View Full Version : Another child killed by a dog: why?

9th May 2012, 02:54 PM
FB post from trainer Victoria Stilwell. Such excellent points.

Please do not ever leave younger children unsupervised with dogs.
Do not use training methods that cause the kind of aggression and frustration that can be taken out on other dogs, children, visitors etc

Free to crosspost and share.

From trainer Victoria Stilwell:

"Here's my comment again if you want to share it.

Another infant was killed yesterday. That makes ten people in all killed by dogs in the USA this year, 8 of them children. Another infant that was being looked after by the grandmother and sadly another pitbull. Why is this happening? The evidence demonstrates irresponsible ownership, bad breeding practices, lack of socialization, rough handling, neglect of the dog's primary needs leading to boredom/frustration and most notably using confrontational/dominance training methods to 'teach' dogs to behave.

Please share this important message with everyone you know.

Any breed of dog can be a great dog and any breed can bite. A bite from a small dog can do a lot of damage especially if directed towards a child's face and neck, the area where most children are bitten. But there is no doubt that large breeds can do a significant amount of damage with just one bite and being a responsible owner while supervising your children around your dog at all times is key in helping both live safely with each other.

Bites are being exacerbated by punitive training methods including restraining or pinning a dog on its side to show the dog who is 'boss', kicking/ 'nudging' a dog with the feet, poking a dog with fingers, causing a dog pain using chokes, prongs or shock collars, using leash jerks etc. All this exacerbates frustration, anger and fear which leads to aggressive response.

If you utilize these methods you give your dog no choice. It might make you feel better to display your dominance and it might work for that moment to suppress your dog's behavior but suppressed behavior is not 'changed' behavior and suppression only lasts so long. Quick fixes quickly come unstuck.

Enough is enough! If you need help teaching your dog, utilize a positive reinforcement trainer only - one that does not use these kind of punishments. You can find some great trainers at: www.positively.com/trainers

Kate H
9th May 2012, 06:28 PM
Karlin wrote: Please do not ever leave younger children unsupervised with dogs.

For the dog's sake as well as the child's! Small children do not know how to treat dogs, and if they shout or run around, pat the dog heavily on the head, or pull its tail, dogs can find this threatening and frightening. Victoria Stilwell focussed on badly trained dogs, but even the best trained dog can be worried by small children and eventually feel they have to defend themselves. My Oliver is great with small children, but I would never leave even him in a room with a child alone and unsupervised - for both their sakes. Dogs and small children together simply need to be supervised at all times.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

9th May 2012, 07:01 PM
Yes! That's all really important too. :thmbsup:

And of course there's a connection. The dogs that are mishandled by kids often end up fearful and even fear-aggressive towards children -- a single bite to a child can be adequate grounds for someone to demand your cavalier be put down by wardens. Supervision is just so important.

I think too many people are sure their kids are great with dogs and that they treat them gently, but kids can be accidentally or deliberately aggressive with dogs when adults are not watching much as they can with each other. From my own experience a sad number of the cavaliers I got into rescue over the years from people who said they were family dogs and loved kids actually were at best uncomfortable and sometimes actually unhappy around children who had very obviously made their life pretty miserable from time to time. I remember one mums discussion board in Ireland recommending cavaliers as a family dog because they said kids could climb all over them, pull tails and ears, and still the dogs were sweet and tolerant. How sad for the dogs; how idiotic of parents to think this was acceptable for dogs or kids!!

9th May 2012, 10:30 PM
It's so true, kids and dogs don't always mix well, never leave them alone, even older children sometimes cannot be trusted. It reminds me of an incident that just happened to my child with a neighbours dog.
Yesterday my child was bitten by a JRT that was running amok in the neighbourhood. Luckily, it was over the pantleg and didn't break her skin. But she got a fright and ran home screaming (and she loves dogs). Anyway, he also bit a 2 year old toddler who didn't get hurt either. These bites were unprovoked, according to my daughter.. He is only a pup, a year old or so. He is snarly and snappy and as usual, for JRTs, very misunderstood. I think he is poorly treated at home, there is another dog at his house who is older than him and there are 5 children in the house ranging in age from 15 to 4 years old. Their mom is a single parent and leaves them unattended on a regular basis. I have been trying to call her and came to her house earlier today but cannot reach her. I don't want the pup to get into trouble, and I certainly don't want to start any trouble but there are so many irresponsible pet owners out there! Especially in my neighbourhood, must be the water or something!

10th May 2012, 10:00 AM
I never leave my daughter alone together. Mainly because my daughter at only 5 months has the tightest grip and loves cavalier ears!!!! I don't want either of them getting hurt or upset. My cavalier is fine, tends not to bite children but children that pester her (friends children) she 'sees them off' with a high pitched bark and a chase. In my life it tends to be parents that don't tell their kids to leave a dog alone. Its hard to tell off other peoples kids. I've had toddlers use my cavaliers back as a walking aid. Another friends 3 yr old put her fingers in her eyes. To which all the could say was "leave her darling" not the firm
No! That hurts her! that I was thinking. http://img.tapatalk.com/021a5c33-8378-3eda.jpg here's hoping Bellatrix and briar stay best of friends xxxx

11th May 2012, 01:17 AM
I guess because of what I do for a living (I own/run a child day care center) supervision of children is so ingrained into me I just forget people don't always know this. In my opinion parents need to spend as much time training their kids to be respectful of the dog as they need to spend training the dog to respect the kids. People who stupidly knowingly or just out of plain ignorance raise their dogs to be aggressive shouldn't be dog owners to begin with. Unfortunately, where I come from it seems to be put bull owners ( I have to stereo type but its true). These seem to also be the stupid people who do not provide proper supervision for their children either. Personally, I hate this. Its not fair to the pit bulll breed or the children. I have a friend who's brother is one of "these" people, he owns 2 pit bulls he wants to be a "guard dog" then he and his girlfriend have a little girl I'm sure they allow to mix with these dogs, its a recipe for disaster. These dogs have attacked my friends smaller mix breed dog causing ER treatment (the brother didn't even help with the vet bills). She doesn't ever go to her brother's house anymore but......

My youngest son is old 4 and we have a new puppy in the house (just today). I have been "training" my son about puppies for weeks before we got him, we looked at pictures of puppies we watched you tube videos of cavaliers playing. We talked and talked about nice touching and the new puppy rules. Rule #1 is no touching without permission!!!! I'm going to be very firm on that one for now for the good of both kid and dog.

I think dogs and kids even young one can mix. However, you as the parents of both dog and child can't be one of those wishy washy types about rules. You need to set clear rules with both and be firm. I believe its the most loving thing to for your family.

Mommy to Blenheim boy Fletcher 2/16/12 (same birthday as me)

11th May 2012, 03:17 PM
not more then 3 weeks ago here in las vegas a 15 month old baby was shaken to death by the families own mastiff. the dog was just playing. I can't imagine ever getting over such a thing. you should never leave young children alone with any dog.