Video of my 2 yr old girl practicing what she should she do when scared of a dog. Believe you are a tree!
This is our life at the breakfast table. She just randomly got up and did this because she's enrolled in Pawsitive Transformation's Be A Star program for kids! Yes, that is her 6 yr old brother reminding her to look down at the ground thus preventing eye connection with a dog.
Keep your kiddo safe too. Enroll today!
I have a good dog that’s for sure. She sits automatically when greeting friendly strangers, waits calmly for her meals, doesn’t pull on a leash, and may possibly tolerate our toddler pulling on her ears, hugging tightly on her back, and invading her space while resting. Even though I do have a “good dog” I am guiding our son to not take advantage of her nice-ness or her good qualities. I want to teach him ways to show love that dogs appreciate. You see, I know that my dog has back pain (diagnosed through radiographs) and most people know to never bother a resting dog and of course not pull on their ears, BUT, children do not, especially toddlers. Even if my husband and I think our son should know better because we have told him, “No! Don’t do that” many times before, we also know that toddlers like to exert their independence. “Purposeful defiance.” are the words our pediatrician used. A normal behavior yes, but when I heard these two words come out of our pediatrician’s mouth I thought, “Wow, exactly!” Toddlers test limits. We cannot rely on them waiting at the top of stairs, so we utilize a baby gate, likewise we should never rely on them alone to treat a dog, even a loved family dog, with respect whether we are around or not.
When I’m out in the world I too often hear, “Wow, what a good dog!!” or "my child is really good with dogs". My stomach flips as I immediately see a child pushing a dog to what may be her limit. I think, “oh my gosh, somebody help this poor dog!” Doesn’t anyone notice the stress the dog is showing? Is today the day this dog can’t take anymore? The yet to be educated public is lulled into a false sense of security and continues on with lackluster supervision of how their children interact with dogs in a way that may be unsafe.
What many forget is that all dogs, even good dogs, have limits to their tolerance. I do not know a single person who has immeasurable tolerance. Too many of my clients have stated, “The bite came out of nowhere,” followed by, “If I only knew then, what I know now.” I go on to say, that most dog bites are coming from “good dogs” -- dogs that have been pushed too far. Dogs frequently tell us, “Please stop!” or “I’m freaking out over here, somebody help!”, but these pleas are often overlooked by humans. These are the phone calls I receive. A growl, snap, or bite which was scary enough to warrant a phone call that the guardian is now wanting immediate training, behavior modification, re-homing, or euthanasia.
Within the first initial consult I develop a plan for each particular family and provide ongoing guidance to help maintain that plan in their personal situation. Guardians that were once "supervisors" are turned into "guides" transforming doable, daily situations into a path for success. The family dog begins receiving great things especially when the children are around making noises, running, dropping toys. These great things (treats, toys, praise, etc.) are like adding money into her bank account if she had one. This bank account is improving her mental health and increasing her tolerance. Then, when the inevitable sippy cup falls next to her (surprise), toy flies across the room (frightens), or physical contact happens (hurt/pain) between toddler and dog, the dog now has a full bank account and doesn’t mind when withdrawals are made. Even the unwanted hugs that dogs receive from children can be pacified by keeping the balance high, this hefty bank account helps make everyone feel happy and safe.
Indeed the curse of a good dog is one that many people would think to wish upon themselves. After all, we should all be so lucky as to have a well mannered companion enriching our lives. However, dog guardians with children can be lulled into a false sense of security and even those without children can find the dog they thought “The Best on Earth” may become a loose cannon within one trip to the park, depending on the situation of the dog that day. With mindfulness, empathy, and an educated/ observant eye we can prevent the gift of a good dog from becoming a curse.
Note: Parents of the children petting the dogs were in the general area, but unless you understand K9 body language you mine as well have blinders on. I am here to educate, so you don't have to bank on luck or rely on the guardian (owner) of the dog being accurate when they say their dog is "good with kids".
Many of my clients were Dog Mom's 1st. I feel honored to help Dog Mom's transition into Mom's of lill humans. Parent Empowerment Training was made with you in mind. Happy Mother's Day.
This makes me so incredibly nervous. Keep an eye on the dogs eyes! "WHALE EYE" coupled with ears back, gaze aversion, & head turn away from the baby. The dog even looks for guidance from the guardian (owner) as the dog is truly saying, "THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH FOR ME!" The dog shows his belly when the child reaches for him! This dog needs help! This interaction is NOT SAFE. This is why I continue to do what I do. Teach K9 body language and educate families on safe baby & dog interactions. What level do you think this dog will stop at to show that he's not comfortable with this baby?? A growl, a snap, a ...
I'm 1 month in. It's been 1 month since my loved Bali passed away. I've been wanting to say my thank you's for everyones support for some time now, but when I think I hear Bali, expect her to greet me when I return home, or see all the empty spots around it feels like a gut-punch, my heart rips, and then the tears come. This page is suppose to be "positive" and this post is sad, but it does show the raw-ness and importance of our loved furry family members. I didn't think that one day I would help dogs and their families beyond being a RVT, but here I am. Looking back at the very 1st photo of Bali as a pup and then looking at my current logo somehow there's a correlation between the two. Yes, the star on Bali's chest was accentuated on my logo on purpose, but seeing the red, white, and blue within the logo and then seeing her bandana as a pup (which was provided by her foster mom) really made me realize how life makes you take notice. Maybe a coincidence, maybe something more. So for all those who made heartfelt comments and for those that addressed Bali's passing as if you would a human passing away... thank you. The flowers, cards, poems, chats, and support has really helped me strive onward and it brings me peace that you all know her importance. With much love back to you all. Lovingly wagging, Jennifer of Pawsitive Transformation
Today's the day I wish I wasn't a dog trainer and dog safety educator. Today's the day I announce to the world that my dog that taught me so much, that lead me to launching Pawsitive Transformation, that stole my heart for 13 years is no longer physically by my side. Today's the day, I wish I was a poet, to be able to write the words that Bali so well deserves to be spoken of. The tags on her collar no longer jingle. The dishes no longer need filled. The chart that helped me keep track of her pills to keep her liver healthy and her body pain free is longer around. Her body covered in beautiful brindle fur no longer sits beside me. My heart is broken. Her 13 years taught me how the world needs to understand how dogs are feeling. Her appearance of boxer/pit either made people swoon over her or be scared of her. The best gift I ever gave Bali was learning when she was happy, when she was sad, when she was tolerating, or feeling anxious. With knowing her feelings, I was able to give her what she truly needed in those moments. Safety, redirection, love, a way out of a situation. I sit here paused struggling over finding the words to write, to make it good enough to acknowledge all that she did for me. Without Bali I would not have Pawsitive Transformation. Without Bali I would not have my logo. Without Bali I would not have my cartoons I've made. Without Bali I wouldn't be in the process of forever immortalizing her in my first children's book. Without Bali I would not have learned and now be so kind to dog's, in ways only dog's can understand and appreciate. Without Bali more kids would be bitten, without Bali more expectant parents would still be terrified on whether their dog and baby would get along. Without Bali I would not be able to help the fearful, anxious, and reactive dogs I do. Without Bali... I'm without Bali. The pain is tremendous. If there was one thing I could ask of anyone reading this, it's to learn how to understand what your dog and all dogs are thinking. Never mind the breed, never mind the dog that's supposedly "good with kids", never mind the family dog that allows you do anything to them. In the name of Bali and for me, learn how to tell their emotions and know how to respond to them. Bali-Star, "my incredible gift", how I love you and am so thankful for your existence. May your spirit run like the wind and my mind never forget you.