Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are dogs unpredictable?

"Jennifer Shryock, a dog behavior consultant from, a program that prepares families with dogs for life with a baby, said infants should never be left alone -- even for a moment -- with a dog, due to the animals' unpredictability. " This is a quote from the Star Ledger article. I wanted to expand on this. There is some truth to this, when we are not there, they are likely seem unpredictable BUT......there is more truth to the fact that Dogs will PREDICTABLY behave as dogs. That said we must predict that they will caretake, nurture, discipline, & respond based on the natural instincts of the dogs that they are. That is predictable.
Without a person present for guidance and direction dogs predictably will act like dogs. There are many variations of dog behavior that are considered acceptable and unacceptable in our in our human world but... still are part of our dogs. We must be aware of these behavior so that we can predict and therefore proactively prevent.
If we believe our dogs are unpredictable we become helpless. Victims. This creates fear and is no help to our dogs or anyone.
Knowing that dogs will behave as dogs and becoming familiar with dog body language and behavior through such programs as empowers adults and children to make safer choices and set themselves up for success. Dogs need our direction, supervision and guidance to be the most successful.
We love dogs for many reasons. When we choose to include them in our home we must also choose to be informed and educated about their behavior so that we can help them be successful in our very unpredictable hectic human world.

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