Kids, Dogs and Nannies OH MY! Dog Safety for Nannies & in home child care providers.

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Family Paws announces the first National teleconference for Nannies about safety issues between kids & dogs. Beginning in November this teleconference will cover topics relevant to those caring for children in homes with and without dogs. Our goal is to raise awareness through education about canine behavior and body language to decrease the risk of dog bites and injury with familiar and unfamiliar dogs in any environments. (http://www.familypaws.com/communication)

According to the Center for Disease control and prevention (http://www.cdc.gov) it is estimated that as of 2001 there were 67 million dogs in homes as pets. Each year there are almost 5 million reported dog bites. 800,000 victims require medical care with 400,000 of them being children. Statistics indicate 77% of reported dog bites involve the family dog. Children between the ages of 5-9 are the most common victims with a significantly higher percent being boys. (http://www.dogbitelaw.com)

As a canine behavior consultant I am contacted frequently about dog bites that happen while parents are not at home. Considering the rules for the dog while a Nanny or babysitter supervise the children is often overlooked. I hope to change this.

It is important that anyone caring for children in homes with dogs has an understanding of some basic canine body language and behavior. Learning the signs and signals dogs use to indicate stress or conflict help to decrease the risk of a dog bite.

The dynamics change whenever someone new is in the home. Kids act a bit differently and the dog may react to things differently as well. This is true also when new children come into the home to visit. Thinking and planning ahead about where the dog will be when kids friends visit or while the children are supervised by someone other then their parents is important. Management, obedience and constant supervision are just a few things that must be considered to decrease the risk of an unfortunate miscommunication between dogs and kids. Even good dogs may bite when they have reached their tolerance after other subtle communication fails. Learning how to prevent miscommunication between kids and dog is the way to keep everyone safe.

Family Paws offers Safety Paws for Nannies (http://www.familypaws.com/nanny-teleclass/ ) and child care providers to increase safety and fun between children and their family companions. Dogs are wonderful additions to families but we must remember that they are animals and communicate in their own way. Learning how to recognize the subtle signals of dogs and having a plan for what to do if they indicate stress can help create a safer bond and prevent heartache for all.

Want to begin learning now? Great! Go to http://www.familypaws.com/communication

Jennifer Shryock is a Canine behavior consultant in Cary, NC. She is the owner of Family Paws Canine behavior consulting services specializing in safe kid & k9 interaction. To learn more about Jennifer visit: http://www.familypaws.com/aboutus/about_jen.html

To learn more about our teleconference visit http://www.familypaws.com/ds-online/
Or contact us by phone at 919.961.1608

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