This article is a continuation from last month’s and is a list designed to teach parents and other adults about children and dogs so that they can then handle situations their own way.
The important thing to know is that it is natural for your dog to react poorly. There is nothing wrong with your dog — a dog can react negatively to these activities of normal children:
· A child’s display of affection can be loud, shrill and spontaneously physical. To a dog, a child’s behaviour can seem threatening. You need to explain this to the child.
· Roughhousing is never a good idea. A child pushing a dog down to the ground, wrestling with a dog, taking a ball out of a dog’s mouth—any of these games are likely to wind up with a dog being rough the one way he/she can: with his/her teeth.
· Children’s movements can be rapid and unpredictable. This tendency is similar to the behaviour of certain prey—which can confuse a dog or make them more reactive in a situation. Children’s food, clothing and body parts are moving targets for dogs, and easier to grab than an adult’s.
· Whistling or blowing in a dog’s face is unpleasant for them. It can provoke aggressive behaviour in a dog.
· Some children may tease and taunt a dog for fun. Excessive teasing can cause a dog to lash out in frustration. Pre-teenage kids may experiment with the limits of a dog’s tolerance by restraining the dog and then calling them or getting the dog to bark or growl or whine by holding a toy or a treat just out of their reach.
· Some dogs don’t like to be patted on the head. A hand coming over a dog’s head may be threatening. The best place to touch a dog—once you get the owner’s permission—is on the dog’s chest or shoulder.
Ask Dr Elaine and the Animal Wellness team about their new underwater treadmill and physio services for animals. For more information and to book a session with Dr Elaine please go to: www.animalwellness.com.au