Resources For families with dogs and babies!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FREE Dog & Kid holiday safety Teleconference by Family Paws

We are having the call again due to requests!  Join us the 29th at 8pm ET

The holidays are comingI   We invite you to take a moment and think about the dogs you and your family may encounter over the holidays.  
This conference call is intended to decrease stress for you and the dogs you share the holidays with.   You might be wondering what kind of stress could your dog possibly have?  Visiting kids, lots of yummy food, visiting adults change in routines and so much excitement.  This can be a challenge for even the calmest of dogs.  Set you and your canine family member up for success by joining us for this free information session packed with tips to make "home for the holidays" safe for your entire family!
Topics included:
1.  Calming the chaos for your dog if you are expecting many guest...especially small children.
2.  What to consider when you and your kids visit a home with dogs.
3.  Common situations that can be challenging for both kids and dogs during family gatherings.
4.   Keeping your dog safe from holiday dangers
5.  Simple tips to keep your dog occupied and comfortable as you prepare for the big day.
and more!

What questions do you have?  Do you have a story to share about an experience that might help others?  If so please join us!

When:  Monday the 29th at 8pm ET to 9pm ET
Here is the number to call to join us


conference id 8099414 

Who is conducting the call?  Jennifer Shryock 
Who is this information perfect for?
1.  Grandparents and family members who have a dog and are expecting many guests.
2.  Parents who are taking their children to a home where there is a family dog.
3.  Anyone who is interested in learning helpful tips to pass along to others!

Please email me any questions you may have or like to see discussed on the call.
info @
I look forward to Monday night!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We need more awareness!

For more information about or contact Jennifer at info @

Recently there have been several dog bite related fatalities involving children.  Very tragic and heartbreaking for all involved, family, dogs, the victim, and the community. It is my intention in this blog to raise awareness so that other children and dogs stay safe.

In one of the incidents a 2 year old wandered into the backyard where 29 unhealthy dogs were either tethered or kenneled. Tragically the child did not make it back inside. This accident was completely preventable with proper adult supervision and is extremely disturbing.  Read more here
This situation was unreasonable with inappropriate expectations.  Unsupervised toddler and 29 chained up neglected dogs.

The other situation involved a 5 year old boy who was playing in his backyard when neighbors dogs entered his yard. He was in his own yard! He was at an age that playing alone in his yard should be safe even without an adult right there but...due to faulty containment of the neighbor's dogs it was not. So very tragic for all involved  
This was a reasonable situation for the boy to be in...nothing done wrong here by the boy or family. It is reasonable to expect your child is able to play safely in his own yard.  

So, what can we learn and where can we go from here?
  1. Small children must NEVER have access to chained up dogs! Use child locks on doors to prevent the “explorer” from wandering into danger. Chained up dogs and unsupervised toddlers is a dangerous and potentially deadly combination.
  2. Be familiar and aware of all dogs in your neighborhoods environment.
  3. If there are a large number of dogs in a yard that is next to yours be sure you have a solid enclosure for your child to play in. Don't count on the neighbor's fencing or containment.
  4. Frequently check the perimeter of your own fencing to be sure it is secure if your children will be playing in your yard. Changes in weather along with critters can lead to gaps and other problems with fencing. Be sure your yard is secure from intruders of any kind.
  5. If there are dog's tethered or fenced in a yard next to yours please consider putting up a fence of your own to increase safety.  Dogs living outside as "resident" dogs are not family dogs and do not have the tools to succeed in many situations involving people and children.
  6. Always teach children “BE A TREE” around excitable or unfamiliar dogs. Children must practice this frequently so that it becomes a conditioned response when needed.

    Community awareness, parental education and dog safety education is needed to help decrease dangers and increase harmony and bonds.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tether vs. "tether."

In many of our programs we recommend the use of tethers.  The term tethering often brings up conflict and so I often use the term "success station" when mentioning the use of a tether inside the home.  This is a form of management that is used short term to help teach a dog self control while allowing them to be included in the family's life.  

This is Windsor "tethered" outside a home before he was rescued and a part of our family.

This is Windsor at his "success station" on a tether with a toy inside our home.

There are many positive uses of tethering and I believe in making this form of management as positive for the dog as possible.  I think the photos of our dog Windsor will help to clearly illustrate the difference between the "tethering" we have laws against and the positive use of tethering in the home as a management tool.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kiss or dismiss?

One of the things I see regularly is families misinterpreting what their dog is trying to communicate. Check out this video. Notice how bruno gives big long licks. I consider these the "move it" or "bug off kid" lick. Usually they are successful in getting us to move. 
Think of your response when your dog licks your face. Most likely you turn away and certainly you look away. This increases the distance and comfort for the dog when things are too intense. Or it manipulates you to move a bit.

Bruno was getting on his mom's nerves by licking the baby so intensely but the baby was truly getting on bruno's nerves by being so close and not leaving him alone. 
 Notice how Bruno took the bone and turned his body away from the baby? Then he continues licking? It is very subtle but this is how dogs talk and communicate. The challenge is that these signals were interpreted as kisses or as not wanted for the baby but Bruno's comfort level was not considered. Bruno is communicating the only way he can. It is the same as a kids saying "hey could you move over please." After dogs use all the subtle ways to communicate the same thing over and over then they may escalate to a more direct and clear way such as growling. We don't want things to get to that point. Do your baby and dog a favor and become familiar with dog communication.communication   For more information about dog body language and safety contact us!