Dog bite prevention talks being offered

Monique Chiasson
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TRURO - Cathie Bell wants to make sure all children are safe from dog bites.
Bell has been training dogs for 10 years and is offering Doggone Safe, a dog bite prevention talk, twice a week to children ages five to 12 who are participating in the Town of Truro's summer day camps in Victoria Park. The sessions are free.
"It's teaching children how to be safe around dogs and what to do when a dog approaches them," said Bell, who is affiliated with the Truro Veterinary Hospital.
"We want to prevent tragedies and remind children dogs are not there just for their pleasure and dogs have to be respected."
Bell will offer tips including how to read a dog's body language.
"Dogs don't enjoy hugs and kisses and they'll show you by showing their teeth, licking their lips when uncomfortable or yawn when they're in distress."
Bell will use flashcards, discussion, role-playing and games in her teaching time. The age-appropriate sessions use simple techniques that children can embrace. For example, standing still like a tree when they don't want to attract the attention of a dog.
"Trees are boring to dogs, so standing still will discourage them."
Bell will also help children remember three important questions when around a strange dog: ask the adult they are with if it's OK to touch the dog, ask the dog's owner if it's OK to touch it and ask the owner to get the dog to sit down.
"If it won't you know the dog's not under control."
Bell said dog bite prevention sessions will be made available in the fall to the general public.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Truro Veterinary Hospital

Geographic location: Victoria Park

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  • V
    January 18, 2010 - 09:40

    This is a great idea -- giving kids knowledge on this topic is very important, especially if they love dogs and frequently visit places where strange dogs may be (like the park).