Prevent Dog Bites

One of my all time pet peeves (yes pun intended!) is when people are told to “Watch The Dog” without explaining what they should be watching FOR!! I’m sure it just leaves the person feeling more confused, and probably too embarrassed to ask more questions. That’s just unfair.

Dog body language in total can be complex, but the component pieces are actually very, very simple. We are presenting a FREE webinar about Preventing Dog Bites and I will tell you exactly what to look for when a dog is first starting to feel uncomfortable. If you catch the message when the dog is first telling you, and then you fix the situation, presto, the potential for a dog bite is gone.

We often hear people say that the dog “bit without warning”. I will accept that perhaps on that fateful occasion the dog gave very little warning, however, I am absolutely sure that the dog has already been trying to get their messages across for a long, long time. Their humans weren’t “listening”. Join me in the webinar and let me teach you HOW to listen.

As a species, dogs have evolved a whole system of body language communications which serve to PREVENT fights and aggression. They will tell us in their own way exactly how they are feeling in any situation. That’s how dogs are.

This free webinar will happen on Wednesday, April 13 at 10 am Atlantic Daylight Time. It is live, so we suggest you sign up for an email reminder in the link below.

You will learn the facts, see the data, and you will see how to “read” the dog’s messages with pictures of several different situations and breeds. It is an educational event you won’t want to miss! The most common victim of a dog bite is a child, from a family pet, in a home setting. Together let’s protect our children.

Prevent Dog Bites

Today is April Fools but dog bites are absolutely not something to joke about. When I talk about preventing dog bites, I do like to reassure people that most dogs never bite their human companions. HOWEVER, for those who are victims, the result is traumatic. A very large number of bites are preventable, so that’s the place to start.

April 10-16, 2022

Dog Bite Prevention Week

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Free Webinar

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 10 a.m. Atlantic time. (ADT is UTC−03:00) we will be offering a FREE webinar on Dog Bite Prevention. (You can subscribe to get an email reminder by following the link at the bottom of this post.)

A lot of people mistakenly believe that only vicious dogs bite. That is a myth. The truth is that all dogs can bite, but some dogs will bite when they feel they have no other choice. That is why we say that many bites can be prevented.

According the to Canadian Animal Health Institute there is at least one dog living in 40+% of Canadian Households. Their surveys suggest there are nearly 8 million family dogs in Canada. The Canada Safety Council estimates there are 460,000 bites per year. We can get detailed information about dog bites by looking at data published by the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Programme (CHIRPP), Public Health Agency of Canada.

This webinar will look at CHIRPP data to highlight who are the most common victims of a dog bite, when & where the bite happens, and, what are the circumstances surrounding those incidents. When we understand the situation which can lead to a dog bite, then we can better manage the environment so it doesn’t happen.

Likewise, we need to understand what will make the dog feel threatened, and then we can manage the environment to avoid those situations for the dog. Dogs are not robots. Dogs are intelligent and emotional creatures. We can prevent many unfortunate incidents when we understand how our actions make our dog feel. It is a myth that dogs are vicious. Most dogs don’t want to bite.

We will discuss the data, the reasons & circumstances, and the ways to prevent a dog bite. This is a webinar you won’t want to miss. Get reminders by subscribing below.

Winter paw care

I look out my window right now and there’s freezing rain just pelting down … really hard. (Sigh) The next thing (I hope) we’ll see are salt and sand trucks coming around.

Walking on cold snow and ice will affect each dog differently but no dog is immune to the harshness of salt and sand on their paws. Be sure to wash it off when you get in from your walk.

If you notice the pads are dry and cracking, then paw balm is in order!!

November 11th Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is a whirlwind of emotion for me.  Frustration at the need for war.  Sadness at the holes left behind with families & loved ones.  Hope for a better tomorrow since those who sacrificed so much believed in the difference their lives would make.  Gratitude for those who built my safe little world. 

I am well aware that the date for Remembrance Day is the armistice of WW1 on Nov. 11, 1918 but the greater impact of war has been felt in our clan from WW2.  My grandfather left behind a widow and 5 kids (my father was in his early teens).  The situation for the family was grim.  My grandmother remarried a wonderful man who raised those 5 and 2 more kids.  I am eternally grateful to both men who did their part to create a safe little place for us.  

I would be misleading if I implied that human costs are the only tragic losses in war.   As anyone who has fled their homelands will tell you, priceless bits of history and identity get destroyed.  It is true that trees and grass can get replanted but in some cases those treasures are thousands of years old and will never be recovered.  Each of us has our weak points.  I am sorry for the loss of ancient artifacts but that tragedy is not what grips me. 

Animals suffer immensely in war.  Habitat destruction is incredibly devastating for wild animals, with nowhere to hide and nothing to eat.  Domestic pets disappear in the millions too, whether it is directly or due to starvation.  A little known piece in British WW2 history is that a pamphlet was circulated among citizens about preparing for the impending food shortages and evacuations.   “If you cannot place your pets in the care of a neighbour it really is kindest to have them destroyed”.   This caused panic and a mass culling of family pets.   Estimates are as high as 750,000 British family pets were euthanized in one week because of this campaign.   

And then we come to the loss of animals who were directly used in the wars.  Different counts vary, but WW1 lost an estimated 10 MILLION horses, mules, and donkeys, plus, 100,000 dogs and 200,000 pigeons.  Estimates for WW2 are also spotty but we know for example the USA trained some 10,000 dogs for WW2.  Unknown numbers of cats were used on ships to keep rats and mice under control.   Draft animals such as horses, donkeys, mules, oxen and even elephants were used for building roads.  

A big part of the trouble with remembering anything at all is the enormity of the numbers.  WW1 estimates 9-11 Million military personnel and 6-13 Million civilian casualties.  Accurate counts are not available since every country dealt with things like wounded, general disease and missing people in different ways.  Estimates for WW2 include 50-56 Million deaths in combat with 50-55 Million civilian deaths including some 19-28 Million people from disease and famine.   The total population of Canada stands at 38 Million people today.  Those two wars removed the equivalent of nearly three whole Canada’s from the face of the earth. I can’t even ……..


We will remember them all.

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Happy and SAFE Halloween

Children look forward to Halloween spoils all year long! Others might not be so keen. Our dogs can very easily count among the latter!

Halloween can be a nightmare for an anxious dog. Just count the unsettling things: a) hordes of strangers coming to and from the house, b) doorbells ringing non-stop, c) screaming of “Trick or Treat!!!!” when the door opens d) strange and frightening costumes e) all of this lasting sometimes for hours on end. The time to socialize our dogs for Halloween scariness is NOT on the day of, but rather, you should start weeks if not months earlier. The best thing to do for your dog is to take them for a quiet walk somewhere until the Trick or Treaters have gone home.

Chocolate and candy can indeed be delightful. But you need to be aware that both candy and chocolate can be deadly for dogs. Make sure you keep your dog out of the stash that you are saving to give out at your door, AND, make sure your dog doesn’t get into the bags of goodies that your children drag home.

If your dog does get into the goodies, then be prepared to tell your veterinarian the KIND of candy or chocolate, HOW MUCH the dog ate, and the SIZE of the dog. As with all kinds of other poisons, dosage can mean the difference between diarrhea or something far, far worse. You will save yourself a load of money and a lot of heartache if you keep the Halloween items where your dog cannot get into them.

Be on the particular lookout for “sugar-free”, “low-calorie” or “diet” varieties of anything (edible or not): gum, toothpaste, lip balm, pop, candy, peanut butter, puddings, ketchup, drink powders, chewable vitamins, or anything else. These sugar-substitute sweeteners can be deadly (especially common is Xylitol (also called Birch Sugar)). Call your veterinarian immediately.

Here’s wishing a Happy and SAFE Halloween to all of you!