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Keeping children safe around dogs - what you can do

Keeping children safe around dogs - what you can do

Psychology researchers at Lincoln University are looking for 200 dog-owning families in the East Midlands or the east of England with one or more children aged three to six to participate in a new bite-prevention study. Participating families will be asked to use interactive software to teach children how to stay safe around dogs.

The Blue Dog CD features a series of animated situations and games involving a dog and a child, offering safe and unsafe outcomes. Parents will be asked to fill in a questionnaire and then film their child interacting with their pet dog at a few intervals over the course of a year.

'Children under six are most at risk of being bitten so we need to teach them early on about how to interact with dogs,' explains research fellow Dr Lakestani. 'It's not only about child safety, it's also about animal welfare, as dogs that bite children are often abandoned or put down.'

For more details on the two-year study, or to express an interest in taking part, visit Lincoln University's Blue Dog website.

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nadia roberts
i have a 1yr old shih tzu who refuses to do anything i tell her im confused on how to train her as i cannot give her 2 many treats has she has a sensitive tummy yet lately she has started to growl at everyone she sees and is quite aggressive towards other dogs if i try to block her view she turns that aggression onto me i just want everyone to see the maisie we all love in the house ive been told its natural has she is trying to protect me but she doesnt seem happy on her walks just very aware of everything else that is around her i cant even talk to people when we are on walks because she starts tom pull and bark and growl and also she tries to snap its a shame because she is our lovely little fur baby in the house so sweet and loving what do i do i feel im letting her down
HI Nadia We've asked Inga MacKellar, PetPeople magazine's resident behaviourist, to look into this for you, and her reply is below (it's also this week's post). Thanks for getting in touch, and please see below… Shih Tzu's can sometimes be a little stubborn! As Maisie has a sensitive tummy use her ordinary dry food as treats in training. It sounds as if Maisie is walked on lead? Did she get the chance to socialise with other dogs on walks as a puppy? The main socialisation period is 3-12 weeks. If yes, her behaviour could be linked to frustration – she wants to interact with other dogs but is being prevented from doing so as she is on lead. This can then lead to redirected aggression, which might explain why she’s being aggressive with you. However, as you feel that she is not happy on walks and she is also growling and snapping at people, the behaviour is probably more serious and is likely to be fear-related. I would recommend that you get Maisie professionally assessed so that a Behaviour Modification Programme can be compiled for her. See www.apbc.org.uk.

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