Friday, May 29, 2009

Product Review: Dogs&Storks DVD

Dogs&Storks™ is the first national baby preparation program where dogs are the focus. Answering the call of many expectant parents, the new DVD is an economical choice and sets the groundwork for success before baby arrives. Hundreds of families have benefited from the Dogs&Storks™ national baby preparation program. Now, the updated DVD offers access to thousands more, providing practical education and support during pregnancy, and helping to increase safety and decrease concerns many new parents have about their family dog.

Dogs&Storks™ DVD is a two-for-one package providing a video taped Dogs&Storks™ Consultation along with a fully-narrated slide presentation. Bursting with information and tips, expectant families are introduced to the subtle language of dogs, taught ways to include their dog before and after baby arrives, and so much more. Narrator and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) Jennifer Shryock has been hands-on with families and dogs for over 15 years. Ms. Shryock has a Bachelors Degree in Special Education and is herself an expectant mother with three young children. Along with her private dog behavior consulting business, Family Paws, the Shryock family has fostered over 70 dogs and numerous cats over the years, providing ample hands-on learning opportunities. It was through fostering and activities in dog rescue that Ms. Shryock first saw the need for a specialized education for new and expectant families.

Frequently, dogs are abandoned or re-homed because parents don't know about or have access to available support and resources. Now, the Dogs&Storks™ DVD fills this need by discussing common concerns and the behavioral challenges seen by expectant and new parents. Preparing ahead of time as well as practicing new routines before baby arrives makes all the difference in the world, according to Ms. Shryock. Her love for dogs and children coupled with a passion for education has driven Jennifer Shryock to create and share Dogs&Storks™. "I want to make education available even before they know they need it!" states Shryock. Ms. Shryock believes that by offering Dogs&Storks™ nationally through qualified presenters, this education will become as common as childbirth classes. That is tail wagging news for dogs everywhere!

What are some of the most frequent questions asked over the years?

  • "How do we prepare our dog for baby?"
  • "How should we introduce our baby to the dog?"
  • "What does it mean when my dog barks at the crib while my baby is crying?"
  • "Will he be jealous and take it out on the baby?"
  • "What if he won't accept the baby?"

Common comments we hear that demonstrate the need for education include:

  • "He just knows the baby is ours and he protects him."
  • "He is the first one to run when the baby cries ... it is so cute."
  • "It is so cute when he licks the baby all over. He just loves the baby."
  • "We were told to put the baby on the floor and let the dogs sniff him."

"This last comment is the most alarming, and yes - we still hear parents say that someone has advised them to put the baby on the floor and allow the dog to sniff them when they first arrive home," states Ms. Shryock, It is dangerous misinformation such as this that has prompted Jennifer to create a team of uniquely qualified dog professionals throughout the United States and Canada to present this specialized program in many communities. Currently, there are 45 licensed presenters in the United States and Canada.

Jennifer Shryock is dedicated to providing accurate, practical and affordable education for professionals and families regarding safety and fun between children and family dogs. She offers a variety of programs and presentations from which all communities can benefit. Education is essential to proactive prevention; knowledge and awareness are empowering.

To find your local Dogs & Storks™ program, please visit

To find out how to become a presenter, please contact

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Dog's Eye View on Dog Bite Prevention

Every day should be filled with respect and love for our 4 legged companions but in honor of Dog bite prevention week here is the Press release from the National canine research council.
Enjoy and love your furry friends....they really do well in our chaotic human world!

Monday, May 4, 2009

More About the Alpha Wolf

Here are two more articles I have found to go along with my previous post about the debunking of the wolf pack/dominance theory.

One is by wolf expert David Mech. Here is the final paragraph of the article:

"Hopefully it will take fewer than 20 years for the media and the public to fully adopt the correct terminology and thus to once and for all end the outmoded view of the wolf pack as an aggressive assortment of wolves consistently competing with each other to take over the pack."

Click here to download the article:

L. David Mech. 2008. What Ever Happened to the Term Alpha Wolf? International Wolf Magazine. 18:4-8.

The other is an article by dog behavior expert Dr. Sophia Yin detailing her journey from dominance-based training to positive-reinforcement based training.

Click here to download the article:

S.Yin. 2007. Dominance vs Leadership in Dog Training. Compend Contin Educ Vet. 27: 414-417, 432.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Case File: Dangers of Tied Dogs

The "Case File" column was a regular feature of the Doggone Safe newsletter. The Newsletter has been replaced with this blog, which gives much better as well as searchable access to the archives. Since many new readers and members have not seen the newsletter archives, we are going to reprint all the case files here at the blog. This one first appeared in July 2004.

Case File stories are based on actual bite incidents - names are fictitious.

Four-year-old Tommy was wandering around happily in the back yard of a family home enjoying a piece of candy. He was suddenly attacked and severely bitten by a family member's dog in the presence of supervising adults. What went wrong here? dog, family enjoying time outside in the back yard, adult supervision...seems like a safe situation. The dangerous element here is that the dog was TIED.

Karen Delise, author of "FatalDog Attacks - The Stories Behind the Statistics" states that "Chaining a dog is arguably the single most dangerous condition in which to maintain a dog". Based on statistics, chained dogs are more dangerous than free roaming packs of dogs. Chained dogs have killed at least 98 people in the US and a further 11 have been killed by dogs that broke their chains. The overwhelming majority of the victims were children. The number of children injured by tied dogs is not known.

A false sense of security is felt by those who consider a chained dog not to be a threat. According to meter reader safety officers who have spoken to Doggone Safe, dogs that break free of their restraints to attack meter readers are a serious concern. Children can inadvertently wander into the tied dog's territory, or can be close enough that the dog can reach them. Children have been hurt or killed through entanglement in the dog's chain, where there was no aggressive intent on the part of the dog. In some cases entanglement has occurred when the victim was trying to help untangle a suffering dog.

Why are tied dogs so dangerous? Dogs are naturally territorial and a tied dog is acutely aware of his territory boundaries. The inability of a tied dog to retreat causes him to be more likely to perceive threats and to stand his ground and defend his territory. The frustration of being tied and watching activities unfold can cause dogs to become stressed and even frantic, leading to aggressive actions when the opportunity arises.

What can we learn from Tommy's case? Owner and parent education are the biggest factors that can be influenced. Parents need to learn that children should not be in the same space as a tied dog, even if there is adult supervision. Dogs should be behind a secure barrier to prevent possible interaction with children. Dog owners need to understand how detrimental chaining is to the emotional well-being of the dog and to recognize that the dog that is friendly and stable when loose may become aggressive when chained.

For more information visit Mothers Against Dog Chaining

Be a Tree Event in Oshawa ON

Yamei Ross will host a Be a Tree presentation for families to teach them about dog body language and being safe around dogs.

Date: May 24th, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Place: Centennial Retirement Residence
259 Hillcroft Street
Oshawa, Ontario
Cost: $15.00 per family

Be a Tree Video

Here is a video that shows kids demonstrating how to Be a Tree. Notice that whenever the kids are being trees, the dog ignores them. When they move she gets interested in them again and wants to chase. Even when the dog tries to solicit play from one of the girls, she stays still and the dog goes away.

Doggone Crazy! Board Game

The Doggone Crazy! board game teaches kids and families how to read dog body language and be safe around dogs. It won the Innovation Award from the International Positive Dog Training Association in 2005 and is recommended by numerous experts.

Check out a video promo that explains the game:

Click here to for a virtual tour.

Buy it from the Doggone Safe store and help support the work of Doggone Safe while having fun and keeping kids safer.

Speak Dog Video Slideshow

We have posted our popular Speak Dog video slideshow to YouTube so that more people can have access to it. No more waiting for a big file to download!

This slide show teaches about dog body language using photos of dogs with captions. In many cases there are contrasting photos of the same dog to show that dogs have different emotions. We want kids to learn to pet only happy dogs and for parents and kids to realize that even the family dog might not be in the mood to play or to share.

The video has a clip of a barking dog that is tied and breaks loose. This is to make the point that kids should stay away from tied dogs.

Click here to view this in YouTube (a new window will open). Please pass this on to anyone who needs to know this information.

Book Review: Living with Kids and Dogs

Living With Kids and Dogs - Without Losing Your Mind
A parent's guide to controlling the chaos
by Colleen Pelar

Living with Kids and Dogs … Without Losing Your Mind by Colleen Pelar is a must-read for parents who have kids and dogs or are contemplating acquiring a dog. Colleen gives practical advice that considers the needs of kids, dogs and parents. This goes far beyond the usual “supervise and control” mantra and gives workable approaches that empower the parent to advocate for both the kids and the dog.

This award-winning book is themed around the three keys to success, which are (in order of importance): relationship, management and training. Positive reinforcement techniques are described for helping to build a strong relationship between the dog and the family using various games and training exercises. Common sense management suggestions are made to help parents think of ways to prevent problems. For example, stealing from the counter can be prevented by putting food away. Training comes more easily when there is a strong foundation of mutual respect between the dog and the kids and when a household is well managed. Colleen advocates using positive methods with kids and dog and never resorting to punishment.

Topics covered in the book include, deciding to get a dog, choosing a dog, bite prevention, spotting serious behavior issues, essential equipment, babies and toddlers, preschoolers, elementary schoolers, teenagers and saying goodbye. A unique and very useful component of this book is the “Words for the Weary” section at the end of each chapter. This recognizes that sometimes a parent is just too busy to sit down and read or reread a whole book chapter and so the highlights are conveniently presented.

There are too many clever and original ideas in the book to list them all here, but a few examples illustrate the types of activities described. There is the “dog in the rope” game, where the kids click and treat the dog for lying calmly within a rope circle to keep him from interfering with their games – such a better way to use a rope than to tie the dog up! Another great technique is the double leash to prevent jumping. Two leashes are attached to the dog and the parent steps on one to prevent the dog from jumping while holding the other in the regular way. This stops the dog from jumping while preventing the handler from yanking the dog back with the leash. Don’t punish your dog for growling – this is surprising advice to most parents. Colleen explains this and many other dog behavior concepts that are important for parents to understand.

As a mother of teenagers and a professional dog trainer, Colleen Pelar has lived it all and she tells it like it is with humor, compassion and practicality. This book is highly recommended!

Click here to buy this book (Doggone Safe will earn commission)

Doggone Safe Radio PSAs

Tracy Block of Big Dog 92.7 Radio in Regina Saskatchewan created some fantastic Public Service Announcements for radio. A huge thank you to Tracy, Big Dog 92.7 and Astral Media for helping to spread the word about dog bite prevention.

Radio stations (in North America anyway) are required as part of their licensing agreements to devote some airtime to Public Service Announcements free of charge. These PSAs would be perfect for Dog Bite Prevention Week (the 3rd week in May). If you think your local radio station might be interested in airing one or more of these PSAs, please send them the links below so they can listen to them. If they are interested in obtaining broadcast quality versions, they can contact Tracy Block at

Listen to the dog bite prevention PSAs:

PSA #1 (60 sec): 26 Stitches (get out the Kleenex for this one!)

PSA #2 (60 sec): Adopt a Classroom

PSA #3 (45 sec): Learn to Be a Tree

PSA #4 (45 sec): ReLearn ABCs

PSA #5 (60 sec): Review ABCs

PSA #6 (30 sec): Straight Facts

PSA #7 (60 sec): Strange Dogs

PSA #8 (60 sec): SVMA100th

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Days Sale in Doggone Safe Store

In honour of Dog Bite Prevention Week we are having a sale! Online orders only.

$5 off any purchase over $20: enter the coupon code mayday5

$10 off any purchase over $100: enter the coupon code mayday10

Click here to visit the store

This offer is good until the end of May