June 3, 2014 6:16 pm
Updated: June 3, 2014 8:26 pm

Tips for teaching children how to safely be around dogs


CALGARY- An eight-year-old girl continues to recover from a dog bite that lead to surgery on her face, and the incident serves as an important reminder about animal safety.

On Friday, the child was playing in the front yard of an apartment complex, when the neighbour’s dog—which was tied to a tree—bit her.

The owner says he had just given the dog a bone, and warned the children to leave her alone while she ate it.

Animal behaviour specialists say that protecting resources—such as a meaty bone—is a natural tendency for canines.

“It’s not about dominance, it’s about the dog feeling threatened when someone is approaching their valued resource,” explains Cheryl Wittevronge.

She adds that having a dog on leash while it’s eating a treat could make it feel trapped, especially when it’s approached by a stranger. Subtle signs of aggression like a slight lip curl, or a hard stare, can also be threatening to animals.

Children should be taught to only pet dogs if they have the owner’s permission.


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