Chlopčíková, M and Mojžíšová,A. 2010. Risk Factors in the relationship between children and dogs. Journal of Nursing, Social Studies and Public Health. 1(102–109).
In 2008, a pilot study trying to find the potential causes of conflicts in the children × dog relationship was realized. This pilot study was triggered by the increasing amount of cases of dog attacks in society, especially
dog attacks on the youngest generation (children). The collection of data which monitored awareness about a responsible approach and safe contact with dogs among primary school children (aged 8–12) was conducted from November 2007 to March 2008. The main aim of the research was to map children’s knowledge of dog’s communication signals, the perception of a child’s own authority in the relationship with a dog and the frequency of individual risk activities in their mutual contact. The research study has revealed alarming deficiencies, especially in the knowledge of communication signals and canine body language. The awareness of signs of the two most hazardous communication signals (threat and attack) was very poor.
Some Key Risk Factors Identified in this Study
- Children considering themselves to be the highest authority over the dog
- Children walking the dog without adult supervision
- Ignorance of dog body language signals - considered by the authors to be the main bite risk factor
The results of this study provide strong support for the Doggone Safe approach of teaching children to read dog body language to help reduce the dog bite risk.
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