How to Prevent Dog Bites with Children | #DingleDaysPodcast 009

You're listening to episode nine of the Dogs. Are People Too. Podcast presented by Dingle days. I'm your host Geryah Dingle and I believe that anything can be learned. If you believe that's true as well, then keep listening because this is the number one show to dive into serial learning and bring you the best tips, strategies and technologies for pet parent. Today on the show I'm joined by Tina Spring based out of Athens, GA and she is the owner of Sit Happens Dog Training & Behavior, LLC. She is the co-host on the Your Family Dog podcast and creator of 90 Days to the Perfect Puppy. Longtime Family Paws. Educator and Southeast US coordinator for Doggone Safe organization, and today we're talking about how to prevent dog bites with children and overall tips for canine safety. Enjoy the show. Tina-Welcome to the show! Well, thanks so much for having me. I was stunned that I got an invitation. It was great.

I was so excited. Well, I've seen you on YouTube too though. Well, but there's all this pressure about like OK work. This is the person doing dog safety. I'm like, oh, for goodness sakes, like no pressure, no. Pressure, no pressure, absolutely just a few tips. Your overall opinion, just as an individual. And I've seen some of your videos on YouTube and some of the training that you do, and I've read a lot of your biographical information and I was like I think you'd be some great value added for both our audiences.

Honestly, because I like the message that you're communicating. We're not saying this is the end all be all, but I think that you have a thing or two to say on this subject, as well as a little bit about your 90 Days to the Perfect Puppy. because I know with the influx of folks welcoming dogs into their home during this pandemic, there might be a thing or two that we can bring to that audience as well. As you hear my not so perfect puppies going off in the background. So, I'm a second generation dog trainer.

My father, he did safety and training for a utility company. He was reporting to OSHA. He actually in some cases helped write some OSHA regulations so you can blame my family and one of the things that he added to their program at the time for meter readers. 'cause this is, you know, back in the stone ages, when meter readers went to peoples homes, was dog safety. At the time my parents were breeding and showing Doberman Pinchers, a breed that in the late 80s everybody was very concerned about, and so he started adding dog body language and reading dog body language to trainings that he did for meter readers. So even as a little kid I dressed up as Louie the Lightning bug with the big light up flashing.

But at some kids program and we would talk about dog safety for kids and just basically taking that, what my parents were breeding and showing so and training so taking that community responsibility really seriously and doing outreach in the Community teaching people about the dogs that we live our life in the company with. To understand what a dog may be communicating specifically when they're uncomfortable and how to avoid conflict? I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of not joining a fight, so I don't know. I guess I've just did colossal wimp, but I always think the better I know what might make another person uncomfortable, the better I am able to serve them and to get along with them in the world. And I think that that's the same for our canine companions. Absolutely, as we kind of like dive into that.

Let's come at this from. I just welcomed the new animal into my home. Now granted, dogs are very common. Here in the States with regard to them being present in the household, but that doesn't mean that everybody one has had any type of, you know, it's kind of like you know, we wing it. A lot of the times with things. So just if we kind of started from that groundwork understanding like you said, the communication aspect and maybe looking for some signals with regard to that.

What are some things that one should consider particularly have children in the home, maybe even before you bring the dog into the home with regard to safety? Maybe just setting the conditions to avoid that fight if you would before we even encounter some of the things that we hear about, Oh well. There are some really fantastic resources for preparing dogs for life with kiddos, right? Whether that's through adoption or through birth or even through a new relationship or a new marriage or partnership. So, I think like you and I probably tend to assume far too often that people visiting (non-COVID), right, our homes are dog people.

They're not afraid of dogs like we. We assumed that they would tell us. We kind of sort of assume that all dogs like kids, and that's just not true, right? Just like not all humans like kids. And there are lots of people who like their own kids, but they don't really like anybody else's kids, right? It's a different ball game, right? You become, you realize, just how dumb you are once you have your own. So, how wise your mom and dad were right? I always joke that my parents IQ went up a whole bunch when I started parenting.

So I think this idea of loosely comparing and contrasting what are dogs sensitivities and skill sets are with the relatively predictable development of the human and then comparing and contrasting those two and manageing ourselves around the things that would be problematic that we're not going to fix, right? But also preparing the dog, not just for the developmental stage, the human is in, but maybe two ahead and one behind. So 'cause some humans don't read the manual right? So so an example. And this is the example I used when I'm explaining it. to parents all the time is the kicking stage in development for humans. The kicking stage happens a whole bunch of times in human development. If we know that we have a dog who will one we want to prepare just the average dog. So an easy way to do that is to teach the dog, think tribal or tribal when whatever.

However they pronounce that, get a big Pilates ball and teach your dog to boop it back and forth with their nose to you, right? So just a big huge ball. Then, when a kiddo is going through one of those kicking stages, we have a built in safety game. OK, I'm of course as the parent going to be involved. The child kicks the ball to the dog, the dog boops the ball back and there is an enormous Pilates ball between the dog and the child so the child can still do what they need to do developmentally to connect a bunch of neurons, and the dog is safely prevented from getting accidentally kicked or even being reactive with that child, right? Just because they're worried about movement or their move.

Whatever, you know, kids are relatively unpredictable now, of course if your child's melting down and in the kicking stage, we might want to say to our dog like, hey, I wish I could go to the guest bedroom with the stuff con. Why don't we put you somewhere else so you're out of the hot mess that is our life currently 'cause those moments are gonna happen too. So I think as dog aficionados we should be teaching dogs to have a lot of arrows on their flow chart.

So lots of things that the dog is comfortable doing when maybe the situation might be a little bit uncomfortable. So in my home that means crates. It means going out into a fenced backyard. It might even be that my dogs are conditioned to be on a tether, if that's an appropriate choice in the House so the dogs not in the room I'm in, like maybe not in the nursery, but close enough that he or she can see me.

So if I fall asleep, rocking a fussy baby, we don't worry that the dogs closing distance and were not awake because we're exhausted and hormonal new parents. It might be playpens, it might be gating. There might be a whole. It might even be just a beautiful place cue that you can say to the dog like hey go, let lie on your bed instead of right. under my feet where your tail is gonna get rocked on by the rocking chair, right -preparing our dogs ahead of time to have some separation from us, which can be a big deal if that baby is squalling that that results in a whole bunch of hormonal changes for moms and dads that will often make a dog distressed. And So what are dogs are our friends. They close the distance and they want to come and see what's going on and help. And often when we're parents and we're overwhelmed that just feels like even more pressure for us.

'cause now I got the dog and I got the baby or toddler and you're like. Yeah, like I think part of parenting is feeling like there's not enough of you to serve everything like that's a really like parenting is so hard, right? And then, oh, for goodness sakes, at least I did it before social media, right? I don't have everybody telling me how you know the world is gonna come to the end because I made XY, you know which diapers I use or how I decide to feed the child or all of the craziness that happens these days.

So the saddest cases for me are the ones where we didn't prepare ahead of time. And so now we have overwhelmed parents with maybe not the world's easiest baby in the world, 'cause some of them again or not super easy right away. And a dog that's not really prepared and doesn't really know anything. As far as how to help everyone safely and calmly and kindly and gently navigate. I really like the point that you made about the hormonal differences. Sometimes when you're. maybe potentially stressed or just reacting to something because dogs can detect so many different things.

A lot of what I do on my channel is like canine scent detection. I mean that does kind of spill over into some of the same characteristics when you talk about other things that dogs are trained to detect, and I just never even really consider that. Like you know, row them up a little bit like hey, what's going on over here and why are you? You know potentially a little out of it right now. Right, and some dogs are super sensitive to our emotional changes, right? I think that feeling of overwhelm will absolutely result in. lots, and I probably should do more research on it? How many hormonal changes there are for parents? I'm one of those people that if you hand me an infant, you may as well hand me a small nuclear device like I'm positive it's gonna go off and I'm not going to have any idea what to do with it. I was a foster parent.

I adopted a teenager. Those I can handle right? They can give me information back, but I can. I can shake the fluid out of newborn puppy lungs like I know how to do that, but you hand me an infant and I'm just like a. I don't know. I'm like a fish on a bicycle. I'm sure if my dog is around. If someone hands me an infant, my dog is like what in the heck is going on with you mom like you just lost your mind and that's not even necessarily a child who's crying, right? I can't imagine what it's like, you know, I was never blessed with giving birth. I imagine that is a really steep learning curve and feeling overwhelmed is a big thing. So there's it's some of it is controversial.

There are going to be some people who think that if they just bring a blanket home from the hospital that's preparing the dog like I love you scent is a rich and glorious part of the life for our dogs. But that is not enough. Great, amazing relationships like we want with our partners with our children and with our dog and our children are built over thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of little tiny, well organized interactions that are positive.

And it's not all going to be positive. Colleen Pelar one of my very good friends. I'm richly blessed to know her who's written a ton and really, truly blessed the world in this kids and dogs world talks about really great kids and really awesome dogs are going to have conflict sometimes. What we want to do is prevent that conflict from escalating and the way you do that is by not wearing out a dogs tolerance. Your dog did not, you know, write to Santa and ask for a baby brother or sister. He was perfectly fine getting all of the cuddles. Thank you. So preparing them. Is just an important piece and there's some really great organizations out there that do this right. Doggone Safe is an international dog bite prevention and Victim Support organization. We're all about dog safety and a whole bunch of different ways. Family Paws Parent Education is an absolutely unbelievable resource for families. They even have a hotline, so this is a team of behavior consultants who are all over the world who support families, not just at that super easy time of bringing an infant home, but also as a child.

Matures and grows. For example, Julie Fudge Smith and I do a podcast that Colleen was the original co-host. And, we joke that I'm the second wife. But that is the Your Family Dog podcast, so a podcast parents. We are G rated. It turns out were huge in India. Who knew? We talk about all sorts of different aspects of parenting and dog ownership and training and navigating those fascinating waters that are kids and dogs. From that standpoint, let's switch it up a little bit, 'cause right now we've made the assumption that the dog was here first. But let's just say you have a slightly older child. Let's move toddler young young child in the house and then we do the reverse. And let's just say they're old enough to learn. A few skills about. Hey, there is a dog coming. Not necessarily a puppy, but there's a dog coming into the home. None of us who do dog safety work like to talk about bites, right? And there's a whole bunch of reasons why one.

None of us believe our dogs will do it until they do right. It just it immediately turns off. The people that you're trying to talk to. Likewise, we don't want to have it get to a bite, right like we just we don't want that literally. We just recorded A podcast on bringing a dog into the home, and to do this juxtaposition of puppy versus a little bit older dog, you know more adult. All three of the trainers who are specially trained in kids and dogs are all like we would absolutely not bring a puppy into a house with little kids. Absolutely not like it's crazy right? It's not what people think it's going to be, but it's what everybody thinks they wanna do. 'cause I think they just have like that Hallmark Movie in their heads in the. Movies it's glorified, it is. It's like every you know, you go look at birthday cards and somebody's got some kid cuddling a puppy and I'm like, OK, that's not awesome.

It is a much easier row to hoe to bring a highly social, already trained, super tolerant adult dog who loves kids into your home than it is ever to build that with the puppy and, I mean, I've only been doing this 30 years. I'm sure you'll find 9000 dog trainers who disagree with me. But I'm just going to tell you if your're a family and you come call to me and say hey, or we have a dog shaped hole in our hearts and we want to add a dog.

I'm going to tell you I'm going to do everything I can to talk you out of a puppy because even the world's best puppy is still going to chew on your kids and is still going to overwhelm you. And it's going to take three years to be an adult like all the developmental stuff that's going to happen is really **** ** kids and it makes kids not like dogs, right? So most moms I'm talking to, they don't have a whole bunch of spare time. They're not laying on the sofa. Eating bonbons, so adding a puppy to the house is a ton of work. So when they're doing that and then it's not working out with the kids and everybody's miserable like oh, for goodness sakes that starts to cause really big problems and made you know you can navigate it. People navigate it every day, but that doesn't mean it was easier fun. And there's just an easier, more fun way to do it.

I mean, do I help him families with puppies? Of course I do. Heck, I have a whole online puppy raising program like I love puppies. I just think when our kids are little. That complicates things spectacularly, as I think there's a little bit of like, well, if it's an older dog and it's available for adoption. There's somehow something wrong with that dog, and that's just silly it's not the case. No, like most of the time you end up with a really stable dog, and you know what you're getting right when when we adopt a puppy. Even if we go to the world's best breeder and we do a whole bunch of research and all the things you're still adopting potential just like you and your siblings are spectacularly different.

From one another, even within the same litter of puppies, the standard deviation on temperament on those puppies is going to be huge. You know one is going to be more like a German Shepherd and one is going to be more like a Shitzu, and a German Shepherd is fantastic and a Shitzu is fantastic for completely different reasons. When we go and look at an adult dog, hopefully we're going to someone reputable and we know who that dog is and how that dog navigates through the world. And then that's a much easier fit into the family. We would want to get to know the dog and I often say when we're. Adding a dog to kids that is much harder than having a dog and adding kids because then the dog has an advocate in the family like we've gotten to know that dog already.

We love that dog and you're kind of almost commiserating. Like you and your dog, but I'm assuming he was there before you had your child. Yeah, I call him the Big Brother. He was there before so. So like when the baby is doing things that maybe Disney isn't in love with right? You and Disney have a very strong bond so you could say hey buddy, you're right. Like all this, crying hard for me to like I love you we're in this together right? But when we're bringing right right like the I got you Bud right like it's kind of like you and your partner right? You're like.

Hey, can you take this uncontrollably screaming baby who we can't make stuff for screaming 'cause it's Tuesday and that's what happens. I do stay right and I need to go for a walk with my dog because this baby is making me a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs, right? It, it doesn't mean the baby is being bad. It just means this is where we are today, right? So when we add a dog into that, if we don't have a strong relationship with that dog, it becomes much easier for. One the kids to assume that what they did with the last dog they can do with this dog, which isn't fair. They are individuals, they have different likes and strengths and needs and things that they're uncomfortable with.

But also we need some time to get to know who that dog is and to help them adjust to the household. And so the same thing, I would just say lots of structure, lots of we're going to have play that's not like a free for all, and that we assume that everything's OK until it's not right. We don't, we don't just put the kid on the two Wheeler. Bicycle and go. Good luck, right? We put training wheels on it and so it's kind of the same way with our dogs. Are dogs are going to have to transition into the household. We're going to be curious about who they are. We're going to wait for them to give us information about like how is this for you and I often on the podcast tell the funny story of like most professional dog trainers.

My household is a little bit of the island of Misfit toys and I love my misfit toys, but I wanted a highly social easy dog. I contacted Pug rescue. I was very specific about what I wanted and. We adopted a 6 year old Pug who is highly social. He's easy to get along with. They also had no idea he was stoned death. The one thing that makes life in our house really hard because one of my dogs who his distance increasing signal is a little teeny, tiny, quiet growl. The pug can't hear. And so from my adult dog's perspective, the Pug is a jerk who doesn't listen, and from the pugs perspective Marcoses Psycho who randomly comes at him like a crazy person.

And I can't explain to either one of them. I can explain to the pug well, like he did try to warn you. You just can't hear it. I can't make the plug here and I also can't say to Marco like hey he can't hear you like use a different signal is so even when we go to a rescue like there's gonna be surprises. Hopefully your rescue knows whether or not your dog years but there might be things that they never tested right? Like my Doberman who passed away many years ago was bomb proof about pretty much everything except. Hot air balloons. Hot air balloon landed next to our house and he was positive that it was the end of you know, all civilization an lost it right.

It was like this was like a really stable. Like if you think Cary Grant that's what this dog was like. Like just bomb proof and he thought we were all just gonna die right now. Nobody tests for sociability with hot air balloons. They don't proof that. I'm sorry, I'll put that in the disclaimer. When we don't like, not even in the manga. All the people who do Mondo are like woo hot Air balloon festival. That would be a good one, right? So there's all sorts of things like no matter how good you are at doing socialization, there's gonna be stuff you miss, right? If nothing else, we're going to invent new stuff, right? I'm old enough that inflatables in someone yard you we didn't do that with puppies 'cause they didn't exist yet. So then all of a sudden you have these puppies who are confronted with a giant blowup snowman that isn't there at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon but. Is there at 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon and they're like what just happened.

So trying to pick a dog who's pretty like laughs about stuff. Amicable social is big, so I think more about the criterias of what the ideal family dog is. It's like. No resource guarding, no dog directed aggression. Obviously no human directed aggression. High, High, High, High High, high sociability. There are other things that are super important, but are easy to work on through training. But I. I've never seen anybody take a dog who wasn't social and make them social like the same way that if if you're an introvert, it's not fair for me to expect you to be an extrovert like that's just done. That's unkind. So yeah, lots of separation, but inclusion. So lots of how do we include the dog without there being really close, intense contact and lots of asking well loosely like for consent. Which I know sounds insane, right? I'm old, I'm from the old school.

I'm what's called a crossover trainer, so I was trained with all the traditional methods and now I have a better way. I learned new ways but when I was growing up you didn't ask a dog if it was OK to pet the merch approach them or whatever. The expectation was that if the dog wasn't going to allow that like you pushed it, and I think a lot more bites happened and it probably cost a lot of dogs their lives. When we could have just conditioned those things and taught the dog to be more comfortable, your dog does not want to be with your children all the time. In the same way that you don't wanna be with your children all the time. We don't say that out loud. No, like we all say it like behind our hands and the other thing is like I think when I was growing up, if my mother heard a dog growl she yelled, what are you doing to the dog? 'cause she knew her dogs and our dogs don't growl for no reason.

Right now somebody hears a dog growl and they completely lose their marbles, right? And we're punishing the dog, which in the words of Nando Brown is a little bit like taking the batteries out of a smoke detector. That's going off like you're getting a warning that the dog is uncomfortable with whatever is happening. Both your kid and your dog need you to be a superhero in that moment and to help them navigate safely together and punishing the dog for growl will often result in an escalation over time where the dog just stops warning. I think most long-term relationship couples. We have a list of things we don't talk about, 'cause there's no point. Well, you don't want that going on with your dog, you don't want there being a list of things that your dog is not no longer having a conversation about. I I don't love growls, but I do accept them for what they are. It's a warning that the dog is uncomfortable and that my kid and my dog need help navigating whatever is happening.

The short, easy answer is focused on how to get your dog to wag his tail, and it's the last thing you want to think about doing, but it absolutely is. The best answer most of our dogs even really stressed if we go hey sweet boy would like, they're like Mom anyway, right? And we can change the emotional state of the situation in a really easy, quick positive way. And then of course we want to say OK, well, whatever that set up is a problem and we need to figure out another way to navigate in football for avoiding that kind of set up in the future.

Reoccuring theme really is about. If I'm hearing you correctly. Is a lot about a communication, one, and knowing your dog and I don't think we can harp on it enough. Is the prevention right? Because, I mean, if we're talking about the bite, then there's probably a lot of stuff that happened. You know whether it's just the environment that you allow or the interactions that you allowed to take place. Or you know, I mean, it's not the right, but it's like all these indirect things that lead to. OK, well, now we're talking about the bite, but there's so much more to it that you know if we set the conditions. I'm not saying it's a perfect system, but if we set the conditions we could avoid it in the 1st place, right? It's it's a little bit like calling the marriage counselor after you sign the divorce papers.

Right? Like you didn't get to that divorce in a day. It took awhile and it was it was. It was all the little things like I'm old again like I'm old so I know couples who have weathered the most excruciating difficult things humans can weather and it didn't cost him their relationship. But I know other couples that it was death by a million papercuts, right? It was all these itty bitty little things. Niggling away at them, and I think for the most part, that's what happens with our dogs too. It's also, really.

Hard to recover emotionally. I don't want you to ever face a moment where as a parent, as a human you're questioning like am I being fair to the dog and my being fair to my child like I can't believe that thing just happened. I feel terrible. I'm never going to get on the team of you know, making a parent feel cruddy about themselves like that's a terrible option. So if instead we're preparing dogs, it's like hey when I'm nursing, this is what I want my dog to be doing and when I'm changing a diaper this is what I want my dog to be doing. And when my child is running playing tag with my husband in the backyard, this is what I want my dog to be doing and when my kids are riding on a skateboard, this is what I want my dog to be doing. That makes it a bunch easier 'cause we know what to do.

For example, when I was human foster parent there were always stuffed frozen kongs with dogs names on them. There was only one per dog per day so that I could manage in take my children had permission if they wanted to do something, and the dogs were bothering them. They could go and get the Kong. And they could ask the dog to go to their crate. We had practiced that, so we knew that that was a safe thing and they could just put the dogs in the crate, give them a Kong so the dogs, not mad, and then they could play on the floor. The Doberman was very, very good at playing candy land. He used to beat all of us. It was crazy, but he had no strategy. Everybody took turns taking us his turn, but like we just wanted to make it so that the kids had some agency and the kids instead of getting frustrated with the dog.

Could say you know what we have a way to solve that we can go grab a Kong and put Willow in her crate. Willow will be happy. Nobody's pushing and shoving the dog. She's not in the way and the kids are happy too. So we're avoiding a conflict. One of the big ones, like with school age kids is my kids hit the door at 2:22. So at 2:05 the dogs and I went out, everybody pottied and everybody went in their crates with something yummy to chew on so that when three children exploded through the door right, I wasn't worried about the terrier sneaking out the door and I had to chase him through the neighborhood because, you know, the minute he crosses the doorway, he forgets he can hear the kids getting jumped on their own. They might already be arguing with each other. They were on the bus for 12 seconds, right? Like who knows what their emotional state is going to be coming in the door? And I, as a Mama needed the bandwidth to be able to focus on that because it was gonna. Set the tone.

The rest of our day was gonna go so I was super invested in that time. Going kind of smoothly, or at least as smoothly as I could, and that meant like making sure the dogs were potty. Dan, happy chewing on whatever they were chewing on in their crates, and I could focus on that really important job I had with my kids. Yes, that's so important. Just making room right, building a little bit of predictability. You know making that a positive experience for your dog. It's not when the kids come home.

I am punished. It's more or less like. Hey, here's what we're going to do. Like you said, I mean crate and then like you know, for those of you who train your dog with a good place command or a safe place for them in the house, that should be a relaxing experience. Not like oh get out of my, you know, my space over here. It's more or less like Oh no, I'm fine here and then like you said, give him something to do mentally stimulating or or their favorite treat or whatever it is for you. But I think building in those types of go to actions, right? One? It reduces your brainpower, right? Because like you said, just building the bandwidth and space for anyone who happens to have children out there.

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Whatever you can make routine right is is going to be a big stress reliever in and of itself. Right, I use spoon theory alot. Have you ever heard Spoon theory right? Like you just run out of spoons and so we talk about. Look at how your household runs and where are places that your dog is using up spoons that are normal everyday things? Then let's let's build in a different option, right? So you know, that might mean something as simple as a food scanner, right? Just grab a handful of your dogs kibble part of their normal intake of food scattered in the grass and give them something different to do. To redirect that energy so that they're not taking out the 7 year old right like a little tiny baby wildebeest. You know there are lots of strategies to do it. I think a lot of times one, and I'm assuming that you you know sequencing, I think sequencing is one of the most underutilized things in dog training, right? Having a dog learn that an environmental cue means a specific things gonna happen, right? Dogs do this beautifully.

Naturally they you pick up the dog bowl, Disney knows what time it is. You pick up the leash. Disney is ready to go. You put on your running shoes. Disney is like woo Hoo. We're going for a run like he knows all that stuff you probably pick up your bait bag and he's like I am the dog for you ma'am.

You are smart and pretty well we can harness this innate natural ability that dogs have to help them so we can teach them when the doorbell rings. That means go to your place. We can teach them when the baby cries go lay on your bed. I'm gonna bring you something. We can teach them. When our toddler goes all done, that means get out of the kitchen. Somethings gonna come. Flying. We can use even the things that our children are doing developmentally, like I don't know. A toddler is not going to be able to say place, but they are gonna say all done and that might be the warning that you get before the dogs start. The child starts shoving the dog, which nobody likes being shown right, so we can really harness this.

What to do when we're not sure what to do and build in predictability in situations that are not predictable and then. I'm a huge fan of teaching dogs, some sort of get out. I call it get out of the kitchen. It has zero to do with the kitchen. It means whatever box were in moved to the next box. So if we're in the driveway and I say to the dog, get out of the kitchen, that means getting the grass. If up with were in the kitchen, and I say get out of the kitchen, that means move to the dining room. If I'm in the dining room and I say get out of the kitchen, that might mean move into the kitchen. But it's teaching the dog when I say get out of the kitchen, move to the next space so that I had mailed Doberman.

He always wanted to walk down the hallway in front of me, but he wasn't sure where we were going. So then he would stop and look at me and I'm like OK, now you're just blocking the hallway? I love you. That's what you're doing. So get out of the kitchen was a really nice way to get him to move into a bedroom so that I could head to the laundry room and he would know where we.

And then Additionally having some sort of queue call it cookies. That means run to a specific predictable location. That might be your night stand. That might mean there crave. That might mean the car, but having a cue that tells your dog a location to go to that you built so that when your child erupts with vomiting, you have a queue that says get out of this space and go to a predictable space or somebody drops. White bulb or whatever medication, whatever it is, you have a way to get the dog out of the situation without any extra mayhem. We've already practiced it. The dog thinks it's funny. We can just give them that Q and they know how to navigate. And while we're talking about kids, I would say all of this same stuff comes into Contacts when we're talking about someone with a disability when we're talking about senior citizens or someone with memory care issues, all these same things apply. So teaching a dog. When the Walker comes near you or when the cane approaches, move off to the next space. We can really make all of that navigation easier for the dog and our families by just teaching the dog what to do like they love us.

They want to basically make us laugh. So if we harness that, we can build that in and it makes it all just a little more elegant on the podcast. This year we talked a lot about this idea of instead of setting some sort of like crazy New Year's resolution, figure out how to screw it up. Just a little bit better with your dog, even if you just picked one thing like the dogs under foot in the kitchen and teaching them to get out of the kitchen or to go lay on the bed by the door in the kitchen instead of having cranberry juice spread all over your kitchen because you tripped over the dog again 'cause our dogs wanna be close to us, they just do. If Disney had his choice like you would just carry him like we.

There and everywhere you go. Yeah, right like that and usually you add the complication of a kiddo and that doubles down. They don't suddenly go. Oh, you're good. You have a baby now I'm going to go do dog things. They're like, hey mom, why do I have to share? Being able to say to Disney like hey you can go like like right now here in my office my media stock there's a continuum is directed to lie on his bed which is where he lays when I'm on a zoom call he knows what he's supposed to do and that we don't bark I can't play ball with you like you need to chill out on your bed and the boring mommy will be done and then we'll go do something.

I really love that they're trying to make the unpredictable, predictable just like you know, we use the reference making you know, making some bandwidth. You know that's the pipe for all of our non it folks. But basically you know what things go through, just minimizing the friction if you would, and I think that's really great value added and just something that people can understand. So like, yeah the broad topic is canine safety and fight prevention. But really, it's really just about the prevention aspect 'cause we don't really want to be talking about the what happens after things have obviously escalated to a point. There's been a ton of probably little things that have happened in and around. That's it. Equation so I hope I hope our audience is getting that theme and I really appreciate those insights for. Sure, well, and I mean bites do happen right now. I'll give you an example. I had a case a long long time ago in North Carolina where very old geriatric like 14 year old German Shepherd was sleeping in the hallway. He's hard of hearing, pretty arthritic.

He doesn't feel very well and the three year old got up in the middle. The night with a stomach bug and in running to the bedroom to go get mom and dad. 'cause he's. I'm afraid I'm good at you. He's doing that I'm afraid I'm gonna boot, you know, he barfs on the dog and then slips and falls on him in the dog banged him in the face so dad of course was like we had to talk him down off the ledge because of course he doesn't want his child getting injured by his dog. He loves his dog. He loves his dog. But he's like this is not OK in this cannot happen again and so the child doesn't have permanent damage. It was a big truth bang. So right well what is a big open mouth? It's a very German Shepherd bite.

It's like you get a Nick here and you get a Nick there and the moment. By the way, the dog realized it was the toddler. The dog like screamed and tried to run away, right? This dog just was startled awake in a really profoundly uncomfortable way. By the way, if I was asleep, old deaf and Eric geriatric in your hallway, and your three year old barfed on me and fell on me, I would probably be pretty upset, too. And so we just changed up management, right? We just said, OK, the new rule is going to be while the dog has always slept in the hallway. We're going to just set him up somewhere else, and we're going to use a leash so that he lays on dads side of the bed 'cause we asked, like, OK, when the kids have a problem, do they go to moms side of bed or do they go to Dad's side of the bed? Well these kids go to mom, they just don't go to that right? That's just the routine in their household dads.

Awesome we love Dad but Mom is who the kiddos go to when they're not feeling well or they have a nightmare or whatever. We just set the old dog upon Dan sentiment right? He wasn't crate trained so we didn't have that as an option. He wanted to be closed. And we could put him in a situation where he could still do his really important I'm I'm, you know, part of the security system of our family job, but he wasn't at risk of getting tripped on. Stepped on barfed on all of that stuff. In that situation, we had a dad. This was his dog from college, right? Like he adored this dog. He was talking about euthanasia and I was like, OK, this is not something we euthanize over like this. Wasn't your dog randomly attacked your kid? This is an understandable bite that happens. Right and and it's a situation where if we if they had contacted me before the bite with their basically perfect German Shepherd, I might have asked the question like, OK, Well where does the dog sleep at night? You have little.

And when Littles get sick, what did they do? Are they coming you? Do they crawl? Do they just call from their room? Some kids do that. Then the risk of tripping over the dog is moms, not the kiddo. So sometimes just thinking in terms of like what do we do when it's an emergency and no ones had any coffee yet? Is also like a piece we just missed until there's a conflict. And then we go. Oh my gosh and people will sometimes make really sad decisions when there's an awful lot of pressure. I do want to touch on Covid adult dogs need 17 to 18 hours of sleep out of 24 hours when we're home all the time when we have kids at home with us all the time. Our dogs are not getting enough sleep and just like it makes mommies grumpy, it makes dogs grumpy.

One of the things that I see in my practice, which is international right eye. Talk to someone in the Congo. Yesterday is yeah, he works for the UN. He's really lovely. So in wants to help his dog. They eat dogs there so there aren't a lot of dog trainers so I'm able to help him remotely so he too instead of going into the office. He's home and he said to me as the day wears on, my little dog becomes less and less tolerant of any of the tomfoolery of the household, right? If my friends try to come over at you know 7:00 o'clock at night, she's not having any of it. She doesn't want anybody there. She's really intolerant.

This is a really. Fearful dog and I said, right? 'cause she's fatigue. You've been home all day and she doesn't get good solid like not even pick her head up when you walk through the room. Rest and I think the average family has no idea how much sleep their dog needs. They just don't. And so as covid goes on, I'm seeing more and more dogs really struggle behaviourally just because they're crazy, chronically stressed and overtired. So give your dog a break. Do think in terms of that good sleep hygiene. I'm not saying they don't need exercise. I'm not saying they don't need interaction, they just also need way more sleep than even the working dog. Even the German short haired pointer. Yes, they will go run 14 miles with you and then they will sleep. And puppies need more. If there was one thing I can get families to grab ahold of it would be their sleep needs and our sleep needs are spectacularly different. Pre covid when you went to work, your dog probably slept 8 hours during the day while you were gone, they slept 8 hours at night while you were sleeping.

And they pride took a nap after you went for a run in dinner, so they were getting that 17 or 18 hours of sleep. When you think about covid like we're all getting more deliveries were all getting more deliveries. So a dog like Disney who probably takes his job as like notifier that there's somebody on the front porch. Well, he's practicing that a lot more often than he used to write and we want to make sure that he's not blowing himself outta dreamily, right? Like we don't. We don't want to build practice aggression like that would be terrible like. Covid just has brought in this whole new mix of the dog, who maybe wasn't very social before now isn't being confronted with strangers as often and we might need to tune that up a little bit. I actually think social distancing is really good for dogs now. Everybody's not trying to pet him all the time, right? We're not letting dogs randomly greet and be rude with one another, but there are definitely some special things for families to think about right.

If a dog has been with the kids an with you all the time, they may not. Remember quite how to. Navigate without you home all the. Time, so just having a plan for them having a little bit of normalcy. Yeah, and just trying to build in that new routine 'cause a lot of ours routines were disrupted. We've had some time to adjust but the pre versus post covid pandemic aspects of what's changed about having the dog and just the people I know. Some folks were working from home already, but it definitely makes a difference, especially when you talk about the deliveries. But all really great value added if you don't mind we have a segment on the show the rapid fire questions. So here's a little bit about the rapid fire session now. I said at the beginning of the show that I believe anything can be learned, but when it comes to pushing out this content. I also believe that you can't inspire, motivate, and educate other people without inspiring, motivating, and educating yourself. So I want to help push some knowledge to our audience.

And with that here we go. So if nothing comes to mind, you can pass. There's no hard and fast rules. Here is just five questions here. So curious what you're going to come up. With. Oh no, they're basic their basic just first thing that comes to mind. OK, here we go OK. What is the toughest part about being a dog trainer? Behavioral euthanasia oh OK yeah, that's a big one and one that I just had right like I just had an absolutely excruciating case and it sucks in all of the ways and we cannot fix everything. It's just too dangerous sometimes. So yes I would say and I think new dog trainers probably don't bang into it very often. Thank goodness in 30 years I've probably only had 10, but it is. Absolutely the worst, no. Anytime you have to put a dog down Sorry, sorry to be Debbie Downer.

Oh no, hey hey, we're sending the facts here. OK, so your favorite pet parent online resources, YouTube or otherwise, and I know we're going to leave some resources in the description below, but just some things that you either visit or things you can recommend, oh. That is a good one, so I'm a big one for there are some really amazingly gifted people out there and that I don't want my customers limited to me.

Colleen Pelar is absolutely one of them, although she's not really practice, her business has shifted and she's not really practicing dog training anymore and and family dog stuff. Let's go with Jenn Shryock and family pause and this really beautiful partnership of educating dog trainers and veterinarians and doulas and midwives and families. On having our our dogs in our kids grow up together. I love that message. Any dog product you recommend? Yes, I am a huge fan of a relatively new cold pasteurized freeze dried dog food called Noble and OBL and their slogans really cute. It's kicking the crap out of Kibble I tongue in cheek. Kind of jokingly say that the pet food industry is dead to me, but it kinda is. I'm tired of our dogs. Paying the price for the pet food industry. Honestly. Praying on families and their dogs. And so this is Doctor Ryan. Yunke is one of the highest regarded veterinary nutritionists on the planet. He and his partner started this cold pasteurized freeze dried raw company and I have been done by the quality and how much it is helping dogs be at their best.

I would totally encourage you to have him on to talk about Nutrition Ryans hysterical an fun. And incredibly knowledgeable there based out of Connecticut. The advantage of cold pasteurized as you don't. You're not worried about Listeria E. Coli salmonella any of that. It's already out of the food and when you look at the ingredients list for the food it is just food there, transparent about what's in it there transparent about their digestibility numbers there, transparent about the sourcing for all of the ingredients that go into their product and I am at a stage in my life where I will full force throw myself behind that transparency because the pet food industry doesn't have it. If you call your dog food company and ask for their digestability numbers, they're not going to tell you they're not going to tell you, because if their digestability number is 70% and 30% is ending up in your backyard, they got you to buy 30% extra dog food.

So nutrition is like a big huge thing an I think it gets missed a lot, and I think we rely on our vets to know an our vets don't know they're not nutritionists. Lots of times I think we as consumers have to really learn, and there are some great resources for that out there. To learn about nutrition, but loosely like you and I should eat fresh Whole Foods and have lots of color on our plates. So should our dogs. We can feed them well like I want to feed them. Well, I think it's called Noble Pet Foods. We can. I can send you I can zip you link, yeah? And I'll link it in the description below for everybody who wants to check it out because I really love from source to table. If you would to use an analogy we use with our human food comes to that and. Nutrition matters, right? Like nutrition matters. I don't think any of us. I think if we ate cereal and skim milk three meals a day that we would be an ideal health, and I think it's folly to expect that for our dogs.

So whether that's you feed kibble an you augment with, you, know fresh food, or whether you augment with a really high quality product, I think we can just do better for them. That's a Hill. I die on pretty regularly. No, no, and it's absolutely great. I mean especially anything that can you know, potentially up to longevity for my. For my dog, my.

Absolutely, the healthier Disney stays as he ages, right? The better his relationship with your kiddo is. If he starts getting arthritis because he has joint pain because he's been eating things that increase inflammation in his diet, right? And he starts to get sore, he starts to get cancer. Then every time your child walks over and he has to get up and move, he's gonna start to associate the pain of getting up and moving with your sweet child who he loves. It's one of the easy ways, yes, it can be expensive, but it is an easy way to invest in our dogs health so that they can really do this. Amazing job of being ambassadors for our family and for dogs. Alright, rapid fire me again. Alright, so we're talking a lot of points with this, but one thing people should consider, you know, bite safety aside before they bring a dog into their homes.

So kind of like we have a list of criteria for a partner that we would consider for marriage. We need to have a list like what is important. If Prince Charming or Princess Charming was dog, what are the attributes that? Our family needs for that. In my experience, you can buy a Roomba whether or not the dog is shedding really doesn't matter as much in the big scheme of things as that.

Dogs temperament and sociability. If your dog makes you laugh every day, you don't mind vacuuming as much like, I'll check, I'll buy you the Roomba, right? There's ways to solve that problem. Our pug sheds like nobody's business. He also is an absolute. Ambassador to our family and is hysterically funny every day. He makes our lives happier and funnier. Mostly 'cause no one knows whether he's hard of hearing or heard of listening. So he's just a clown, right? And so like he is, he exasperating? Yes, he's also very funny so I'll put up with some shedding like it is what it is.

I have two Roombas. You can have two Roombas to and….You know I shed. Hey I got a shop vacuum. Anyway I understand. I mean last one, what advice would you give your younger former self just starting off in dog training? Listen to the dogs. There's someone in the world, right? Who like on the dog whisperer and people will pretty regularly say oh, like the dog Whisperer and I go, no, no. I'm actually a dog listener. Our dogs are really honest and they will tell us how good or not good the situation is for them. And the better we get. At recognizing that and then responding appropriately to it. And that doesn't mean punishing the dog for being uncomfortable, because big surprise that doesn't make them more comfortable saying OK, my dog is uncomfortable with this and whether they should be uncomfortable with it or not is completely immaterial. They are uncomfortable and I'm just going to figure out how to take pressure off and make this more comfortable for the dog so that the dog can navigate safely and kindly and gently through the world.

It's just beautiful. It's much more elegant than being angry all the time. Like, I don't assume you're a jerk, right? If you and I were having conflict about something, I'm like, Gee, I really need to talk to her and figure out like how we got this sideways and how we can come up with some sort of arrangement. We can both be excited about. I listen to the dogs more and they'll tell you like they'll talk to you. Disney talks to you. I've watched some of your videos. Like Disney is pretty sure you get up 30 minutes before he does to let the sun out every morning shortly. He should expect that we should start our morning saying to him hey, how is today for you? How is this experience for you? Are you comfortable with this? Are you good? Are you feeling good today? Do you have a headache? You know just being curious about their internal life a little bit and not to be all like super Woo like he has teeth and claws? I mean I'm gonna be pretty careful about what he thinks about things.

You know, I mean, that's that's I love that. That seems pretty basic, right? Like he could be dangerous if he wanted to be or if he needed to be so. I don't want him to want to be or need to be. I want him to be an ambassador for the family. I do have to say I listened and watched the so where I'm just starting a little bit of tiny for fun sent work. I have loved everything you've put out about it. I've looked at a bunch of videos and I yours just makes sense and you are beautifully gifted in doing that. So thank you for all of us like I don't know everything, I just know my little niche, but I've been really impressed with what you've put out and I hope you keep going. Thanks so much and and my dog really loves it. Worked and that really adds a little bit of mental stimulation for him.

I mean, we, we got the exercise thing down pack but he just gets so excited so I hope to advance more with that. Get into like the end of the buried hides in the vehicle searches but appreciate it and we will continue and you'll see us on the tangled YouTube channel. With that I'm going to leave everything in the description below, but. You want to take a second and let us know where we can find you online in the social. I'm on Facebook. You can find me on the Your Family Dog Podcast. I am a member of Family Paws. I'm the Southeast US regional coordinator for doggone safe. I'm a member of IAABC, You know, like there all the things the Association of Professional Dog trainers, like all the Hui Facebook sit happens, dog And I do have the 90 days to the perfect puppy program which I started a whole bunch of years ago.

But with covid I'm finding that that's super helpful for families. They're able to get good puppy raising advice and support when maybe, like right now, Toronto is completely shut down. They can't go to a puppy class and they have puppies, right? So being able to support those families really inexpensively with really great content, I'm a huge fan of that, and I'm not the only one doing it. There are other people doing that too. I bring my own kind of kids and dogs specialty and feral dog specialty in that kind of stuff into it. It's been a long career. It wears me out sometimes, but I also have been richly blessed with the best customers ever is just amazing.

So the your Family Dog podcast specifically. Before I was a part of, it has unbelievable resources for families and I I think like we have a lot of veterinarians and trainers even that follow the podcast. I do try to push a bunch of people toward that, 'cause I think it's a really good resource and people can get answers to questions pretty quickly and in a format that you know they can. Listen to it while they're in the shower. I love them. I think we. All multi task, that way right like right? OK, so rapid fire questions. I'm going to put him back at you. So what's one thing you wish people knew? Well, it's not dog training related, but I am an avid Disney fan, hence my my my dogs name his namesake, so I know random Disney trivia and I knew before we ever got our German Shepherd dog that his name would be somewhat related to Walt Disney World. OK, what is your go to menu item at your favorite restaurant? Crusted Chicken Romano at The Cheesecake Factory.

And you know it's been awhile since I've had that. But absolutely, Crusted Chicken Romano with the white sauce not the marinara. I can't even overnight it to you girlfriend twist or lick Oreos. Do you break him apart to do? What is it? Twist or dunk? Isn't that the question? 'cause I definitely twists and there's a story. When I was a kid where being this was my family guys so so go easy on me. I literally took all of the icing out all of the Oreos and ate it and put the Brown tops back in the bag. Yeah, definitely A twist. So if you didn't do what you do professionally, like if you had to choose something else, what would you be doing in the world? I think I'd be doing what I do online.

I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon, but I'm really into professions and building your knowledge over time and then sharing that and bringing up the next generation. So I think overall I want to digitize dog training, but with quality you know there's so much bad or misinformation out there. I try to bring on. The professionals in the space I try to do my research and cite my sources, so I'm not just like, hey, this is this thing. I think that I just Googled real quick. I actually try to do the research and so yeah, I think I want to help others. And then what I have found is that a lot of folks and I refer to it a lot as a profession. Have been in it for awhile and don't necessarily know how to digitize what they do online to somewhat spread their message here and beyond.

You said you were really big in India and that's some of the great things about the reach of the Internet. But I started off as a filmmaker. Photographer as far as that side of the creative. But I am also very heavily into the digital side with regard to the technology behind that. So if I could merge the two with my joy of all animals really. But with dogs, I think that would be ideal. So I've had a project that I've been trying to figure out how to do an I am not a filmmaker, So what I would like someone to do or to help me like teach me how to do is to use like one of those small action cameras, kind of like a GoPro.

Right and put it. Somehow on a dog so that we can all see our homes our world from our dogs perspective. Oh yeah, because only do that. Because one of the things that I don't think people realize is all the little pinch points that happened in a home, right? 'cause we walk around up here. We don't walk around down there like if you look across the room that I'm in is wide open where my head is but there's all sorts of crud where my poor dogs have to walk right? An family pause talks about grumble and growl zones like where space gets.

Pinched and it leads to conflict. Jen and I were just talking about that. We need to figure out how to get some visuals for families to really understand this in a way that maybe doing something like that kind of project would help. And thinking in terms of like not just German Shepherd size, though that's hugely valuable. But also like if I'm a Maltese, how does that look? How does the world look from our dogs perspective? But the other thing is I have had a yearning for someone to take. Taylor Swift shake it off. And put a million dogs doing shake offs. All of the dogs letting go stress with all those beautiful shake offs like Bulldogs and bloodhounds and all of the things I just, I really want someone. To do that one day. We gotta open it up. I mean I won't. I won't steal your idea, but we may be able to make. That happen I don't have. I don't have the.

Technical prowess to do it right? Need some injuries. We gotta open it up. I mean we can make this work. We had to open it up, get some entries so folks send in their clips of her dog doing the shake. And then of course some of them you have to slow him down so you see the price you see the towels. Oh yeah. And then we and then we put it up on the Internet.

We got it. We got you. Do that, can we do? That, yeah, we'll see how many inches we get. We need a few, so to make it interesting. But I know a lot of dog lovers. And then maybe if we could get some clips of some dogs. So I organize that for folks to send in their clips. I think it's a great way to teach. Signaling like people don't know that that's your dog, like resetting emotionally like letting it go and that it can be over good stress or bad stress, right? So we all know that it happens when our dog gets out of Lake or out of the rain, but we don't think about the fact when your dog wakes up eons he does the big downward dog stretch and then he shakes off right every day and that that's the dog kind of going.

OK, I let go my bad dream like whatever that was and now I'm ready to reenter the world fresh and new. I love that neurological reset. I think it's an easy one for families 'cause they can hear it. As well see it and they can figure out like Oh my dog was stressed by something. I wonder what that was, just a way to be careful about their world. This is the first podcast I've left with homework. Nobody's ever flip the top. Nobody's ever flip the rapid fire questions back on me, so now I gotta be fair, this is good. This is good, good content, but I I really appreciate you being on the show and taking time. I've learned so much I'll shoot you everything that we discussed. I totally love that right? I think in this dog world, right? There's an old joke that the one thing you can get to dog trainers to agree on is that the third person is doing it wrong.

I love that you're right. It's like parenting. Same thing we true parents. We know how to do it. That person sucks, right? So I love that you're bringing all these people together and that there's not. It's all like there's a lot of professional courtesy. We're all like that person's richly blessed in this regard. This person's richly blessed in that one. I think that's fantastic. I think the world needs more of that, right? We've become very dogmatic in the dog training world and it's it's sad, right? Like we all, hopefully are. On a journey of doing it even better, and if somebody else is starting in a different place like I'm not gonna judge them about that. I might say hey, if I had another way to do that that was kinder and more effective, would you want to know about it? But like we can all move further or farther faster, blessing the families that we work with and our own families and the dogs that we love by just coming together in the way you're doing that I'm so honored that you invited me and so grateful.

It's been fantastic and I would absolutely be happy to do it again if I ever can be helpful. I appreciate it so much, so I'll be in touch. Think we have some projects to work on is definitely I'll follow up with you. Appreciate you being on the show. Have a good one. Bye. Bye. Bye, you've just listened to an episode on the Dogs Are People Too podcast presented by Dingle Days. If you liked this episode, make sure to leave me a review on iTunes and share this episode with your friends on social media. Just don't forget me at #Dingle Days. If you want even more good stuff, make sure to go over to In our blog and head over to our Dingle Days community on YouTube so that you can connect with other followers are training methods there. I can't wait to see you there and thanks again for listening in until next time continue to get after it and share your best life with your furry friend..

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