At the age of 4, Jazmyn was playing with a dog her father felt comfortable and familiar with. Her father stepped out of the room for just a few minutes to take a work related phone call before he heard cries. Jazmyn had been bitten on the left side of her face and required immediate medical attention. The doctors were surprised she had no damage to her eye and considered her to be very lucky, because it could have been much worse especially if the dog had grabbed her throat. A 4 year old, bitten by a full grown Saint Bernard, she was very lucky!!
4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of people bitten are children, with bites occurring most often on the face or neck. With a lot of children getting new pets for Christmas, safety is a major concern!! Most people who have witnessed or experienced a dog bite will tell you, the bite came out of nowhere.
As a certified dog trainer, I am here to tell you dog bites NEVER come out of no where! Dogs communicate with over 30 body language signals and without a parent around to know and watch those signals, there is a risk of a dog bite. The dog should have been placed in their safe place, a crate/kennel, while the interaction between the dog and child could not be monitored. The dog was pushed to a breaking point by the child and with no where to go, it defended itself as you would expect any animal to do. You can NOT train a dog to never bite, EVERY dog has a breaking point! Being around to catch this signals or separating the dog when you can't be fully aware of the situation, is the best thing you can do to ensure the safety of your child and your dog, along with having a crate/kennel or bed where the child is forbidden to bother the dog. This will give the dog a means of retreat so that they don't have to attack or react.
Dana Ortiz, ABCDT
Jazmyn has since made a full recovery but sadly will wear the scars forever. The dog was put down because of the incident. I’ve made it my mission to educate the public on the animals we know so little about, but share our homes with.
Here is a great article about teaching kids to avoid dog bites: https://www.avma.org/public/Pages/Teaching-children-about-dog-bite-prevention.aspx
Understanding canine communication and what your dogs are trying to say is so important when avoiding dog bites, NOT just for children!
Canines with age go through a mental development stage that tells them, "It's not fun to potty where I sleep!" Puppies typically hit this point mentally when their mother has stopped cleaning up after them.
That's where a kennel comes handy...
”I've chosen a kennel big enough Spencer will still comfortably fit in full grown and strong enough he can't get out. I started off with a small bed but comfortable enough for him to get up and move into another position to lay because we all love a cozy bed with space to move around or stretch out. Starting off with the small bed gave Spencer more potty space then lay space and as he has grown so has his bed/lay space.
The idea in this is to show him as he grows and learns to hold it naturally; his potty space also leaves the kennel and onto outdoors. I did it this way to insure his health while he was still getting his puppy shots.“ Dana Ortiz, ABCDT
Signs your pooch may need to potty and good times to maybe try to let your canine out. These tips will help you teach your pooch how to adjust from the kennel to the house.
1) A restless canine
2) 30-45 minutes after eating
3) 10-15 minutes after play time
4) 30-45 minutes after drinking
6) After rest
Important Note: Do NOT physical correct your pooch for their accidents! If you catch your pooch in the act take him/her to where they are allowed to potty and wait for them to finish going. When they do go potty you can mark the behavior with the cue "potty" with the appraisal of a calm neck rub. This will help teach your pooch to potty on cue in the future.
Friendly Reminder: Canines naturally learn not to potty where they rest after their mothers have stopped cleaning up after them; try to avoid letting your pooch see you clean up his/her poop.
Canines in the wild have sought out small “dens,” where they can feel safe plus sheltered while resting, caring for puppies, or recovering from an injury or illness.
Kennel training is extremely effective for potty or house training. Canines don't want to soil their beds, but will have little issues with sneaking into another room of the house to go potty if they’re not fully trained.
Kennel/crate training can help prevent and aid in anxiety of all kinds. For puppies or small dogs, overseeing a big house when no one is with them can be overwhelming, maybe even frightening.
Kennel Size & Why size matters:
Choose a well-ventilated crate that is large enough for your pooch to stand up, lie down, and turn around in, even fully grown. Use a divider to make the crate smaller for the time being or as your pooch grows. Many kennels/crates available at pet-supply stores include dividers.
A crate/kennel that’s too small will be uncomfortable for your pooch, but a crate that’s too large may give your pooch the space he/she needs to have an accident without ruining his/her bedding. This behavior may encourage future accidents in the crate and/or around the house.
If you let your pooch out while he/she‘s whining they may pick up “whining meaning out”, creating a pooch who wont stop crying in their kennel.
What is a rehabilitation case?
The FREE online Learning is designed to help and assistant canine foster handlers in canine care, at home training and at home rehabilitations. It’s also provided freely to the general public, YOU. One Smart Pooch, LLC Save a Life Project was designed to help prevent canine abandonment, surrenders and abuse due to behavioral issues such as resourceful guarding, excessive barking and so much more.