Dog Bites and the Importance of Education

by Louise Stapleton-Frappell

I was very fortunate to be able to attend PPG Special Council member Victoria Stilwell​’s second Annual Dog Bite Prevention and Behaviour Conference, held earlier this month at the University of Lincoln in England.

The conference is a national event dedicated to finding practical and workable solutions to the issue of dog bites through education and heightened awareness. It began with a welcome introduction by Victoria Stilwell, which had us all eagerly awaiting the presentations that were to follow.

A view of the University of Lincoln.

A view of the University of Lincoln.

Three of the presenters hailed from the University of Lincoln itself. These included Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine, who gave an in depth presentation titled: “Not All Dogs That Bite Are Scared! Insights into the Emotional Basis of Aggressive Behaviour in Dogs”; Kerstin Meints, professor of developmental psychology, who gave a lecture titled: “Children and Dogs – Risks and Interventions”; and Todd Hogue, professor of forensic psychology, who gave a very interesting presentation titled: “A Forensic Psychology Approach to Managing Dog Bite Risk.”…

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Ways to Protect Your Children From a Dog Bite

NEW YORK (CNN) – According the ASPCA half of all kids will be bitten by a dog before they turn 12. Now, not all dog bites are severe, some are just “nips”, but nearly 800,000 people require medical attention because of a dog bite, each year.

Animal trainer and behaviorist, Victoria Stilwell, teaches kids and their parents the right way to interact with dogs, “Children are naturally gregarious. They are loud; they have their body movements their arms, running around with high pitched voices. This could all really elicit a negative reaction from a dog.”…

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Train the Children, Says Canine Expert

CHILDREN should be given canine safety classes in Scottish primary schools, according to one of the world’s most respected dog trainers who says it would help prevent children being attacked and injured.

Victoria Stilwell, creator of Channel 4’s It’s Me or the Dog, said urgent action is needed to tackle a rise in dog attacks that in some cases have left children scarred for life…

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Morrissey: ‘It’s That Important!’

By Louisa Morrissey

“…A recent study from the Children’s Hospital on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus looked at 537 children treated for facial dog bites between 2003 and 2008. Sixty-eight percent of the bites occurred in children 5 years old or younger with the highest incidences in 3 year olds. In most cases the dog was known through the family, friend or neighbor. In the majority of incidences the dog was provoked when petted too aggressively, startled or stepped on by the child. In 2012, 4.5 million people have been bitten by dogs in the U.S. and 800,000 required medical attention. Statistics show the bites are not associated with any one particular breed of dog.

In spite of these sober and daunting statistics, this is a problem we can solve! The solution involves parents, educators, shelter and rescue workers, medical personnel, pediatricians, trainers, lawyers and lawmakers and animal control officials. The most important components of the solution involve education about dog body language and what things people do to provoke a dog to bite. Subsequently, it also involves understanding how to prevent dog bites through education, supervision and safe management of the environment around dogs. This includes placement of dogs in homes that are appropriate for that individual dog’s temperament in relationship to the lifestyle and canine expertise of the new owners. This also includes understanding how training methods that use confrontation, pain and fear dramatically increase the chances of a dog bite in comparison to training methods that use management, non-forceful methods and positive reinforcement. Finally, and most important, stressing to parents of young children that kids and dogs need supervision at all times.

This topic is so important that I suggest driving “down the hill” to Denver on Nov. 2 to attend the National Dog Bite Awareness and Prevention Conference sponsored by Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training. Speakers will include Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer and host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet; Jim Crosby, retired police lieutenant, dog behavior specialist and leading national dog bite fatality/incident investigator; Claudine Wilkins, attorney and dog advocate who drafted and lobbied the Georgia Felony Dog Fighting Law and Responsible Dog Owner Act; and Carrie and Joey Perk, founders of the Liam J Perk Foundation who’s family dog of many years tragically bit and killed their 2-year-old son.

Together, through education and prevention we can solve this tragic problem!

For more info, visit www.denverdogbiteseminar.com…”

 

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Savannah Boy Attacked by Pit Bull Gets Visit from Animal Planet Star

By Christine Lucas    

Learning to live with man’s best friend

Victoria Stilwell, world famous dog trainer and host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” visited Shuman Elementary recently to educate students in grades one through four on safe interaction with man’s four-legged buddy.

Seven-year-old Shuman student Javon Roberson was attacked by a pit bull last June and suffered severe injuries to his face. He was brought to the front of the gymnasium where the assembly was being held and recognized by students and faculty for his bravery. Also on hand to pay tribute to the little boy were Herbert Swain and Henry Murphy, who received their own well-deserved recognition for tackling the pit bull in an effort to help.

“I’m just glad we were there and that God gave us the strength to do what we had to do,” Swain said.

According to event coordinator Cheryl LaBon, Javon underwent eight hours of surgery and required 700 stitches. The EMTs who treated him on the way to the hospital were also there and cheered by Javon’s classmates…

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Animal Planet star Victoria Stilwell, right, poses with 7-year-old Shuman Elementary student Javon Roberson, who was attacked by a pit bull last year and had to receive 700 stitches.