Poppy Clements, 8, with irish wolfhound-mastiff cross Buster.
Poppy Clements, 8, with irish wolfhound-mastiff cross Buster. Claudia Baxter

Dogs can be a kid's best friend

DOGS can learn new tricks and children can pick up animal safety skills at the RSPCA Wacol campus on Sunday.

RSPCA Queensland dog trainers will host a safety seminar which will teach children, parents and carers how to ensure interactions between kids and dogs stay positive.

Certified dog trainer Anna Hardacre said the seminar was aimed at preventing dogs and children experiencing stressful encounters.

"It is designed for people to learn how to teach children about dogs, and how to teach dogs about children," Ms Hardacre said.

She said the seminar aimed to eliminate dogs snapping at and being intolerant of children.

Ms Hardacre said 22 dogs were surrendered to the RSPCA Queensland in 2011 for displaying such behaviour.

"There are so many dogs that don't know young children and don't know how to behave around them," she said.

Ms Hardacre said seminar attendees would learn how to recognise signs of stress in dogs, including yawning to relieve stress and head-turning. "There's three sorts of behaviours that dogs can display," she said.

"First, there's enjoyment when the interaction is going very well, then there's stress when they're just putting up with it, and then there's aggression."

Ms Hardacre said it was important for adults to supervise children when they were with dogs.

"Things can still happen when parents are supervising interactions, but it's about knowing when to intervene," she said.

Ms Hardacre said the seminar would also suggest fun games that dogs and children could play, and types of suitable interaction.

 

Safety seminar

The Kids and Dogs - Staying Safe seminar will be held on Sunday at the RSCPA's Animal Care Campus in Wacol.

The seminar will run from 3pm to 5pm.

Entry costs $20 for adults and is free for children.

Attendees must pre-register. Details avaiable at rspcaqld.org.au - select "Animal Training" from the "Information" tab.



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