s not in the mood and maybe the next dog they see they are able to say hi to .
Imagine if you were walking down a street and a complete stranger came up and hugged you . We can guarantee that most people would be pretty upset . So what we do is get the children to develop empathy and understand how a dog feels in the same situation .
Also , by asking , your voice announces your presence to the owner and the dog – that prevents them from being taken by surprise .
By having to ask permission , it also means that if the owner isn ’ t there then the dog shouldn ’ t be touched .
2 . Where to touch a dog
This has caused a few detractors to have a go at us but we base our programme on research and the latest recommendations from some of the biggest names and organisations in canine behaviour , along with research from Europe on cardiac responses to physical human-dog contact .
We recommend only touching the side or back – in some countries they say collar to tail . When you consider that 80 % of bites are to the face and head the first thing that comes to mind is “ don ’ t put your face in the dog ’ s face ”.
From about 3 months , babies develop a response called mutual gaze . This is where they look you in the eyes and smile ( they even do it to faces on TV ). When a child approaches a dog and goes to touch them anywhere around the face or chest a child will instinctively look the dog in the eyes . For many dogs this is intimidating and they don ’ t like it . If the dog is scared , gets a fright or becomes irritated , they may lunge at the child and potentially this could end up in a bite .
How does the programme work ? They are all built around 3 Golden Rules . But we don ’ t just have
When a child or adult has asked permission and the owner says yes , we recommend that you let the dog come to you instead of approaching it or putting your hand in its face . If the dog wants to interact it will probably give
Kids Safe With Dogs Charitable Trust Amy Scott-Thomas talks with the director and founder of The Dog Safe Workplace and Kids Safe With Dogs Charitable Trust, Jo Clough, about the increasing number of dog bite incidents in New Zealand. Jo, give us a bit a background on how the organisations were started and why. rules, we explain why so that children and adults understand the reasoning behind what they are being taught. Back in 2003 I was studying to be a vet nurse and a young girl was attacked by a dog in a park in Auckland. I decided then that I wanted to do something to help educate kids about keeping safe around dogs. Finally, in 2014, I found myself in a situation where I could. With my business partner, I started researching the number of bites and was shocked by the statistics and the increase in bites across all age groups. 1. Always ask the owner’s permission before you approach a dog Tell me a bit about Kids Safe With Dogs? Each year we see the numbers of dog bites increasing – in 2015 there were 12,937 bites and in 2016 that jumped to 14,024. And these are only the reported bites. Dog bites are spread out quite evenly over the age groups but because of the way children interact with dogs they tend to get bitten on the face and head. We have consulted with a psychologist to ensure that our programmes are not only age specific but structured to engage children and allow them to develop empathy and understand why dogs may bite. The basis of the programme is ensuring that we have qualified and well educated instructors. Each instructor has to go through a trai [ܘ[[YK^H\HXHXY[[H]\B\Y\H[\\[Y[\Y ]\^[Y[H[\ܝ[][\[Xܜ[\[B][XH[X\]Z[\YHH[]\KHX\›وܚY\HXX\\[[[[X]]X][ۜ]^H]HY[[[ۜ\]Y[HZ[X\H[]\B[Y]H[\ˈ[[[\H\YZ\Z][\[XYHH][\H][ݙ\^]Y[]8&\[]\[\X[H[H[XYH\܈]Z\[[]]\[œX[H[\ܝ[][[[\[H^H]H\˂[]]\YHۙ\^\8''KY^H^H\H\\X[HHX\ۈ[XH][H܈Y]KHX^HH\X[\Hۙق[[܈\YHY^\Y[H][H[H\ [\[X^HHX\[H]܈[\[\[[\[H˂܈\ZH\HX^HH][[ٙ^K][H\Y܂[[Hۙ\ۛH۸&]\XX]HZ[XYH[\ˈHYYXX\[[][XYو][œY ܈ܝ[\K]8&\]H&\[H[[X^XBH^^HYH^H\HXH^HH˂[XY[HY[H\H[[ۈHY][H\]B[\[YH\[YY[KH[X\[YH][[H[H]H\] ]H\]H[[][[\]H[[\[HY[[H[YB]X][ۋ[H\[[\XH[[\[\\[HHۙ\[H8$]][[HHZ[Z[H\\KH][\\Z\[ۋ][YX[]YHۙ\\۸&]\H[H[&]HXY \HXH•\\]\YH]]Xܜ]HH]\]H\B\ܘ[[YHۈ\X\[H]\X[Y[][ۜ™HYHوHY\\[ܙ[\][ۜ[[[BZ][\[ۙ]\X\H]\Hۈ\XX\ۜ\\X[[X[Y۝X HX[Y[ۛHX[HYH܈X8$[YH[Y\^H^H\Z[ [[HۜY\] Hو]\\HHXH[XYH\[]Y\Z[\8'۸&]][\XH[H&\Xx'KHX] [۝XY\][H\ۜH[Y]]X[^K\\\H^H[H[H^Y\[Z[H ^H][]X\ۈK[H[\X\H[\X[H[]\B\[HXH܈\H[[[[][HH[H^Y\ˈ܈X[H\\[[ZY][˜[^H۸&]ZH] YH\\Y ]HY܈XY\\]]Y ^HX^H[H]H[[[X[H\[[\[H]K\Hܘ[[YHܚ•^H\H[Z[\[ [[\ˈ]H۸&]\]B[H[܈Y[\\Y\Z\[ۈ[Bۙ\^\Y\HX[Y[][H]H˜YH[H[XYو\X[]܈][[\[[]XKYH[[\X][ؘXH]