More well-meaning but again misguided child safety around dogs research conclusions from the science community.
If we wish to reduce the number of children (people) being bitten by dogs why not first focus on:
- Requiring more of breeders than, the ability to tell the difference between a male and female dog.
- Requiring more of dog trainers than, “I love dogs therefore I’m a dog trainer.”
- Realizing that companion dog training should reflect evolutionary biology and not ‘All Positive/Purely Positive/Force-Free . . .’ or ‘Might Is Right’ ideologies.
- Requiring more of a society than giving blind credence to misanthropic animal rights propagandists that prioritize dogs over children and continue to influence the protection of dogs over children via statistically proven to be ineffective blame/educate the child, blame/educate the parent blame/education programs, where the only possible hope of success if they somehow can stop a child from being a child.
Teaching Children and Parents to Understand Dog Signaling
Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Safe human-dog relationships require understanding of dogs’ signaling. As children are at particularly high risk of dog bites, we investigated longitudinally how children from 3 to 5 years and parents perceive and interpret dogs’ distress signaling gestures. All participants were then taught how to link their perception of the dog with the correct interpretation of dogs’ behavioral signals and tested again. Results show a significant increase in learning for children and adults, with them showing greater understanding of dogs’ signaling after intervention. Better learning effects were found with increasing age and depended on the type of distress signaling of the dogs. Effects endured over time and it can be concluded that children and adults can be taught to interpret dogs’ distress signaling more correctly. Awareness and recognition of dogs’ stress signaling can be seen as an important first step in understanding the dog’s perspective and are vital to enable safe interactions.
Meints, Kerstin, Victoria Brelsford, and Tiny De Keuster. “Teaching Children and Parents to Understand Dog Signaling.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00257.
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