International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge


Doggone Safe

By Joan Orr M.Sc.


Did you know that half of all kids are bitten by a dog and most often by their own dog? This information is easily verified. Just ask around and you will find that half the people you talk to will have b

een bitten as a child. Dog bites can leave children frightened of for life, or worse. The dog may lose his home, his family or even his life.  Dog bites are preventable through education.

Non-profit Doggone Safe has announced the International Dog Bite Prevention Challenge with a goal of educating 50,000 children during the months of Mar-May about safety around dogs.

What Do Kids and Dog Owners Need to Know?

Children must learn to recognize the difference between a happy dog and an anxious dog that might bite. A happy dog wags his tail loosely and pants. An anxious dog may lick his lips, yawn, turn his head away or show a half moon of white in his eye.

Children must know what to do if a strange dog approaches. Doggone Safe teaches children to stand still, fold your branches (hands folded in front), watch your roots grow (look at your feet) and count in your head until help comes or the dog goes away. This is the skill that is going to save a life or prevent a serious mauling if a child ever meets that rare and truly aggressive or predatory dog. One mother told us, “[My 3-year old daughter] was standing in a tree pose as well as she could, shivering while being surrounded by two of the dogs barking and growling at her. We would like to thank you for your campaign and online information. We are convinced that it saved our daughter’s life.”

How Can You Help?

Follow our clinic’s posts to learn about dog body language and teach your children. Watch your own dog for signs of anxiety. Supervise and intervene before the dog gets to the point of growling or biting because all of his other stress signals have been ignored.  Go to for more information.

 Teach a child – save a dog.   

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