Friday, February 22, 2013

New Study: Child Dog Bite Victims Need Ongoing Emotional Support

A recently published study provides evidence that child dog bite victims require ongoing emotional support.

Barbara W. Boat, Cinnamon A. Dixon, Erica Pearl, Lacey Thieken and Sarah E. Bucher. 2012. Pediatric Dog Bite Victims: A Need for a Continuum of Care. Clincal Pediatrics. 51: 473-477.

Abstract: The authors assessed the ongoing needs of 34 pediatric dog bite victims and their families 1 month after receiving care in a pediatric emergency department. More than 70% of the parents noted at least 1 new concerning behavior in their children, and more than 85% of the parents also endorsed concerns about their own reactions. Half of the parents believed that children, in general, might benefit from interventions to help with postbite fears and nearly three quarters felt that families would benefit from education regarding dog bite prevention. The  majority (85%) of the parents believed that additional supportive services could be offered effectively at emergency department or pediatric office/clinic visits. A template for a dog bite information card is presented.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the majority of child dog bite victims and their parents in our study experienced changes in behavior and additional stress in their lives after the incident. Furthermore, these parents expressed a need for additional supportive services and a desire for prevention education related to this topic. Thus, we advocate that child dog bite victims and their parents may benefit from a continuum of care after these injuries and that dog bite prevention education should be an integral part of any child safety discussion with families.

Read the full article

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Teach My Person How to Love Me

Check out this wonderful song and video: "Teach My Person How to Love Me"

An original song created by animal lovers, rescuers and advocates brought together by Lakes Animal Friendship Society in Burns Lake BC, about how to care for companion pets. Images in this slideshow are from spay/neuter clinics with the amazing Canadian Animal Assistance Team. We invite you to create and post your own video to the song to help spread this important message, visit to download the audio file. ©2012 Lakes Animal Friendship Society

Please share this song and video!

How to Love Your Dog - The Shocking Truth!

Think that your dog likes hugs and kisses? Well if he is like most dogs, then he does not enjoy this type of human affection. Children want to show love to dogs by giving hugs and kisses, because this how they show affection to people they love. Hugs are not a natural form of canine interaction to show affection. To show your dog that you love him, learn to give him the things that he really does like and teach your kids to do the same.

Most dog bites are to children, by the family dog or another dog known to the child. Hugs and kisses are a major cause of facial bites to children. Doggone Safe offers suggestions for safe ways to love your dog that the dog will appreciate.

Children (and adults too) often want to show love to dogs the way we show love to each other, through hugs and kisses. Dogs do not naturally understand this, or even enjoy it. Hugs and face-to-face contact can be very threatening to dogs. The dog may tolerate this for a while, but at some point may bite or snap to protect himself once he has exhausted all his means of more subtle warning. Some dogs do enjoy a hug from a special person, if it is on their terms and done with some extra scratching on the chest. Few, if any dogs enjoy hugs the way young children do this, which is to clasp around the neck and hang on. Parents, teach your children to avoid face-to-face contact with any dog (even their own dog) and to show love to the dog in ways other than hugging and kissing.

Doggone Safe offers the following suggestions for Valentine’s Day about how to love your dog in a way that the dog will appreciate.

Touch Your Dog
  • Invite your dog to come to you for attention. If your dog turns away or moves away, respect his wishes and leave him alone. Many dogs like to be near you, but not necessarily to be touched.
  • Scratch your dog on the side of the neck or on his chest.
  • Avoid hugs and kisses. People enjoy this, but most dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. They might tolerate it, but few actually enjoy it.
  • Invite your dog to sit with you while your read or watch TV. Let him lean on you or put his head on your lap on his terms.
  • Some dogs enjoy a scratch behind the ears. Most dogs don’t enjoy hands coming down on the top of their heads.
  • Pet your dog and then stop. If he tries to get you continue then you will know he likes it.

Play With Your Dog
  • Play games like fetch and hide and seek that do not involve chasing or rough play.
  • Take your dog for lots of walks.

Understand Your Dog
  • Learn to read dog body language so that you can understand what your dog is trying to tell you.
  • A happy dog pants and wags his tail loosely. He may wag all over.
  • An anxious dog might show a half moon of white in his eye or he may lick his lips or yawn. He may turn his head away or walk away. He wants to be left alone.
  • A dog that suddenly goes stiff and still is very dangerous and might be ready to bite.
  • A dog with his mouth closed and ears forward and/or with his tail held high is busy thinking about something and does not want to be bothered.

Reward Your Dog
  • Look for things your dog does right and give him a treat or praise, petting or play. Never hit or yell at your dog.
  • Give your dog a stuffed Kong or Chewber or other long lasting chew treat to enjoy while he lies on a mat or in a crate.

Doggone Safe Announces Dog Bite Prevention Challenge 2013



Media contact: Joan Orr | | 877-350-3232


Doggone Safe Dog Announces the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge

Campbellville ON Feb 2, 2013 – Doggone Safe today announced the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge. It challenges its presenters to visit schools and educate 50,000 children about dog safety in a single month. The Challenge is to celebrate Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 19-25, 2013). Non-profit Doggone Safe has presenters in 17 countries, 11 Canadian provinces and 43 states in the USA.

Dog bites to children are considered to be a serious public health problem by public health agencies and veterinary medical associations worldwide. Statistics show that most bites are by the family dog or other dog known to the child. “Experts agree that public education has an important role to play in reducing dog bite risk to children, and the Be a Tree program is one of the ways Doggone Safe is contributing”, said Teresa Lewin, vice president and cofounder of Doggone Safe.

Doggone Safe administers the “Be a Tree” dog bite prevention program for school children. The program is delivered by Doggone Safe presenters, veterinary technicians, dog trainers, dog behaviorists, public health nurses, emergency medical services personnel, animal control officers, police officers, teachers and humane educators. Presenters use a teacher kit which contains large format photographs showing dog body language signs, games and activities. Program sponsors can purchase supplementary branded learning materials such as coloring books, paint sheets, a story book, a poster, stickers, bookmarks and fridge magnets. Over 700,000 children worldwide have experienced the Be a Tree presentation since 2004. Through the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge, Doggone Safe aims to increase this by at almost ten percent.

“I love ‘be a tree’ (and ‘be a rock’). It's the best of its kind. This information has to get out there, said Jean Donaldson – Internationally recognized dog behavior expert, award-winning author and director of the Academy for Dog Trainers.

For more information about the Challenge, to become a sponsor, to book a presentation for your school or to register as a presenter please visit the Doggone Safe website at

About Doggone Safe
Doggone Safe is a non-profit corporation registered in Canada and Ontario, and in the US is a 501(c)(3) registered charity. Doggone Safe is dedicated to dog bite prevention through education and dog bite victim support. Doggone Safe has members from around the world. Educational programs offered by Doggone Safe are Be a Tree™ (for school-aged children), and online courses about dog body language and occupational dog bite prevention.

2295 Mohawk Trail
Campbellville ON Canada L0P 1B0